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Listeners Find A Favorite in "The Lost 45s"

todayAugust 4, 2011

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Clea Simon/BOSTON GLOBE
Barry Scott has accumulated an odd collection of chart-topping numbers. Not only does he have the songs he plays every Sunday evening on WODS-FM (103.3) - forgotten favorites from such artists as Sweet, Kiki Dee, and Blue Swede that he calls "Lost 45s." He also has some of the most consistent ratings of any longtime Boston DJ: In its 7-Midnight Eastern time slot (also streaming live at his lost45.com web site), his "Lost 45s with Barry Scott" remains No. 1 with listeners 25 years and older. It's a rank the program has held since Scott turned professional in 1985 - moving his sometimes cheesy but always entertaining show from its college station base (where it began in 1981) to its first commercial outlet.
"It's obvious that the listeners just follow it [from station to station] because there's nothing like it," says the host, who has been ensconced at WODS for nine years this autumn. "If someone else were playing the Osmonds I'd worry, but there's nothing like it." There certainly isn't, note fans who tune in for their weekly fix of guilty pleasures - from the Osmonds or the Jacksons to David Cassidy or Bobby Sherman.
Other stations provide the only limit on what Scott broadcasts. His playlist officially includes any Top 40 song from the '60s and '70s (and, very rarely, the early '80s) that has otherwise disappeared from the airwaves. Which means that every now and then, when one of these oldies starts popping up in somebody's regular rotation - or even Scott's home station - it comes off the "Lost 45s" turntable.
Commercials that utilize old favorites are often responsible for such a development. That's how Blue Swede's version of "Hooked on a Feeling," with its familiar "ugga-chukka" refrain, came back to mainstream radio briefly, notes Scott, warning that the Spinners' "Rubberband Man" (now featured in a school-supply ad) may follow. But for the majority of Paper Lace and Lobo fans, Scott's show is the only outlet.
"It's become a tradition," says Scott.
He still recalls his first Labor Day weekend Top 100 countdown - in 1985, concluding his last summer at Emerson's WERS-FM (88.9). That year, the DeFranco Family's bubblegum "Heartbeat - It's a Lovebeat" topped his listeners' charts. In 2003, the Osmonds' "One Bad Apple" took top honors. Scott notes that the Mormon brothers remain favorites. In 2004 it was "Afternoon Delight" by The Starland Vocal Band.
Between the songs, as always, will be Scott's special features. Literally hundreds of interviews with stars of the past, such as Boston native Donna Summer, make up standard song breaks. But Scott has also built up a collection of sonic mementos - television commercials and news clips (covering such era-evocative events as the tennis match pitting Billie Jean King against Bobby Riggs) that help re-create the days when these songs were regularly played on the radio.
"It's what you say and do around [these songs] that matters," says Scott. "It makes the following [song] sound different to the listener."

Written by: Barry Scott

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Syndicators Try Their Hands At Hits Compilations

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todayAugust 4, 2011


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