Talk about declaring your intentions. But hey, it probably was either that or “Freebird,” man.
More and more in music radio, the way forward is to look back, especially to classic rock, that darling of the baby boomers and their progeny.
But the “classic rock” bag has swollen to epic proportions after several decades, so stations are becoming ever more specific about how they parse their music before sending it out over he airwaves.
WKZF is calling its new format “heritage rock,” according to program director Paul Scott, by which he means rock songs — including long version album cuts of “Layla” and the like — from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Scott promises a steady stream of Rolling Stones, Who, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Journey, Aerosmith and many others from the station’s newly acquired library of 3,500 tunes.
That’s the music favored by the demographic the station covets: males 35 to 54. These are guys, Scott said, who tend to have steady jobs, good income and children who are out of the house. “It’s what they grew up listening to,” Scott said. “In York and Lancaster [counties], there are 365,000 men in that category.”
And appealing to advertisers.
WKZF’s new musical breakdown can get pretty specific, even in terms of a particular band’s music. Older Beatles tunes like “Let It Be” make the playlist, but not the early hit “She Loves You.” Songs from early U2 albums like “The Joshua Tree” will get played, but don’t expect to hear the Irish band’s more recent hit, “Beautiful Day.”
So-called “heritage rock” is part of an expanding format list that includes active rock, album-oriented rock, oldies, mainstream rock, modern rock and progressive rock in addition to the standard classic rock.