Until the new millennium, major record labels created new musical stars by bringing their music to radio in hopes of air play. During my career, I worked for several stations that reported to major trade magazines such as R & R and Billboard. Each week, Major record companies brought DJ’s the newest record releases. We promoted artists by offering free, their newest albums free, tix to concerts and contest winners even met the stars.
About the time of 9/11, the increasing fragmentation of music into multiple genres, combined with the decreasing cultural significance of mainstream music changed everything. No longer do major record companies promote new artists to all contemporary radio stations. The number of tours has also diminished tremendously.
During my time on the air, I worked with many of New England’s legendary music promotion people. Some of the all time great promotion men are pictured below.