Radio, the long lasting delivery service of news, drama and music, keeps trudging along despite endless challenges from new services both physical and digital. And while it seems people are ready to write off the medium, in Dallas the sound waves are still going strong. (Look no further than the buzz that surrounding the recent programming changes over at BOOM 94.5 and HOT 93.3 for evidence of that.)
So here's a look at the programs that made Dallas radio great in 2014, as selected by the fine folks who assembled our ballots for the recent Dallas Observer Music Awards. Sadly not all of these shows have survived the year, but some might never leave and others seem destined for greater things. But without a doubt we had a better year because of all of these shows.
"The Paul Slavens Show" on KKXT 91.7
Year after year at the DOMA awards, Paul Slavens walks up to the podium and gives an acceptance speech for yet another win for his genre-bending Sunday night show. Slavens is always quick to point out that it's the listeners who make his program great as he relies so heavily on their suggestions for his programming. We think Slavens is being a tad too modest, though. The man's ear for what works has led to a can't-miss weekly date with the often bland 91.7. Slavens is why you donate, because his show gives you hope that the station will grow and take on more of his personality.
"Cindy Scull Mornings" on KEGL 97.1
LISTEN BRO ARE YOU READY TO ROCK IN THE MORNINGS?! YOU BETTER BE BECAUSE CINDY SCULL IS HERE TO ROCK YOUR PANTS ON (YES, ON) SO YOU CAN GET UP AND MEET THE DAY. THIS SHOW HAS EVERYTHING: ROCK MUSIC, SPORTS, NEWS, BIKINI PICS OF THE HOST AND A DUDE NAMED WHALE DISCUSSING MOVIES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, YOU NEED TO ROCK IN THE MORNINGS AND THERE'S NOWHERE ELSE TO ROCK HARDER.
"Live From the Underground" on DeepEllumOnAir.com
Man, Deep Ellum On Air is weird as hell. You have political talk, Star Wars talk, something about sofas and magic. But the gem of it all is Live From the Underground, Dallas' best spot to hear new and interesting hip-hop and R&B artists. Hosts Jay Will and Rollo give listeners a peek into what's hot, what's coming and what media people will be raving about in six months. It's one of best curated shows in the area, and if the local stations were smart they'd have the guys bring the show to the airwaves.
"Local Edge" on KDGE 102.1
RIP the Local Edge. Mark Schectman's all-local follow up to the Adventure Club came to an end in 2014 when 102.1 The Edge pushed the long-running Sunday night programming of the Adventure Club into the Local Edge's spot. It's a shame; the Local Edge was constantly a place to hear new bands that were popping up under the radar in DFW, while also hearing more established artists from the area. It's a shame to have lost such a unique show, but hopefully Schectman can continue to champion his beloved local scene in other projects.
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"The Hardline" on KTCK 96.7
Yes, the afternoon drive sports talk show is on the list for best music programs in Dallas. Why? Because the trio of Mike Rhyner, Corby Davidson and Danny Balis have forgot more about music than maybe our entire staff combined. The long-time music veterans that make up the show delight in discussing their unique takes on all things music, be it classic or modern tunes. There's an added bonus of hearing the group's personal collections with each return from commercial, where Rhyner offers everything from Beach House and hip-hop to deep cuts from his beloved Tom Petty.
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