July 25, 2017 marked The Sounds of Brazil’s official 25th Anniversary of its broadcast debut on Smooth Jazz WNUA 95.5, Chicago, but six years earlier, we were focused on another milestone radio event: The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show.
Compare that number for our weekly radio program to ‘Friends’ (236 episodes), The Simpsons (618) or Monday Night Football (730).
It was an event that was unimaginable when I was first starting out. Honestly, in the days ahead of The Sounds of Brazil’s WNUA debut in 1992, I had doubts about whether a radio show featuring musicians no one knew – and singing in a language few listeners would understand – could survive the competitive world of commercial radio in the nation’s 2nd largest media market.
So, I penciled in an early goal: 12 weeks ahead of the reporting date for Arbitron, the radio ratings organization. It was a sigh of relief with Arbitron rated The Sounds of Brazil #1 in Chicago for adult listeners. Amazingly, The Sounds of Brazil was able to repeat that result 18 times during the next 18 years.
But those initial concerns were in the rearview mirror by the time the early weeks of 2011 prompted an exciting idea for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show.
Why not let listener’s coast-to-coast vote for the all-time, most popular songs ever played on The Sounds of Brazil? And why not give away trips for two to Rio de Janeiro as part of it?
And, to say ‘thank you’ the musicians who create the music we love, let’s have a separate ‘trip for two’ contest exclusively for them.
So, we did.
We started with 1,000 songs, whittled that list down to 100 and then posted 10 songs each week for 10 consecutive weeks, where listeners could vote for their favorites.
The ten weekly-winning songs were then ranked by vote totals to determine the final order and that’s how the playlist for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show came to be.
It’s about the music. It always has been that way – for the first 1,000 shows, and God willing, for another thousand more. As I write, it’s program #1,358.
Thanks for listening,
Did you vote during the giveaway for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show? What was your favorite song? Tell us below.