Led Zeppelin fans with a secret Garth Brooks fixation will soon be able to satisfy their diverse tastes with just one radio station.
WSDM 97.7, a Brazil station airing an "oldies" format, has moved down the dial to 92.7 and adopted a new playlist blending country and rock music. Dubbed "The CROCK" (the name itself is an amalgamation of the two genres), the new format will provide radio listeners of eclectic tastes with a previously unheard combination of rock and country styles.
"It's the first of its kind," said Doug Edge, an executive with Terre Haute-based Crossroads Communications, Inc., WSDM's parent company. The station will target a broad demographic-- Edge said he expects an even male/female split, with most listeners falling in the 35-54 age range. Though most of the playlist dates back 10 years or more, Edge hasn't ruled out the possibility of attracting a younger audience.
"My 11-year-old knows all the words to some of these songs," he said.
The station will feature a mix of rock-leaning country artists and country-tinged rockers, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., The Eagles and Big and Rich. Edge said the decision to introduce a format blending the two genres comes at a time when the line between country and rock is rapidly blurring.
"Toby Keith and Ted Nugent played a concert together at the Hulman Center. You've got country singers singing rock songs and Bon Jovi on CMT (Country Music Television)," he said. "It's going on across the country."
The station has created something of an uproar in the community in the weeks leading up to its unveiling. An advertising campaign that placed a billboard featuring questionable language in plain sight of a grade-school playground was roundly criticized by local school officials. Edge said the billboard campaign was not intended to offend, and its message has since been changed from "Bite me!" to "Chomp."
"If I had my druthers, maybe it would have been better somewhere else," he said. "We didn't control the exact placement."