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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Remembering radio station record albums

Site remembers the time when radio stations put out their own records

Lisa Wheeler's describes herself on her blog as a former radio chick with a vinyl fetish. No joke. She's been collecting records since age 14 and has close to 10,000 pieces (LPs and 45s) in her collection. Out of that, 500 are recordings that radio stations produced.

"I've always been interested in local radio station vinyl," Wheeler told "I guess combining my love record collecting with broadcasting."

Wheeler, who worked in TV and radio (most recently at KLBJ-AM in Austin), has a site called Radio Use Only that focuses on albums that were tied to radio stations.

 You might remember albums (and later CDs) that radio stations used to pimp featuring big artists and even local talent. I think my wife still has a 104.1 KRBE 1990s era compilation in our CD collection. SEE THE HOUSTON LIST HERE

"In the early years of radio comps (compilations), stations were in bed with record labels, who would provide their national artists' songs for free, in exchange for using them on a local comp," Wheeler told me. "There were a number of comp outfits who did this, namely Del-Fi, Pacer, Post, and Take 6."

As with many things, there is a big Houston connection. Starstream, Bayou City label, helped stations around the country feature homegrown acts. According to Wheeler's blog, the company produced an estimated 300+ albums and singles in its catalog giving acts such as The Replacements and Bon Jovi their first big break on vinyl.

If you like record memorabilia, check out the video below:

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