A year ago, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was exploding in the United States, up 38-29 on its way to three weeks at No. 1 in late June/early July and “Song of Summer 2012” status. This spring, Jepsen claims another title—she’s the hardest-working act at radio, already on the books for at least nine station shows and artist events.
Every year, this column tallies the spring and holiday shows to see which artists are most available to radio. Based on the lineup information that was available as of today from mainstream, rhythmic and adult top 40 stations, Jepsen was playing the most shows and the widest spread of market sizes, from WKSC (Kiss 103.5) Chicago to WKRZ Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Jepsen was also playing both adult and mainstream top 40 shows.
Jepsen is followed by Cher Lloyd, who is doing seven shows, ranging from Boston to an event for WMKS Greensboro, N.C. In fact, many of the acts with the widest profile are established U.K. artists looking to show that they’ve made the commitment to U.S. stardom. Emeli Sandé is on KIIS Los Angeles’ Wango Tango and a show at nearby sister KHTS (Channel 93.3) San Diego. The Wanted continue to do station shows, with at least four already on the books.
Then there’s British hit maker Olly Murs, whose efforts to concentrate on breaking in the United States have been well publicized at home. We found Murs on at least five shows, including WIOQ (Q102) Philadelphia, WXKS-FM (Kiss 108) Boston’s category-creating Kiss Concert, KDWB Minneapolis and one of several shows being presented by WKSC this year.
That an artist could lead this tally with nine shows -- they have previously gone into double digits on similar tallies -- is a reflection of a relatively slow station concert season, although not every show is announced by mid-April; at least two stations have announced dates, but not lineups. But there are also Clear Channel stations that might have done their own show that are promoting CC’s upcoming Ultimate Pool Party in Miami.
In addition, a handful of very informal conversations with PDs have unearthed concerns about the difficulty of finding acts this year. Even though stations are now paying for appearances, or attaching their name to existing concert packages, station shows are competing with more package tours and even private/corporate dates.
Then again, there’s KIIS’ Wango Tango with several artists who are typically well beyond the station show level these days—Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars—and the only top 40 appearances that we’ve uncovered thus far from will.i.am and Fall Out Boy. (The United Kingdom’s BBC Radio 1 and Capital FM typically also sport superstar acts, but their shows have not yet been announced.)
Typically, a look at station show lineups finds fortuitously booked acts whose singles broke quickly between the time of being booked and the show themselves. Ariana Grande is on shows for KIIS, WBBM-FM (B96) Chicago and Kiss 108, among others. Drop City Social Club is the rhythmic champion, with shows at KYLD San Francisco; WJMN Boston; KSFM Sacramento, Calif.; and the combined KISV/KKXX Bakersfield, Calif., show.
Then there’s Emblem3, the “X Factor” stars whose “Chloe (You’re the One I Want)” is scheduled for release later this week. As of last Wednesday, that song hadn’t received a single spin at radio, but the group was already booked for at least five shows, including WNOW New York, B96.3 and Kiss 108.
Here’s our tally based on information available through April 15:
Carly Rae Jepsen: 9 shows
Cher Lloyd: 7
Olly Murs: 5
Jason Derulo: 5
Ariana Grande: 4
Demi Lovato: 4
Drop City Yacht Club: 4
Icona Pop: 4
The Wanted: 4
Trey Songz: 4
Hot Chelle Rae (including solo appearances by group members): 4
Baby Bash: 3
Calvin Harris: 3
Jonn Hart: 3
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: 3