By Dave Cooper
Not everyone listens to radio, and there are many reasons for making this choice – too many commercials, seemingly endless, repetitive cycles of specifically chosen music within a particular format, political affiliations among large broadcast companies, idiotic shock-jocks, or overly opinionated talk show hosts. You name it, it’s out there, and it’s causing changes resulting in alternative programming content, also in the manner in which the sonic transmission is received. You can’t have it all, unless you do it yourself.
Wouldn’t you like to reach into the vast depths of your musical awareness and personally select melodic content, massage it to its most pleasing sound and texture and ultimately create the most perfect aural, lyrical playground imaginable? Some people have taken that very thought and put their dreams into audible reality; it can be heard on the Internet.
Phoenix, Arizona resident, and friend, Andy Olson is one of those people who have taken this concept, creating and operating his own personal 24/7 radio station earlier this year. It is now readily available via Internet connections at www.radiofreephoenix.com.
Andy has been a Valley radio personality for more than 20 years spinning various forms of Rock-n-Roll at several stations, KSTM (The Storm), KOOL, KZON (The Zone) and is currently in his second run with Classic Rocker, KSLX. So with a couple decades spent in the “air-chair”, he now takes that experience, plus his infinite musical knowledge and an insatiable passion to play a mix of eclectic sounds that is reminiscent of what was called “underground” when FM radio was emerging in the 60s and 70s.
Andy’s medium of choice is the world-wide-web; he explains, “With the advent of the Internet came the ability to send digital music files over the net either thru email, downloading or streaming. Streaming offers the ability for anyone with the ingenuity and resources to start their own radio station, and to have it reach every corner of the world.” Radio Free Phoenix consistently interacts with listeners on a global level.
Multiple wireless electronic devices make it relatively easy for our ever-mobile society to communicate, even listen to music. Among various media is Wi-Fi (Wireless Internet).
Andy further illustrates, “With the proliferation of Wi-Fi, Internet radio will one day be as common and easy to listen to as broadcast radio, especially for those on the go. It offers unlimited musical formats and allows listeners to hear music that is not being played on today’s tightly formatted radio stations.”
And the quality of the sound may even be superior, Andy continues, “Radio Free Phoenix streams audio on the Internet with a low speed connection (for dial up) and a high-speed connection (for cable, DSL and high speed). The high-speed connection (128 kbps) is in stereo and is equivalent to or better sounding than FM radio. This is the plus side of Internet radio. The sound is sweet to the ears!”
The musical content at RFP is equally superb; Andy describes the play list as “everything from Rock, Folk, Blues, Psychedelic, New Wave, Americana, Progressive, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and new music too”. You’ll hear well-known performers, but not always their more familiar tracks; you will also be introduced to an extensive collection of new artists (over seven thousand songs and two thousand artists). It’s an enjoyable musical odyssey, experiencing obscure, eclectic sounds that are not commonly available on your radio dial.
In addition to Andy Olson, Radio Free Phoenix’s air staff presents a couple other familiar voices including: Liz Boyle (KOOL, KDKB, KSLX), and yours truly (KYOT & KJZZ). Also spinning tunes are several well-known, talented Valley radio personalities/veterans Jeannie Sedello, Lee Powell and Bill Rogers. Talk of having recurring guest deejays has also been considered as a possible weekly feature.
There is a rich history and tradition of musical excellence within this core of on-air talent; there is also a commitment to serve up some of the most enticing tunes available – anywhere. So click on and come along for the ride.