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The Best of Everything Story

 

Thank you for your interest in the story behind The Best of Everything®.

When George Gershwin wrote “I long for the day when I can have my fling; and have the best of everything” little did he know that one day, his wish, (musically speaking, at least), would come true. Read on and learn how this unique music format came to be and how it might just be the answer to Mr. Gershwin’s, (and your), wistful call.

The Best of Everything® is a true blue, variety driven, adult music format embracing  12 great “flavors” of pop music, including fabulous Solid Gold Favorites, wonderful Classic Jazz, The Best Songs of Today, Great American Standards, Soft Rock Hits, Sweeping Soundtracks, The Best of the Band Years, Mo-Town, Hit Parade Memories, Timeless Country, The Very Best of Broadway and more!  Indeed, the most popular songs and greatest pop artists in the world are proudly showcased every day on The Best of Everything®.

The incredible Best of Everything® library (boasting more than 3000 songs) is a master blend of world class pop music updated and refreshed daily. While the blend is unapologetically eclectic, (we love variety), the songs and artists are totally familiar.

The Best of Everything® was created and crafted specifically to appeal to grown up tastes, but, whatever your age, we’re glad you’re here.

My name is Bob Bruno. I created The Best of Everything®. I am a recently retired broadcast executive who was privileged to have programmed and managed two legendary New York City radio stations, WNEW 1130AM and WOR 710AM.

While I loved the business of radio, anyone who knows me well will tell you that my first love, my passion, has always been music. If you share a similar love for music, (and variety), welcome. This one-of-a-kind music format was created just for you.

I think people of all ages will enjoy The Best of Everything® but in truth it was created specifically for mature consumers.

Business Week magazine recently called the mature consumer “a marketers dream.”   I agree and the facts overwhelmingly support that conclusion; mature Americans enjoy incomes that exceed the average household while controlling the greatest amount of disposable income of any age group in America.

Today’s adults are healthier in mind and body than any previous generation. They are socially active, committed to a youthful lifestyle and living longer, fuller lives. This generation that has dismantled the old stereotypes of adulthood and in the process, changed its own paradigm.

In light of the facts, one is hard pressed to understand why America’s fastest growing demographic remains so devalued by both Madison Avenue and a youth obsessed media.

Ignoring this active, affluent consumer group simply defies logic. Remember what Willie Sutton replied when they asked him why he robbed banks; he said, “Because, that’s where the money is.” Give that man a cigar, (and 20 years.)  Trust me, a Rhodes Scholar Willie was not, but he gets an “A+” for common sense.

Is 50 the new 30…or isn’t it? Why is this prime consumer sector so grossly underserved by media? It is a mystery to me and pretty much the reason behind the creation of this format.

The idea for The Best of Everything® began some years back at a National Association of Broadcasters Program Conference in San Francisco. As I walked the busy convention floor, it was apparent that broadcasters had minimal interest in creating new entertainment platforms for the rapidly growing mature market.

Youth targeted music formats on radio were flourishing and mutating almost daily while fresh concepts aimed at mature listeners were, for all intent and purposes, virtually dormant.

How ironic, I thought. I had just entered the age group that my own industry considered disposable. I, like millions of other Americans of a certain age, was about to disappear from the great media radar screen. Never mind that I was earning more than my four working youngsters combined, I was no longer a “desired demo,” I was yesterday’s news.

As I walked the convention floor, I wondered; does anybody believe in the value of the mature audience any more? Anybody?

The frustration I experienced that day had an interesting effect on me. It inspired me. I felt creatively charged. By the time I returned to my hotel room, the germ of an idea had already taken root; the creation of a music format unabashedly targeting the emotional bulls-eye of contemporary media’s “forgotten generation”.

I have always been motivated by a wonderful quote from Albert Einstein; “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” so, with old Albert’s blessing, I allowed my imagination full freedom to wander. I systematically removed all standard radio format formulas from my mind. Broadcasting 101 rules went out the window.

I began envisioning a music format “for the rest of us.”

On a yellow legal pad I outlined the first draft of a brand new concept that would encompass seven evolutionary decades of pop music. It would be a foreground format, (primarily vocal), served up on a kind of musical Lazy Susan. The uniqueness of the format rested firmly on two solid programming principles; unlimited variety and the wonderful element of surprise. As the wheel turned, listeners would never know what was coming next. Frank Sinatra or Fats Domino? The Beach Boys or “Jersey Boys?” Glenn Miller or Classic Country? Every few minutes a different genre would be served up. To my knowledge, it had never been attempted before. It would be an original. That excited me.

The acceptance of variety by the target listener was never a serious concern, even though, at first blush, mixing diverse categories of music together seem to go against the brain grain. But think again. Just a quick glance at your own music collection probably tells my story best. Is it a bit eclectic?  Most collections are. We love and embrace variety in many forms; from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the music we enjoy.

Building a grand library with a timeless, classic, core from the vast universe of available music was challenging for sure but also the most rewarding part of the project for me. Immersing my head in all of that wonderful music everyday was akin to Scrooge McDuck diving joyously into his mounds of money. We were both submerged in what we loved and having a great time in the process.

No one bats a thousand, and clearly, it would be foolish to assume that everyone would enjoy everything I selected for the library. Still, I felt that I could raise the ratio of listener “likes” to “dislikes” by avoiding edgy, trendy or banal material, choosing instead only solid performances that stayed close to the core value of the designated genre. I wanted The Best of Everything® “sound” to be smooth; “rounded off”, so to speak, to maintain listener loyalty and encourage longer listening patterns

I had an initial working title; The Adult Listener Comfort Zone. Although it expressed the concept pretty well, unfortunately it sounded like a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike.    I played with a number of alternate titles but simply could not find the words to convey the breadth and scope of the format until, one day, my son, Christopher casually said,     “It sounds like you will be playing the best of everything.” Bingo! Thank you, Chris.

Indeed. That is exactly what we will be playing; the very best of everything…something for everyone from Billie Holiday to Billy Joel…12 wonderful flavors of popular music…one continuous flow of easy listening songs and artists…blended especially for grown up tastes.

Now that I had identified the ingredients and written the recipe, I was ready to cook.

And here is the result:

On any given day, in any given hour, The Best of Everything® menu might include a Fred and Ginger Soundtrack Classic…Chuck Berry’s good time rock and roll...the Broadway brilliance of Andrew Lloyd WebberElla weaving vocal magic...The Eagles fly high…Patsy Cline goes “Crazy”...Springsteen rocks easy…The Miller Band serenades…Bocelli and Brightman soar…Garth Brooks takes us down a country road…we get sentimental again with Tommy Dorsey…we sail The River of Dreams with Billy JoelEarth Angel stirs unforgettable teen memories…Whitney Houston dazzles…Tony Bennett swings gently…and on and on.

It is truly, music for a lifetime; a lifetime of music.

Well that’s my story, (the Readers Digest version anyway) of how and why, The Best of Everything® came to be.

Crafting an original music format specifically designed to recognize, respect and serve the entertainment needs of the under appreciated mature audience has been the most satisfying thing I have ever done creatively. It was great fun too. Above all, I am delighted just to be able to share my lifelong love of music with everyone.

Thank you for visiting www.thebestofeveything.net. I hope that you will find The Best of Everything® a pleasant and joyful listening experience. Enjoy the music and please come back often. Until then, be well, and here’s to good listening …The Best it can be.

Sincerely,

Bob Bruno

Bob Bruno
President
Dark Horse Productions, Ltd.