Doesn't matter whether or not I know most of the artists, or the songs. When I recognize even one title suggesting that someone's breathing life into that once-smokin' form known as radio, I'm thrilled.
Practically every song I've ever played on KAOS-FM's Retroactive show from 1994 to the present is now listed on this site. From the early days of trying to figure out how to mix 80% percent indie music with my take on classic Rock'n'Soul (because 80% from independent sources is still the rule at KAOS) to my more balanced programming of recent years, I'm proud of my work.
So it's all on there, warts and all. At the beginning, I bent or broke that 80/20 rule quite a bit. And nowadays, it's rare when I play the same artist on two weekly programs in-a-row; I'd rather have a great new album on every other week rather than overdoing it by airing it for several shows straight. That one is my own rule. So is the one where I don't repeat a song for ten years unless it's requested. Silly perhaps, but it's important to me to go to extremes in order to keep things fresh for myself.
Some of my programming bumps aren't necessarily from a lack of imagination. When I played obvious 1950s landmarks week after week ("Tutti Frutti," "Blue Suede Shoes") it was because I was chatting about the Jim Dawson and Steve Propes book, What Was The First Rock'n'Roll Record? (Faber & Faber, 1992) and using some of their samples.
The first year or so of programs have a lot of Elvis Costello because he'd gotten back the rights to his songs and reissued his albums on Rykodisc, which was considered an indie label at the time. So there's more repetition along those lines than I'd like, but all in all,
if you dig playlists, you'll appreciate this compilation, which focuses on underappreciated roots rockers and unforgettable legends.
In general, it's simply my plea to the radio heavens to keep thoughtfulness in the process. Because I heard the opposite on a big time station today: after the one hour "Beatle Brunch" aired, that station went back to regular programming. And to show their troubling lack of creativity, the third song was by--you guessed it--the Beatles.