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Retro Rewind: 80s and 90s Radio for the 2000s

Dateline: 01/18/09

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Retro Rewind with Dave Harris

Dave Harris from "Retro Rewind"

Photo Credit: © Retro Rewind
(Retro Rewind is an Internet radio station based on an idea that began in late 1997. It was then Dave Harris conceived the idea, syndicating the show nationwide in February 1998. The Internet version of Retro Rewind has a huge song library and features exclusive interviews and in studio performances with the biggest acts of the 80s and 90s thanks in part to connections Dave made while working for VH-1. Dave has also managed a successful band (“The Outfield”) and in 2005 scored a top 20 AC hit as co-writer of "Sunset Blvd", performed by Scott Grimes.)

Corey: In your mind, what makes Retro Rewind stand out from other stations playing similar music?

Dave: I think what separates us from the pack are many things. Passion, familiarity, knowledge of the music and the genre, our ability to deliver interviews with the biggest artists of music, television, film or sports of the 80s and 90s. We are extremely well connected with these artists and many are personal friends of mine. We also have their trust and respect.

A lot of these artists won’t do interviews if they think it’s all about “the past”. We tie in their latest projects and get the word out for them. Many times we get exclusive performances by them. They go “unplugged” for us or allow us to record them LIVE at shows. They often provide us with advances of their new music months before it even comes out. A prime is example is Julian Lennon, good friend of mine. He has just completed his first CD in 10 years and we’re one of the very few people to have the new disc.

I think how we deliver the product to the listener and my ability to connect with them as the host helps a lot too. We’re very interactive with the listener. We do the show LIVE on Saturday nights and it’s a party. We have chat rooms, people meet new people and friendships are started. They talk about the music and send us their RET-quests and we play them on the spot.

Corey: How do you decide your playlist – how big is your library?

Dave: Our library is easily over 10,000 songs. We were doing “Jack” before it was a radio format because that’s what the 80s CHR format was about. It’s very listener driven. As cringing as it may seem to a radio vet, and a PD at that, we have gone from Air Supply to Gun ‘N Roses or Tone Loc into Barry Manilow because that’s how it was. We’ve always done that since day one.

I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind if some programmer somewhere heard the show and got an idea for the Jack format, I kid you not. We try and play all the hits and the classics that everyone knows and loves but we also leave plenty of room for the songs you “forgot” about or never hear anymore.

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