In an exclusive interview with Boston-based Barry Scott upon the show's 25th anniversary on commercial radio, Chart Beat celebrates what makes the "The Lost 45s" such a great find for listeners.
"The Lost 45s" features so many artist interviews. What are some of the most surprising facts you've learned from those chats?
Sir Monti Rock III ("Disco Tex") recently became my 752nd exclusive artist interview, many of them on the rare side.
I learned early on that it isn't enough just to play the songs. Having artists talk about the recording process, why they were or were not hits, what the songs actually meant - and why they feel that they are not programmed much today - sets this show apart.
I spent a rare hour with Aretha Franklin, finding out that "Day Dreaming" is about Dennis Edwards of the Temptations.
I've shared candid moments with people who have since passed. Sonny Bono told me he wished that he and Cher had acted more as a business than as a husband and wife; and, Eddie Rabbitt boasted of hopefully beating the cancer that eventually caused his passing just a few months later.
Brian Wilson told me how he used to sleep with an AM transistor radio under his pillow in an interview that even his management described as spectacular for its lucidity.
Debby Boone called me a geek for knowing the chart position (No. 80!) of Kacey Cisyk's original version of "You Light Up My Life."
And, Smokey Robinson praised my interview technique as being different than any he has encountered throughout his career.
These conversations, recorded over a span of 25 years, are sprinkled within every segment of the show, creating a feel like no other retro radio program.
I prepare with so much research and am such a fan of their work that artists seem to open up to my questioning.
I now lean country. I never heard it growing up, aside from the rare pop crossover, but that seems to be where most of the real melodic music with meaningful lyrics is now.
Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw ... country is a bit like the new pop music.
What does the future hold for "The Lost 45s"?
Keeping it an on-air destination and adding past shows, dating to my college years, as well as new special programming, to the website. There's the next annual "Lost 45s" listener cruise in July and I'm even working on a TV series based on these great songs and artists.
Ultimately, I'll continue "The Lost 45s" as long as it brings listeners joy, in any medium that will have me. If it ends up being web-based, then it will be terrestrial radio's loss.
There seems to be a lack of interest in musical benchmarks and specialty shows, which brings the value of any radio station down to iPod level.
That is a trend that needs reversing if radio as a medium wants to retain a loyal, interested audience.
There has to be a place on the radio dial, in every market, for these songs and artists to be kept alive.