In those days, in order for a record to become a hit, it needed to be included on the BBC Radio One playlist. I had never heard of this list until our record was released but we were informed that every week, a panel of producers and Radio One disk jockeys had a meeting at which they decided what records they would or would not be playing on their shows over the coming week.
The BBC had the monopoly in those days because unlike today, there were no truly independent mainstream stations that had similar clout to bring any ‘new talent’ to the attention of the masses.
Our record never made it onto the Radio One playlist so effectively, it got no exposure. However, although it was never routinely broadcast on radio, I remember one hot sunny afternoon I was relaxing in the garden at home with my wife Jean and our dog, Glancy. We had the radio on and we were listening to the Johnnie Walker show on Radio One when all of a sudden, on came our single. It was a marvellous feeling and one that I shall never forget.
Neither our record company nor our management ever appeared to make any real effort to publicise the record. We did several interviews for Local radio stations but I suspect that those who listened to the stations were not our typical audience and I doubt very much whether or not these interviews actually generated any additional record sales.
Having said that, I recall being told that our record was the record company’s highest selling single of the year and, for a few years afterwards I kept receiving a royalty statement which indicated that the single was still being bought or played somewhere in the world.
The emphasis in the last sentence is on the word, “statement”. For I never actually received any money because whatever income was due, went towards paying off our debt to the record company. When we had signed our recording contract we had agreed a deal which meant that we did not have to pay any recording costs, but in exchange we accepted a smaller percentage of the profit from record sales.
The record company also advanced us a large amount of money in order to obtain any equipment etc., that was necessary for us to perform and continue to write new material. Effectively then, this meant that whatever we earned, went straight to our record company or management (same thing) towards paying off our ‘debt’.