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Behind the Music

with Joe B, Music Director for WBGL

How it began...

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. I saw from an early age, the power it had to impact my own life. So, back in the '90s, I started by making mix tapes for people. Tapes that included a collection of songs that had the potential to impact their lives. Before I would make a mix tape for someone, I would get to know that person. Then, I would make sure to include songs I knew they already loved.

I would also include a couple of songs that were more obscure. Songs I believed, based on getting to know them, they would love, but would also impact their lives. Songs they wouldn't already know, and it didn't take long before I was overwhelmed with requests.

As I prayed about how I could use this love for music to serve God and His people, I began to hear God's calling on my life. I didn't know what it would look like, but I embraced it fully. How cool is it that I get to make a giant mix tape every single day as Music Director!

So, how do you make a giant mix tape every single day?

It starts with prayer. I believe we are much smarter and more capable of accomplishing what He's asking of us when we ask for His help. I have to understand His leading.

Next, I have to understand the needs and wants of those God is asking me to serve and how He wants me to serve them. One of the ways this is accomplished is through our Music Team. If you're not a member, I want to personally invite you to be on the team. Find out more by
clicking here.

Finally, it's about the music. At any given time, I have around 70 songs I’m considering for airplay, with new songs coming in almost every day. Of those 70, I will probably only get to 4 or 5. If we add more than about one song a week, the radio station becomes unfamiliar, and, the number one reason people stop listening is because they don't know the songs. In order to know what songs will work, I have to be familiar with the ones that won't work, which mean listening to each song a lot.  Which I don't mind - because I love music! I want to know how a song is going to grow on you before I ever put it on the air. I also want it to be the best possible choice of all potential songs. This means I have to say no to great songs in order to play the best songs. Saying no isn’t always easy, but knowing our listeners love the songs we do play makes it worth it.

Once I choose a new song, I have to consider rotation strategy. Making sure our listeners' favorite songs are playing as often as they want to hear them is extremely important. A lot of time goes into getting this just right, and our listeners can speak into this process through our Music Team.