Millions of transistors and AM car receivers once blasted the Beach Boys' hits during the mid-'60s and, aptly, radio is a key component in the campaign to promote the band's 50th anniversary and the first single/title track from its new Capitol/EMI studio album, "That's Why God Made the Radio."
"We've had incredible enthusiasm from classic rock, oldies and hits stations," EMI North America executive VP of marketing and promotion Greg Thompson says. "In regards to AC and more current-intensive formats . . . the key is to create a pop culture moment that drives radio to feel like they have to be part of it and need to re-engage with the Beach Boys."
Capitol/EMI has lined up a series of strategic radio partnerships, including an hour-long Cumulus Media special to air Memorial Day weekend on AC and classic rock stations, an "Artist Confidential" appearance on May 26 on SiriusXM as part of a "Beach Boys Endless Summer Weekend," a 20-minute interview for CBS Radio and an NPR piece that will air on either "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered." There are also talks in progress for a Clear Channel iHeartRadio partnership.
All of those efforts will be supported on the networks' attendant websites, while the video for "That's Why God Made the Radio" premiered May 17 on Vevo.
The Beach Boys, whose Facebook site has grown to 939,000 likes since it launched in 2011, will also continue to produce "Reunion in Harmony" webisodes that will appear on the group's website and those of various viral partners.
TV is also riding the Beach Boys' reunion wave. Besides their appearance earlier this year at the Grammy Awards, the group has already performed the national anthem at the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener (April 10) and appeared on "CBS Sunday Morning" and NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." On May 17, the group visited QVC, selling "That's Why God Made the Radio" bundled with a special greatest-hits set, as well as merchandise.
A performance on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" is set for June 6, with an ABC "Good Morning America" concert in New York's Central Park on tap for June 15. The group has taped pieces for Charlie Rose's PBS show and "Access Hollywood," and Thomas is directing the "Front Row Center" documentary that will air July 4 on PBS. Another TV special, most likely performance-based and for a major network, will air in the fall.-Gary Graff