July 5, 2009

The A-Zone

For those of you that know me or read my blog, you know that I frequently mention the A-Zone. The A-Zone was a radio show I listened to in Nashville during my high school years that helped shape my music tastes. It was on Saturday nights from 10-12 p.m. and I listened to it religiously. I had no social life in high school, and I always made sure I was home for this show. My brother and I would lay in bed and listen to it until it went off the air at mdnight.

Anyway, one of the hosts, Dr. Tony Shore, has a blog and a podcast. I just discovered the podcast, and decided it's about time I started listening to it. Hard to believe it has been almost 15 years since the A-Zone. Anyway, the address of his blog is: http://obvious.typepad.com/ Tony Shore also managed the record label "Silent Planet" for awhile, which released Aaron Sprinkle's 'Bareface' album and a Beach Boys tribute, among other things. The record label no longer exists, and it is hard to find much of anything about it online.

More about the A-Zone, I began listening in either 1993 or 1994 and it lasted until 1997 or so. Not only did my brother and I listen, we also called in frequently, especially my brother, who was broadcast over the air on numerous occasions. The other host besides Tony Shore was K.C. Jones, who also deejayed on Thunder 94, a Nashville mainstream rock station. They worked well together, as Tony played the "softer" stuff, and K.C., "the harder stuff." I listened to the show during the time Tooth & Nail Records started.

Then one time my brother and I actually visited the studio. A couple weeks prior to our visit, we called into the show outside of a Fleming & John concert we were attending in January 1995 (I will write more about this in my 1995 blog post, coming next week). I think we must have bought Tony a shirt or something. Anyway, we visited, hung out in the studio for awhile, and were given a 4-song pre-release cassette for the Fleming & John album 'Delusions of Grandeur.'

In 1995, I moved away for college, and Tony Shore sent me about 30 or 40 CDs to help me out. I named my radio show the B.A.Zone, or the Birmingham A-Zone, in tribute to the original show.

To wrap up this post, here are the artists I can think of off the top of my head that I heard for the first time on the A-Zone: Fleming & John, Dakoda Motor Co., Sixpence None the Richer, Poor Old Lu, the Prayer Chain, Mortal, Starflyer 59, Blenderhead, MxPx, PlankEye, Jars of Clay, Circle of Dust, Argyle Park, Michael Knott, Adam Again, Daniel Amos, Lost Dogs, Vigilantes of Love, the Innocence Mission, Over the Rhine, Havalina, Morella's Forest, Joe Christmas, the 77s, My Little Dog China, Wish for Eden...

Thanks to the A-Zone!

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