Hits keep coming for Lee's Internet radio broadcasts
For most people, Friday, May 17 will pass quietly – just the end to another work week.
But that won't be the case for Terry Lee as he marks another milestone in his long and successful career in broadcasting and entertainment.
“I guess it's true what they say about time flying when you're having fun,” Lee said from his studios in Bellville, Ohio. “It seems like we just started this yesterday but it was two years ago and the response has been overwhelming. I never dreamed it would evolve the way it has.”
“This” is the TL Magic Communications Network, an Internet Streaming process featuring Lee's ever-growing website, www.tlsoundco.com. He launched the site on May 17, 2011.
The MCN homepage offers three separate programs featuring music from the 1950s and the doo-wop genre and The Electric Channel with artists of the 1960s and '70s.
To say the concept has been well received would be an understatement.
“We just ran the numbers for April and there were 134,864 hits in that month alone,” said Lee, whose career in broadcasting spans well over 50 years. “Obviously we're thrilled with those results, which reflect listeners from around the world. And those figures soar off the page when you mix the requests we get at firstname.lastname@example.org into the equation. Some listeners will submit as many as 10 to 20 requests in one email and that's certainly a distinct reflection on how well the shows are being received.”
Lee's Internet audience includes a core group from western Pennsylvania and such places in the Mon Valley as Charleroi, Donora, Monessen, Monongahela, Belle Vernon, Stockdale, Bentleyville, West Newton, McKeesport and Clairton. And it also shows TL fans from across the United States and on the international level in Asia, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Estonia.
“I'm not sure that I knew Estonia was in the Baltic region of northern Europe until we received a request and an interesting message one night,” recalled Lee. a New Eagle native and Monongahela High School graduate. “The guy said he was originally from the Pittsburgh area and listened to our (radio) show for a number of years before leaving the area. He said he surfing the 'Net one day, came across our website and tuned in. It had been many years since he had heard the music we play and he was beside himself, simply delighted.”
Lee appreciates rekindling those memories for his listeners, many of whom were loyal followers of his commercial radio shows, record hops and concerts in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Many of those who send emails with requests or post messages on our Facebook page tell us how much the music means to them,” he said. “The people from the Mon Valley never fail to mention our dances at Redd's Beach or the Nite Train, and it's the same with those who grew up in other areas – Greensburg, the North Hills, the South Hills, McKeesport. I've always been deeply grateful for their support. That was true when we started in this business, has continued over the years and is certainly satisfying with the response to the MCN stations.”
The variety of music available at tlsoundco.com was emphasized on a recent afternoon with play lists that included “Get Out of My Heart” by Moses and Joshua, “Never Thought I'd See The Day” by the Fenways, “Cool Jerk” by the Capitols, “1,2,3” by Len Barry, “Dear Mr. DJ, Play It Again” by Tina Rolin, “Love At First Sight” by Tiny and Tim and songs by Deep Purple, ZZ Top and the Rolling Stones.
Lee's signature Music For Young Lovers ballads that he introduced and made popular are featured every night from 10 to midnight.
“The basic idea is to offer music to suit diverse tastes 24/7,” Lee said.
Lee's entertainment career has included radio and television shows in Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. He also enjoyed success as a concert promoter and a record producer.
The latter genre includes several CDs of his trademark music that are available via his website.
Innovation has been a constant throughout that career and prevails with Lee's Internet radio station.
“I've always welcomed the challenges that new technology brings,” he said. “I've never been intimidated by the idea of trying something new to stay ahead of the game and respond to the demands of our listeners. When the idea of launching an Internet radio station was discussed a few years ago, I thought, ‘Let's give it a shot.' It took some time to learn which buttons to push, but our chief engineer, Joe Parknavy, and the other technical experts have guided us in the right direction. I feel like a kid in a candy shop at times. We've invested a lot (finances and time) into all of this but it's been worth every minute. Thanks to those who tune in, I'm having the time of my life.”
Ron Paglia is a freelance writer.