Daily Archives: May 20, 2008

My Day Job

CBS television is doing a story about people over 50 who have re-invented themselves. I kinda fit into that category.

At 25 many of us thought we would work in our chosen field for the next 40 years or so. Of course it’s rare today for anyone to spend an entire working lifetime in one career.

Ask me at age five and I could tell you what I wanted to be.

A disc jockey.

Oh, how proud my parents must have been.

No medical school for their boy. He’s going to be a disc jockey.

Back home in New Jersey a doctor named of all things, Alan Furst started up practice near my parents place. Mom must have beamed when other mothers stopped her in Acme and asked about ‘her son the doctor’.

I’m not sure how she answered. My guess is she smiled and never got around to saying her son, the ‘non doctor’ Alan Furst was playing the hits in Pittsburgh.

Radio was great fun for me for many years.

When it became time to move on, I was lucky to join a great company with great people; DMX Austin Texas.

DMX creates music, video and messaging for retail businesses. Walk through any mall or Las Vegas casino and you’ll hear our work.

At first I thought branded music would be just like radio.

Silly me. It’s nothing like radio.

We can teach the basics of music scheduling. But branded music projects require a very different talent and skill set than radio.

At DMX we match music to the visual environment.

Designers think in texture, attitude and mood. For the most part ‘playing the hits’ doesn’t fit.

Music design is audio branding.

Some retailers really understand branded music.

It’s easy to tell you’re close to a certain major retailer’s store when you hear their music pumping in the mall. Music is a huge part of their brand image.

Some radio programmers are able to make the leap to branded music. But radio experience doesn’t guarantee success.

Our Music Designers are good partly because they haven’t been locked in to rigid radio rules.

Music Design is an art.

The Designers come from wildly varied backgrounds.

One plays in the Los Angeles Symphony and knows more about classical music than should be humanly possible.

Another dressed sets before joining DMX. She combined her love of music and her talent for visual design to create amazing branded music programs.

These personalities couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet they bring great skills and ideas to our projects.

These are people who feel it.

They can walk into a room and identify artists and styles that fit perfectly to the decor. In some ways they are more decorator than programmer.

Their fabrics and colors are voices, instruments and textures.

How I fit into this group is anyone’s guess.

Music branding has given me some new ideas about branding radio. I’ll share these ideas with you in coming weeks.

We’re always interested in finding new talent. Please feel free to contact me at


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