Adult standards

Adult standards

Adult Standards is a North American radio format heard primarily on AM or class A FM stations.

Adult Standards is aimed at "mature" adults, meaning mainly those over 50 years, often considerably older. It is primarily on AM because market research reveals that only persons in that age group listen to music on AM in sizable numbers. Adult Standards first became a popular format in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a way to reach mature adults who came of age before the rock era but were perhaps too mature for adult contemporary radio or too young for beautiful music. A typical Adult Standards playlist typically includes big band music, particularly from the 1940s and 1950s, popular music standards by artists such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and some "easy listening" numbers from Roger Whittaker and others. Younger artists who record in a similar style, such as Harry Connick, Jr. or Diana Krall, may be played as well; some stations will occasionally include former old-time radio series programs such as "Fibber McGee & Molly" or "I Love a Mystery" as a change of pace. Many Adult Standards stations air "When Radio Was", a daily old-time radio retrospective currently hosted by Chuck Schaden.

At one time there were several hundred such stations; today, due to changing demographics and the passing of many long-time loyal listeners, there are probably only about 200. Many of those stations that do remain have attempted to update their sound to appeal to younger listeners by moving away from big-band music and other pre-1960 material and into soft adult contemporary territory.

Only about a handful of Adult Standards stations today are live and locally programmed around-the-clock. Many have affiliated with nationally distributed satellite formats to cut costs; due to advertiser perceptions about the audiences these stations primarily target, a large number of Adult Standards stations have trouble selling airtime to advertisers, which makes them unprofitable. For example, KIXI 880 AM, serving the Seattle market, terminated its local airstaff to affiliate with the Music of Your Life network. Many others have simply dumped the format altogether, often for all-talk or all-sports formats, oldies, or other formats deemed more profitable than standards by management.

Music Of Your Life was an Adult Standards satellite-delivered format that probably more than any other source currently defined the format. Music of Your Life, which was founded by Al Ham in 1978 and boasts a roster of well-known personalities including Deana Martin, Peter Marshall and weekend host Pat Boone, was distributed by Jones Radio Networks. A dispute between Jones and former jocks Wink Martindale and Gary Owens (among others) led to Owens, Martindale and company splitting off and Jones ultimately deciding to abandon the format at the end of 2007 and introduce a new format of its own. Music of Your Life is still distributed independently.

Dial Global (formerly part of Westwood One) and ABC Radio also have Adult Standards formats distributed via satellite; Dial Global's is called "Adult Standards" (known on-air as "America's Best Music"), and ABC's was known as Stardust/Timeless Classics (now known as "Timeless", Stardust/Timeless Classics was consolidated with a soft oldies/AC network owned by ABC—Unforgettable Favorites/Memories—in 2006. Westwood One originally called its format AM Only and for a time, as the name suggests, offered the format only to AM stations; today, a handful of FM stations also air Westwood One's format.

While Music of Your Life has not eliminated all of the big-band and traditional pop music from its playlist, Westwood One and ABC dropped much of the older music in favor of softer pop and rock oldies from the 1960s and 1970s Top 40 era and a good deal of soft AC material as well. Under Dial Global, some of the older-style songs are making a comeback on the Westwood One format.

Clear Channel Communications' Format Lab also features at least two "adult standards" formats.

atellite radio

Moving into the 21st Century, Adult Standards have been given a lift as a format by new media, such as:
* XM Channel 4, "The 40s on 4", programmed by legendary music format programmer Marlin Taylor
* XM Channel 73, "High Standards" (formerly "Frank's Place" until January 2007)
* Sirius Channel 75, "Siriusly Sinatra" (formerly entitled "Standard Time" before February 2007)

Internet radio

Internet radio stations have given loyal lovers of standards and nostalgia more listening options than perhaps any other medium as the 21st Century unfolds. Advantages include more independent style programming geared for a worldwide audience. Some Internet radio station blend in classic vocal music from Europe and Latin America. Programming venues vary from singular independently programmed stations on stand-a-lone websites, to entire groups of independently programmed stations grouped together under a format heading. Some of the latest stations include Sweet Memories Radio, some of the most popular services include, Pandora, iTunes and other web radio media.

Adult Standards Artists

Artists typically heard on Adult Standards radio stations may include the following:

* Ed Ames/Ames Brothers
* The Andrews Sisters
* Louis Armstrong
* The Beatles (softer and ballad cuts)
* Tony Bennett
* Pat Boone
* Michael Buble
* Carpenters
* Ray Charles
* Patsy Cline
* Rosemary Clooney
* Nat King Cole
* Natalie Cole
* Perry Como
* Harry Connick, Jr.
* Vic Damone
* Bobby Darin
* Doris Day
* John Denver
* Celine Dion
* Tommy Dorsey
* Percy Faith
* Fifth Dimension
* Ella Fitzgerald
* Connie Francis
* Benny Goodman
* Tom Jones
* Diana Krall
* Frankie Laine
* Brenda Lee
* Peggy Lee
* Ramsey Lewis
* Lulu
* Melissa Manchester
* Henry Mancini
* Barry Manilow
* Dean Martin
* Al Martino
* Johnny Mathis
* Paul Mauriat
* The McGuire Sisters
* Bette Midler
* Glenn Miller
* Anne Murray
* Olivia Newton-John
* Patti Page
* Les Paul & Mary Ford
* The Platters
* Elvis Presley
* Nelson Riddle Orchestra
* Kenny Rogers
* Linda Ronstadt
* Diana Ross (solo and Supremes material)
* Artie Shaw
* Carly Simon
* Frank Sinatra
* Rod Stewart
* Barbra Streisand
* Sarah Vaughan
* Dionne Warwick
* Andy Williams
* Roger Williams

Adult standards terrestrial stations

Some noteworthy terrestrial (AM & FM land-based) radio stations featuring the Adult Standards format today include:
* CFZM 740 AM, Toronto, Ontario Perhaps the only remaining adult standards-formatted station in North America broadcasting on a 50,000-watt clear channel signal.
* CKBD 600 AM, Vancouver, British Columbia
* KAAM 770 AM, Garland, Texas
* KBFL 99.9 FM/1060 AM, Springfield, Missouri
* KCEE 1030 AM, Tucson, Arizona - streaming available
* KDYL 1060 AM, Salt Lake City, Utah (flipped to "oldies" 1/1/08)
* KEZW 1430 AM, Denver, Colorado
* KFSD 1450 AM, Escondido, California -
* KHAR 920 AM, Anchorage, Alaska -
* KIDD 630 AM, Monterey, California -
* KIXI 880 AM, Seattle, Washington
* KJWL 99.3 FM, Fresno, California -
* KMRY 1450 AM, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
* KOY 1230 AM, Phoenix, Arizona
* KRNT 1350 AM, Des Moines, Iowa -
* KSPA 1510 AM, Ontario, California -
* KTUC 1400 AM, Tucson, Arizona -
* KZQX-LP 95.7 FM, Chalk Hill Community, Texas - streaming available in stereo
* WGL 1250 AM/WGL-FM 102.9 FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana
* WJAS 1320 AM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
* WJAX 1220 AM, Jacksonville, Florida
* WJIB 740 AM, Cambridge, Massachusetts
* WKHR 91.5 FM, Cleveland, Ohio
* WLEZ-LP 103.7 FM, Jackson, Mississippi - streaming available
* WMBN 1340 AM, Petoskey, Michigan
* WMNI 920 AM, Columbus, Ohio
* WTRI 1520 AM, Brunswick, Maryland -
* WNIO 1390 AM, Youngstown, Ohio - streaming available
* WMBS 590 AM Uniontown, Pennsylvania - streaming available
* WDDV / WSDV 1320 / 1450 AM, Venice / Sarasota, Florida streaming
* KRLI 103.9 FM Marshall, Missouri - 50 years of Musical Memories. streaming available

Adult standards satellite and Internet radio stations

Some noteworthy satellite and Internet radio stations featuring the Adult Standards format today include:

atellite Radio (U.S.)

* XM Satellite Radio "The 40s on 4", XM Satellite Radio Channel 4
* XM Satellite Radio "High Standards", XM Satellite Radio Channel 73
* Sirius Satellite Radio "Siriusly Sinatra", Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 75

Internet Radio (Worldwide)

* Martini In The Morning -
* Live365 Sweet Memories Radio -
* Live365 Canukteach Crooners -
* Live365 Music From The Bluelight -
* AccuRadio Swingin' Pop Standards -
* Red Radio Jazz, Swing, Blues & Lounge -

See also

* Middle of the road
* Pop standards
* Beautiful music
* Traditional pop music
* Adult contemporary music
* WRMR-AM, a now-defunct Adult Standards station in Cleveland, Ohio

External links

* [ Official Music of Your Life website]
* [ Official ABC Stardust website]

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