10 Questions with ... Luke Crampton
April 29, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Music television series creator/producer (CNN International's 'World Beat' and 'The Music Room' etc.), author of some 40 music-related books ('Rock & Roll: Year By Year' etc.), media consultant, radio series creator/host.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
At boarding school in England listening to the Radio Luxembourg chart rundown under my pillow after lights-out.
2. What prompted you to develop "Lost And Found"?
Over many years I've curated a vast collection of A+, radio-ready, melodic songs (by both well-known and unknown acts) across all genres which have sadly flown under the radar. Some years ago, Quincy Jones and Arif Mardin both suggested I produce a radio show showcasing this archive of "the best music you've never heard." Three years ago I cut a full-length demo and Emily Boldon and John Dickey at Cumulus took the visionary step of placing 'Lost & Found' on 13 Triple A/Hot AC stations (including KFOG/San Francisco).
3. What makes your show unique?
The joy of quality musical discovery and the diversity of showcasing superb music across different genres and eras -- L&F is perhaps the most daring but accessible show on commercial radio today. We simply spin great, largely unknown music from yesterday and tomorrow. We were the first show anywhere in the U.S. to introduce the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Emeli Sandé, Michael Kiwanuka etc. Also, I reveal an intriguing backstory to every song played in my rather annoying British accent. So it's a mix of top-drawer lost treasures and marginally intelligent banter.
4. What is your show prep routine?
Listening to old and new music all day in my office and car from the 500,000 song 'Lost & Found' vault; preparing backstory trivia to every song. My engineer/producer, Andy West, also does a superb job making me sound like I know what I'm doing.
5. Your goal for each show?
To provide a reliable source of musical discovery to our listeners; to offer a rescue service for under-appreciated songs; to be the first to break future hits; to be entertaining and informative and unlike any other show.
6. Tell us about the companion website for the show.
At lostandfoundradio.com, every playlist from every show can be found on our archives page -- more than 3,000 first-class lost gems are all identified and critiqued, with easy links to every artist website. We also have a strong relationship with our national brand partner, Sonos, which makes peerless wireless hi-fii. They present both the radio show and the web site -- which is run by my longtime business partner and co-author, Dafydd Rees, the finest popular music historian out there.
7. How do you feel about the current climate of music?
Great music is still being made, but not necessarily being played. Radio is over-formatted -- especially for any listener with a curious mind or a broad palate. There's a substantial, literate, sophisticated, 25-54+ audience out there that feels wholly disenfranchised by the blandness and repetition of most commercial radio -- people who actively enjoy discovering music and not being force-fed the same old same old.
8. What stations are running the show so far?
Current Triple A/Hot AC stations include KFOG (San Francisco), 105.1 Jack FM (Kansas City), 102.3 BXR (Columbia), Ann Arbor's 107one (Ann Arbor), KRUZ 106.7 (Green Bay), 102.7 GNI (Wilmington, NC), Mix 100.7 (Blacksburg, VA), 103.3 Jack FM (Lake Charles), Warm 94.9 (Fayetteville, AR), Star 93.5 FM (Quad Cities)
9. Best advice for young programmers/promotion people?
If you're driven by passion and do your homework, the rest will take care of itself.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... a good song
Last non-industry job:
First record ever purchased:
Regrettably, Pictures At An Exhibition by Emerson Lake & Palmer
Blondie & Talking Heads at The Roundhouse in London, 1977
Favorite act of all-time:
a tie: the Beatles and Tom Waits (but only circa 1972-1980)
What do you do in your spare time away from work?
I never work -- it's all a labor of love!