A Very Short Comeback

I have some great news, some good news, and a little – for some of you – bad news.

Let’s start with the great news; the kind that will make everything else seem trivial. Are you ready?

I woke up this morning and so did you.

Now let’s move on to the good news. No matter how much the bad news might bother you, the reality is it is not the end of the world. There are a million problems the world faces that are much worse than what I am about to tell you.

Okay, no more stalling. Here’s the bad news.

The return of the Heather & Ray Show on January 11 is not going to happen. We were cancelled before the show ever started. You might call it, as Heather did, “the shortest comeback in radio history.

The owners of WCFR have decided the 4-hour Get Back with Heather & Ray Show did not fit their format. They focus on music from the late 80s through the early 2000s and we were going to be “getting back” to the 60s and 70s (and occasionally the 50s) every Saturday morning.

I was told the kind of music we planned on playing would be too much of a distraction for their regular listeners. I guess the thought of hearing the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Elvis would have mortified listeners who enjoy their daily fix of Depeche Mode, Madonna or Bon Jovi.

I was also told the type of people who enjoy music from the 60s are a vanishing breed (I’m being kind. Their description was a little more vivid.) I did let them know I respectfully disagreed with that, but hey, it’s their station and they have every right to program it the way they see fit.

I should add that our program could have returned but only if I agreed to broker the time (pay them $240 per week) and if I chose to go that route, I would “bear all of the responsibilities in Get Back – financial, logistical, sales and promotion.”

I have never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the room but I can assure you I am not an idiot. I was not going to charge them a penny for hosting the program but my initial reaction to that “offer” was I sure as hell was not going to pay nearly $1000 per month for the “privilege” of doing so.

But then I thought about the possibilities (and all of the people who appeared to be genuinely happy about our return.) If I could sell $1000 per month in advertising, it just might work. I prepared a list of “clients” I would call on and sent those names to the owners because I had been advised I really shouldn’t call on any of their existing advertisers.

Were the businesses I had listed available? I never heard back from them.

As I said earlier, it’s not the end of the world, although there were several things we were both excited about.

We had some exciting guests lined up; three Democratic presidential candidates (two U.S. Senators and a Mayor), plus a congressman, a governor, and the Chief of Police … and that was just for January!

We had plans to get heavily involved with the community by doing our best to help with the problem of hungry school kids because child hunger doesn’t just happen in December.

We had discussed the idea of reforming Team Heather for the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure in their fight against breast cancer because “every step, every dollar, and every voice matters.”
Both Heather and I have had relatives and far too many friends who have faced this battle and we didn’t want them thinking they are fighting it on their own.

And of course we were looking forward to taking listeners back to that magical era when music was, you know, music!

On a personal note, I was anticipating a number of show highlights: singing “Heather Weather” every 30 minutes (now there’s a flashback!), listening to Heather’s UBI’s (Useless Bits of Information), discussing This Day in Rock & Roll History, and so much more.

I was tempted to give out the email addresses of the station owners but have decided against it (psst, I will give them to anyone who asks me for them.) 😉

Did I tell you the great news? Yeah, I did but let me remind you again. I woke up this morning and so did you.

Comments (46)

  1. Erron

    Ray, I am so sorry. Not only are the “older” generation interested in the music but so are their children.
    Will be interested in hearing more about Heather’s team for the Race for the Cure.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Erron. The decision came as very surprising news to both Heather and me.

      As for Team Heather, it would be very difficult to promote participation in the event without a radio forum … and that is something we no longer have.

      Reply
  2. Barbara

    OMG Ray that is disgusting … what shortsightedness on their parts. Makes me wonder if they realize the listeners for the 50’s and 60’s music have money to actually support their advertisers … Yes I would love their email if you are willing to share – They should hear how people felt about the return of the show and how disappointed they are now …. I have not listened to WCFR for years — planned to when your show returned — and now will not … am one of many I am sure ..

    Take care – and Rock 2020! Hoping it will be a good year for all of us….

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Barbara. The whole thing is mystifying to me…

      Per your request:
      John Landry … Behaviornight@yahoo.com
      Rob Landry … rob@sugarrivermedia.com
      Rewind/WCFR Facebook Page … https://www.facebook.com/REWIND1065WCFR/

      Reply
  3. Dan

    You can count on me letting them know how I feel about this!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Dan. This is a lose-lose for everyone.

      Reply
  4. Patty Bassett O'Neill

    So sorry to hear about this Ray. Sad that this younger generation of business owners and a generation of non-believers of some of the best music in the history of music. It had heart, soul, inspiration and so much more in every beat and word.
    The music if the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s will live on as we continue to play them, teach our grandchildren and now their children to pass this on forever!
    Thank you for your efforts to try and make WCFR a better station like it had been once before Ray.
    Their loss but mysic6in our memory forever.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Patty.
      THe music (and the memories) from the 50s and 60s will NEVER die, regardless of what some people think.

      Reply
  5. Marty

    Pay them to provide a free service to their business?? Must be the station management does not realize our generation have started managed and run many successful businesses. I am disappointed for all of us, particularly you and “Heather”, the comeback will not happen.
    You deserve a big thank you for your efforts to provide a program many people would have enjoyed. Not going to waste time bashing the station management because I too intend to take advantage of each day.. I will, however, voice my opinion to the station’s management.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Marty. I truly appreciate friends like you. I have heard from several people who intend to voice their opinions to the station’s management.

      Reply
  6. Penny

    WOW!!! Doesn’t sound like these asshats would know a good thing if it jumped up and bit them in the ass and they obviously don’t know much about good music!!! Can’t understand why they all of a sudden decided the format you were going to do wouldn’t work when they knew it from the get go!!! So sorry they pulled this crap on you and us (your potential listeners), we all know how you ROCK and obviously know good music!!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      How do you really feel about this, Penny? LOL!
      Seriously, you have always been a loyal supporter and you have no idea how much that support is appreciated!

      Reply
  7. Mary MacMahan

    How disappointing! Extreme shortsightedness on their part. Interesting that they would allow the program if you paid for the time slot but if not, it wasn’t worthy. That tells me that they are interested in only one thing and clearly it is not what might appeal to a broad range of listeners … they are only interested in lining their own pockets.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Money talks, Mary. In some cases, it screams.
      I also find it interesting that the music would be fine if I was willing to pay for the privilege of playing it.

      Reply
    2. Sandy Gaither

      This news is very disappointing Ray! I can’t even understand why the radio station elected to do this. What is wrong with them? Don’t they know that there’s a whole audience out here already established, that it was just dying to start. They say everything happens for a reason in this world, we just don’t know what that reason is yet. I am very sorryAnd I think they’ve made a huge mistake! Take care. Oh and as a PS, so thrilled that we did all wake up this morning!

      Reply
      1. Ray (Post author)

        Thank you, Sandy. I have heard from so many people who are asking the same questions you are, and more than a few of them will be writing to the station to let them know how they feel.

        And I’m also thrilled we all woke up today! 🙂

        Reply
  8. Nancy A Garbati

    How stupid are they. If I lived locally and had been tuning in to them on a regular basis, you can bet I’d be walking back and forth with a sign protesting this decision. Us old folks are important too. 🙁 🙁

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Nancy … I bet you would be doing that! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Fred Guilmette

    Ray I am so sorry to hear this!! I was so looking foward to hearing two familar voices on the air again!! Doing well we almost had to put our dog Beau down as he fell off our bed and was unableto walk!! Nancy and I couldn’t do it so we opted for surgery!! He is doing well and is walking however I have to make sure he doesan’t do stairs and try to jump etc!! However that has made our New Year and so glad we did not say goodbye!! Have been on face book but kinda speed reading!! Anyway I would like to have their e-mail address to let them know how dissapointed I am and let them know they could have gained alot of us back to listening to WCFR!! Why and heck would I want to hear that station unless I had a darn good reason to!! I will be polite I promise!! Still facing more surgery but I am happy and so glad to make another year!! Hang in Ray and say hi to Heather for me!!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Fred, great news about Beau! I’m happy Nancy and you thought with your heart!

      Per your request:
      John Landry … Behaviornight@yahoo.com
      Rob Landry … rob@sugarrivermedia.com

      Reply
  10. Shirley

    Well darn, since I missed your original shows I was really looking forward to your reunion. The station doesn’t deserve you!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Shirley. I think you would have enjoyed it. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Scott

    So disappointed not to have you return to the airwaves- short sighted on their part to say the least.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Scott
      In the immortal words of Mr. Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

      Reply
  12. Suzanne

    As you already know…. I was so looking forward to listening via the internet. What a disappointment and how very shallow these owners are. I agree with Barbara’s comments and will definitely be sending emails to those listed! Those of us who truly enjoy the music from that Era are still alive and kicking! And I do believe advertisements would have certainly increased during that time frame. Keep doing what you are doing Ray! We all enjoy the interactions you put out there!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Suzanne. I sincerely appreciate the support. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Donna

    How ridiculous! Why did they lead you to believe this was happening and then cut you down? Very short sighted of them and I hope they lose lots of listeners! I am so sorry for you and Heather and for all the people in the area who were looking forward to the music and all you have to offer. Maybe if people started talking to advertisers, its all about money!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Donna.
      I don’t think they had a lot of listeners to begin with. 😉

      Reply
  14. allison cesario paton

    Reading this post cracked me up, Ray–in a what I imagined you thinking ‘do I have stupid written on my forehead?’ way. The reasons they gave you seem demographically and culturally moronic–otherwise, the dying breed of classical, or swing, etc would be dead, too. It sounds like they were looking for ways to generate revenue, which makes me wonder how solvent they are. Sorry you were put through your paces only to find out the bait and switch of it all. Ultimately, WCFR is not the right place for you to do your unique thing of reaching out to people of all ages as you do through Streaming Golden Oldies. I long ago learned choosing the path of least resistance is the way to success on many levels: personal, professional, and spiritual to name a few. It’s all good. Keep on doin’ your thang and know it’s much appreciated by many! Thanks for your support over the years–Kind regards, Allison

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Allison.

      The problem is I (we) had such high hopes in talking directly on a live basis to listeners. Life doesn’t always run according to plan.

      Reply
  15. allison cesario paton

    Yes, I can imagine it was a letdown not to have that venue. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Is it possible for you two to do a podcast?

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Allison, it is something we have talked about.

      Reply
  16. Donna

    I can’t begin to describe my disappointment to hear you will not be returning to WCFR. The two of you provided so much joy to listeners and we were all thrilled to hear you were coming back. That would have been a huge boost to the spirit of this little community. You made us feel like we mattered.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Donna, thank you so much. Believe me, nobody wanted it more than we did.
      And you DO all matter.

      Reply
  17. Lawrence Albert Coughlin

    How freaking bad is that…I was waiting to hear how we here inBrunswick ME were goin’ to be able to hear our fav music on line.Hang in there Bud.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      I’m hanging, Coach.
      And to answer your question, it’s freaking bad. 😉

      Reply
  18. Liz

    Let’s hope this disappointment (for you and many of us) opens up other avenues so that your skills and ideas old and new can be fulfilled.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Liz. To be honest, I am now leaning in the direction of retirement. As I approach 70, maybe it’s time to accept the fact that my options have become limited. That might be the disappointment speaking but the sudden shock came out of nowhere so I’m trying to process it as I go along.

      Reply
  19. EILEEN Spencer CORRIE

    I didn’t realize you were offering your considerable talents gratis. These people are ignorant beyond belief! I’m so sorry this didn’t work out for you or your listeners.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Eileen.
      Hell, they didn’t even accept my offer to pay them!

      Reply
  20. Sharon Losee Dexter

    Ray…I am utterly and truly disappointed that this show is not going to be a reality after all! We still have a vital place in society and I am offended by the idea that we’re a vanishing breed and the music of the 50’s,60’s,70’s is basically on it’s way out. I’d like to say more in a derogatory vane but what good would that do. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this crap because you deserve better! I wish you the very best in whatever you choose to do next. We’re right here to support you!

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Sharon. It will all turn out the way it is supposed to turn out. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Pat Conant

    So sorry about this, Ray. I was not lucky enough to hear you and Heather “back in the day”, but was looking forward to your show. However I woke up this morning, and am happy about that.(And also happy that you and all your friends who posted above,woke up, too!!)

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Pat. I’m sorry it didn’t work out but no one ever said life is easy … or fair.

      I’m very glad you woke up! 🙂

      Reply
  22. Smokey

    Wow! Hard to believe
    the owners would’nt
    ‘Return’ you to the
    radio waves.
    96.3. etc., is doing
    a fantastic job with
    their oldies. We wonder
    how their clients ad’s
    are filling the regions
    air waves! From what we
    hear, they are bringing
    in many repeat customers.
    Maybe our FAMILY business
    and other organizations
    should reconsider where
    to put our advertising $’s.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks, Smokey. I have given up trying to figure it all out. Getting a show that appears to have been highly anticipated (and getting it at no cost to them) would seem to have been a no-brainer.

      Reply

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