Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Radio Artifact #84

I have been to thsi town before, but I didn't make this particular stop. I was in Lynchburg, VA at DAV thrift store. It had miles of books, and two 10 gallon Rubbermaid tubs of 45s. For a old radioman this is Valhalla. Yes the vinyl may be scratched... but nobody will dig through the whole bin but me. It was a fresh dig into the unexplored crates.

I found many a fine and cheap 45. There were promos as always but one that was inexplicable. There is virtually no information online despite it's somewhat recent vintage. The 45 is listed on the Carolina Soul website . It's clearly sponsored by Budweiser, and has some connection to 1490 WDUR-AM. It confirms it's 1983 release. The ID number BS1002, indicates there was probably another 45 in the series, perhaps more. Following that line of thought I immediately found other releases on "Budweiser Showdown." All seem to be co-branded with radio stations. BSR 932, BSR712.. Ther emay have literally been over a thousand of these. It was probably related to the TV proghram of the same name. the NY times described it thusly:
"A program, sponsored by Budweiser Beer, which features amateur rock groups competing for the opportunity to win a recording contract and an appearance in a beer commercial."
It seems impossible that this was releated a thousna dtimes in a thousand cities. But Budweiser does have the market presence to do that. I found a video by a collector of the series, showing a pile of the 45s, the call letters were from all over the country: WATV, WDIA, KFOX, WTMP, WBMX, KACC, WJLD, WORL, WILD, KDKS, WPOM, WTMP, WXOK, WJTT, WGPR, WVEE... Sadly there appears to be no complete listing of this eccentric, and apparently huge catalog. There is a pretty honest attempt to catalog it here. But the emphasis is as you might expect, on artists not on the radio stations.