"Mob Hits" is an XM Radio first. The two-hour radio drama is written, produced, and performed entirely by XM talent, with XM on-air hosts and employees performing all of the roles.
The program is a fictional tale of rival mob bosses who bankroll musicians on their way to vinyl greatness and showcase them in some of the country's top nightclubs. The program will feature the music that played in wiseguy clubs during the 1950s, including vintage live music recordings.
Told in a melodramatic style, the story pits the ruthless club owner Don Leone against his nemesis Waxey Gold, a shady record promoter who wants in on the Don's business.
The cast includes Ken Smith, program director for the 50's on 5 channel, and XM production directors Rick McClure and Bart Taylor, the three of whom wrote and produced the program.
Other cast members include Bill Wax, program director of the Bluesville channel; Coolguy, on-air host for the hard-rock channel Boneyard; Robert Aubrey Davis, program director for the opera channel VOX and folk channel The Village; Tim Farley, program director for the NASCAR Radio channel; Zehra Zaidi, project assistant for XM retail marketing & distribution; and Lee Abrams, XM Chief Programming Officer; with special contributions by Jaime Colon, manager of XM broadcast systems, XM production director Matt Wolfe, and Matt the Cat, on-air host for the 50's on 5 channel.
"If you love 'The Sopranos' and 'Goodfellas,' you're going to love listening to 'Mob Hits," said Smith, a radio veteran who has programmed the 50's channel since XM launched in 2001. "It's a great story with fantastic music that really takes you back to those days in the 1950s. It wasn't all 'Happy Days' back then, that's for sure.
"This is the first time we've assembled a cross-section of XM talent to create a radio drama like this," Smith added. "The actors are all members of the XM family, and I think listeners will get a big kick out of hearing these great people from different channels on one show."
"Mob Hits" premieres on Saturday, February 14, the 75th anniversary of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, considered by many historians to be the most spectacular gangland hit in mob history. The show airs 4 pm to 6 pm ET on the 50's on 5 channel, with special encore presentations on Sunday, February 15th at 10 pm ET and Wednesday, February 18th at 7 pm ET.
XM Satellite Radio has more than 1.36 million subscribers today. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City and Nashville, Tennessee at the Country Music Hall of Fame, XM's 2004 lineup includes more than 120 digital channels of choice from coast to coast
- From an XM Radio Press Release