Well, here we are in the final few days of the year. The 2017 calendar is nearly played out. In a radio analogy, if 2017 was a cart playing, we would be seeing the tertiary cue warning light flashing to alert us that this one is ending, and we need to hit play on the cart labeled 2018. And extending that cart machine analogy to an even more absurd length, picture this fantasy to ring in the new year — The sparkly ball drops in Times Square at midnight, WLHA is blasting from AM radios coast to coast. You hear the “The Most Music In The Capital City” legal ID jingle rising over the roaring noise of the Times Square crowd and then wham! We kick off 2018 rockin’ hard. At the moment, in my head I’m hearing “Vehicle” by the Ides of March, CCR’s “Travelin’ Band,” “Get Ready” by Rare Earth, or maybe “Runnin’ Down a Dream” by Tom Petty, but feel free to plug in your favorite for your own fantasy. Even better, we really do it up right and program New Year’s day full of fast shotgun jingles followed by classic power pop. Hey, what the heck, if we could still stay up that late, we could actually do that!
No, not this weekend, but for a year from now, when 2018 draws to close, I think it would be fun to try. I propose that next year we do a WLHA New Year’s Eve streaming broadcast party and link in everybody around the country to take part, from Lee Harris in the N.Y.C. WLHA studios to Johnny Bugger, Crazy Nancy, and Caped Crusader out in the L.A. offices. And everyone can call in and record New Year’s greetings just like we did in the old days. And for the full day of power pop and jingles, everyone can record an hour or two of their favorites and I’ll string it together into a New Year’s Day music treat.
Actually, 2018 will be a good year to do it. 2018 marks the ten year anniversary of getting the group together, launching the website and WLHA activity in the modern age (21st century). It was back in June of 2008 that we had our first reunion event here in Madison at a place on Whitney Way to showcase the Lakeshore64.com website. It was a real radio party party with a Collins board, two turntables and hundreds of old jingles and IDs for everyone to rekindle the WLHA mood. In fact, it got us so “in the mood” that we decided to try streaming live radio events. Our first special of the modern era was a holiday themed show, December of 2008, and due to a massive snow storm it almost didn’t happen at all. Until recently, we didn’t even know there was a video recording of it. Compared to the more eleborate HD productions that we have been doing more recently, this show was pretty primitive, with fuzzy SD cameras locked in a quad-split, but still lots of fun, with plenty of incoming calls from station friends around the country. If you are curious to check it out, it’s posted for your video-on-demand pleasure to the WLHARADIO Facebook page, OR, you can see it replayed this Sunday, Dec. 31st, 7 PM – 11 PM at www.lakeshore64.com/live.html
So, here is what is happening THIS WEEKEND. Last week, Lee Harris and Harris Media Services switched us over to a new streaming server. The one we had been using had a fixed limit on the number of simultaneous viewers. This was generally adequate for our little WLHA community, but it was feeling a little too tight as viewership has been increasing recently (likely due to friends and family of our guest live musical groups tuning in). This new streaming server will happily support many hundreds of viewers more than the old one. WHEW! We also want to make it easier and cheaper for you to stream it smoothly. We cut the video bit rate in half on the broadcasts. This will do several things. It will be far easier for you to watch without frame stuttering and pauses when you are not blessed with high-speed internet access, and, if you are watching on your phone or through a cell provider, it will not eat up your data plan as fast. The video resolution will not be quite as sharp as the pristine HD we have been running, but we suspect most of you are not watching these things on 55″ displays. If you watch on a laptop, tablet, or phone, there should be no perceptable difference. Besides, you are watching a RADIO station, not the Super Bowl.
So, to test the new streaming server and gather some feedback from the field, Lee and I are going to stream a full day of re-runs of some old WLHA Halloween and April specials on Sunday, Dec. 31st. Maybe on Monday, too, if anybody wants that. It’s an ALL REQUEST WEEKEND! I realize you have lots of other things going on Sunday, but if any of you are game to test out the new server with us, we would appreciate hearing a reception report on how it works on your various viewing devices. We plan to have stuff playing all day. I am not sure what to play in the morning but I think it will be the 2016 Halloween Show from Noon to 7 PM and then the recently recovered 2008 Holiday show from 7 PM to 11 PM. And you thought there wasn’t going to be anything fun to watch on New Year’s Eve!
Mrs. The K and I are looking forward to a relaxing celebration of the launch of 2018 with Nivek and Mrs. Nivek, where I am sure we will start cooking up further ideas for the big New Year’s show next year, and now that you are in on the scheme, you can do that, too. Always something to look forward to.
Everybody please have a SAFE New Year’s celebration.
More WLHA in 2018, BE THERE!