10 Questions with ... Adam Drake
April 1, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started radio 10 years ago at KIKR in Beaumont, TX and soon moved over to country sister KAYD. After working my way to the night job, branched out to Nacogdoches, TX. A stop in Beaumont lead me to meet someone who told me about a job in College Station KAGG. My time there was great. Following that I came to Fort Worth to work for all Texas/Red Dirt KFWR "The Ranch." Almost 2 years there got offered a job I couldn't pass up back in College Station and KORA!
1) Congrats on the new gig at KORA! How did it come about and what are you excited about there?
Thanks so much! I couldn't be more excited. Many people I kept in touch with down there and bands who run the Texas roads told me about the opening. College Station is such a wonderful place to live and raise a family there's no way I couldn't pursue it. I think my wife is as excited as I am with all the friends we still have there.
2) How did you get your first gig in radio and what made you decide that radio was the career for you?
I was working at Bennigan's when I met this guy and we started talking sports. He ends up asking me if I'd like to come sit in with him on his sports talk show on a local station. The Ops Manager liked what he heard and decided to hire me. I was the kid that stayed around before and after the show soaking up all I could about the business. It got in my blood when I found out I could make money and have a good time too!
3) Being in Texas, you obviously have a great music scene, unique to your state. Do you guys play all "Texas music" there or do you also play some non-Texas artists?
KORA is a mix of Nashville and Texas/Red Dirt. Like you say, it's something that's unique to us, especially with the rich history in College Station. Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett are two notable guys who went to A&M and kind of "grandfathered" what Texas Music is today. With the Texas stuff though, it's very important to play the people who are on CMT everyday too.
4) What are some great Texas artists that you think mainstream Country radio is missing out on?
Wow, there are a lot of guys who I really believe had the money and backing, would do really well. Off the top of my head Kyle Park is a guy that's got a Country sound and a great stage presence. No Justice is a band from Stillwater, OK who's got a little more rock edge to them and such great songwriting. I could go on and on. I will say I'm proud to see a guy like Wade Bowen getting some love from stations all over, he's always been so talented and a wonderful guy to be around.
5) What has been your favorite part of Texas to work in so far and could you ever imagine yourself in a non-Texas market?
College Station is my favorite, easy. It felt like home the first day we were there. It's just the right size for me. Small town, has everything you need from a large market, and is right in the middle of the state. An hour to Houston or Austin, 3 up to Dallas/Fort Worth. I loved my time in Fort Worth so much too. I could see myself outside of Texas. It's something that's always crossed my mind if what I do would translate to Denver, California, Florida, or wherever. Never say never, but I hope to be where I am now for the next 10 years or more.
6) Who are 3 people that have been mentors to you, inside or outside of the industry?
I know it's cliché, but my dad is the guy who gave me my love for music. We'd drive around going to baseball games or wherever listening to everything from AC/DC to Willie. Will Welch was the OM when he hired me at KAGG. He took a chance on a young guy that'd been out of radio for a year and helped me learn how to do a lot of stuff. Mark Guzman was the Promo Director at KAYD when I got into this business. I bugged him everyday to learn as much as I could and he put up with me ha.
7) Has it always been Country music for you or what did you listen to growing up?
It was always a bit of everything. In the 90's I went more CHR/Rock as I wanted to rebel a little of what my family listened to. Once I got to college, I realized I was a country boy who loved real Country music. My favorite non-Country band is the Foo Fighters! I love radio and getting free concerts, but I'd for sure pay big money to see those guys!
8) How do you feel is the best way to stay in tune with what your listeners really want to hear?
By being around them and listening to them. I've always considered myself a fan of the music as much of a radio-guy. There are things that I haven't always been a fan of but know that he majority of listeners want, so I play it. Social media is a tremendous way too. Put it out on Twitter or Facebook to the people who are fans of your station and just see what they say!
9) Tell us what your favorite radio station promotion has been so far in your career and why.
I guess that'd have to be the Friday Night Lights promotion we did at The Ranch in Fort Worth. We sent out a promo team every week to a couple of different HS football games to show their Ranch spirit. One lucky school won a concert in their gym from Casey Donahew. It was amazing to see what the kids would come up with.
10) Congratulations on the birth of your son Cavan on 11/11/11. That's pretty cool birthday! How has it been so far with balancing the demands on radio and being a new dad?
Thanks so much! He was actually a couple of weeks early so we really weren't expecting that to be his birthday at all. My wife is absolutely amazing in taking the brunt of no sleep. The thing that's really changed is her not being able to accompany me to shows or promotions as much as she used to. Being back in College Station will be easier since there's no lack of babysitters in town, ha. Plus when he gets old enough, he will be joining me on stage for presents and whatnot!
1) What are your favorite tv shows?
How I Met Your Mother, Bones, and Leverage (Gotta give a shout-out to my wife's favorite singer Christian Kane who's on that show.)
2) What stands out as a few of your favorite concerts you have ever been to?
I saw Kiss and Aerosmith together in Houston back in 2002 and that was just Rock heaven for me. Also saw Brooks & Dunn on our honeymoon in 2005 and they were amazing.
3) What would your fantasy dream job be if you were not in radio?
I think I'd be great at being a male version of the Kardashians. Have my own TV show, fragrances, clothing, just looking pretty all the time. I dunno if that's a "job" per say, but I'd be dang good at it!