Musician Bob Baker says that unless you have friends in high places, your independent CD release barely stands a chance of getting radio airplay on commercial stations.
You’ll even find that it’s difficult to convince college and community stations to give your CD a substantial number of plays on the airwaves.
Bob says that one way to sneak into a station’s rotation is to write a novelty song that relates to a current topic in the news or an upcoming holiday. For instance, Christmas songs almost always get some airplay during the Yuletide season. But that’s far too obvious.
Try creating songs that pay tribute to more musically obscure holidays such as Thanksgiving or Groundhog Day. And what about Easter, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Columbus Day?
But don’t stop there.
Create songs about a local political scandal, winning or losing sports teams, elections or famous local people in the news. Consider a theme song or jingle for one of the popular morning radio shows.
“Believe it or not, novelty songs have a much better chance of getting commercial airplay, which will get your name out there, possibly paving the way for your more serious songs later,” Bob says. “Just make sure the novelty or theme song you write and pitch to the station is in line with your overall musical style and identity.”
Bob, who also worked as a music magazine editor, will be my guest during the teleseminar “Do-it-Yourself PR Tips for Songwriters, Musicians & Bands on a Budget” from 8 to 9:10 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 29. He’ll spill the beans on lots of creative, low-cost ways musicians can get valuable publicity for their bands and their CDs—online and offline.