August 18, 2017Posted by Mike James

Station History

It all started with and idea and a dream!


WRVR Radio Logo

I've been a fan of Jazz music since I started listening to my father's Jazz LP's as a kid.  Growing up in Brooklyn, while everyone was listening to Soul and Top-40, I became a fan of New York's legendary radio station, WRVR.

The station was the home to some of the city's finest jazz music.  Many of the Disc Jockeys, such as Les Davis were apt to give historical insights to the music of Armstrong, Basie, Ellington, Holiday, etc.

When the radio station abruptly left the airwaves in 1980 and changed formats to Country music, I was left heartbroken and angry.   For a time, I didn't listen to Country until I met my wife, Kelly, who is a big Country fan.  (Opposites attract!!)

When I graduated from high school, I attended Sullivan County Community College in 1981.   It was there that I managed to find Les Davis, one of the original WRVR disc jockeys. This time, he moved to an all night jazz radio show on WVNJ.  Back then, the station used to broadcast it's signal all the way up to Sullivan County. 

I remember the show being on at 7pm and would continue through 7am, when it would go back to play easy listening music.  When that radio station left the airwaves in 1986 in favor of Top 40 music, I was left with another void to fill.

Moving to California...and a disturbing trend!

 

KJAZ LogoAfter graduating from college, I moved to Northern California in 1987.  There, I was exposed to three great radio stations, KJAZ, which was the traditional jazz station for over 30 years,

KBLX Logo

 

 

 

KBLX, nicknamed "The Quiet Storm", which played more R&B than jazz, but was still a great listening radio station,

KKSF Radio Logoand KKSF, a smooth jazz radio station that revolutionized the format in 1987.  The one aspect that made KKSF unique at the time was their ability to play music that no one else heard of.  Artists like Michael Tomlinson, the Yellowjackets, Julia Fordham and others.  (Note: On May 18th, 2009; KKSF ended it's run as a smooth jazz FM radio station when it changed its format to classic rock.)

Upon moving back East in the late 90's, I noticed a disturbing trend in the radio industry.  Many radio stations were being gobbled up by corporate conglomerates, who's only job was not to put good music on the air, but to make money and generate ratings.

Many radio stations such as KKSF were bought and their playlist conformed to play only popular jazz and R&B music.  Other radio stations like KJAZ were sold and the formats turned over to something more profitable.

Smooth FM CD106.9 Radio LogoThe trend was evident when I moved to Syracuse.  In 1997, Central New York had a Smooth Jazz radio station called, "Smooth FM CD 106.9, WHCD".  Because it was owned by a small group of local investors, they had no chance against big-named companies such as Clear Channel and Citadel when it came to advertising dollars. 

I became frustrated by corporate radio's lack of diversity and  it's drive for the almighty dollar.  The eventual sale and format change in the September, 2000 was the last straw for me. 

When you have to get things done...

 

I decided that I had enough of corporate broadcasting's dominance of FM radio.  I branched out on my own and formed my own radio station on the internet.   Smooth Jazz and More was born.  

Live365 LogoWith the help of Live365.com and a bunch of my own CD's, I brought back radio to the way it supposed to be, music without boundaries.  No time limits.  No consultants.  The format all done my way!

Internet radio takes us back to the days when FM radio was in its infancy.  Music artists that would never be played on commercial radio because of lack of recognition. 

Unfortunately, the Internet broadcasting community is under attack by the same individuals who see us as a threat to their well being. Anti-RIAA LogoCorporate terrestrial broadcasters and record companies, along with their allies in Washington, D.C. have seized the opportunity to levy unreasonable royalties on Internet radio broadcaster.  This threat has put our radio station and many others like it on the brink of extinction. 

With the help of Live365.com, SaveNetRadio.org, and other active partners, our struggle for parity will succeed.

The end of LIve365, Moving to radionomy and beyond!

 

In January 2016, Live365 was forced to end all broadcasting due to heavy royalty increases and the loss of investors. Thousands of broadcasters were forced to find alternative places to broadcast. Initially, we moved to Radionomy, a company out of Belgium. Unfortunately, this move was filled with lots of growing pains. The company was woefully unprepared for the influx of Live365 refugees. They experienced frequent techinical outages and was under increased scrutiny for their own royalty obligations.

Radionomy LogoIn response to its royalty issues, Radionomy implimented a "Geo-Block" on certain countries. This was done without notice, leading to nuch confusion among its broadcasters. The final straw was when, without notice, the company implemented a block on 3rd party apps to listeners of the highly coveted United States market. This affected the launch of our own personal app we were promoting. When pressed for answers, we found out the reason thu a radio industry newsletter.

SoniXcast logoWe decided to take charge of our stream and moved to SoniXcast in September 2017.We also purchased SAM Broadcasrer PRO software giving us the opportunity to broadcast our station live. We're excited for this new move and look forward to many more years of broadcasting.

About Smooth Jazz and More: Streaming on the internet since 2001,   We play Smooth Jazz, light sounds and in-between all day long.  We're also on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat..

Website: www.smoothjazzandmore.com