Deep Tracks — the Archives

Josh Black
10 min readJun 13

Why only certain songs get played on the radio?

Author’s (partial) album collection circa 2019 — original photo J. Black

Deep tracks is a fun series to research and write. We’re up to episode 20. The first three episodes were released before a real sense of where the series was going. It’s still a work in progress. It’s still a challenge. It’s still a lot of fun. Here are the first three episodes, with some minor revisions/ updates.

Episode one is all about the glory days of heavy metal. A genre that grabbed me at a young age. It’s a nostalgia. My musical palate is, well…like an artist’s paint smeared palette.

Episode two, more rock, the alt variety. Rock radio has been a road trip companion for decades. The song selections in particular on rock format stations are mundane. The same group of songs played for years isn’t working, none of us need to hear the same Disturbed or Nickelback song two or three times in the same day. The wealth of radio ready songs may be too much for the radio programmers to handle.

We got you.

Episode three, switching it up, R&B is the next radio niche under scrutiny. Rock radio is not the only guilty party. Speaking of parties, is there a better genre to play for a fiesta? Here’s a short starter list to get the dance floor going all night.

ICYMI, enjoy!

Deep TracksRadio Misfits — Edition #1

Terrestrial radio and streaming are meant for the masses. Audiophiles and music heads are left to their own devices to discover new tracks. We, the dedicated music fan understands. We embrace the challenge. Hours spent making hand scrawled lists of songs, incorporating themes, mixes for our latest crush and more often, selfishly for ourselves.

Then phase two, dubbing to an audio device. Oh, the days long gone with my dual cassette deck recorder, you served me well. Then my iPod mini, you must have felt so used.

The following series is intended as a companion, another nook or cranny to unveil songs that aren’t privileged to be on a radio rotation. If you are a casual music listener reading this series, welcome!

In part the purpose of this project is to broaden the bored, repetitive nature of radio and algorithms. There are endless songs worthy of airplay and streaming playlists.

Josh Black

writer, traveler, music lover, California native living in Florida.