This Day In This Day In Music
Having built a career celebrating legends, Neil Cossar has become something of one himself – building a well-trafficked website, publishing a book and online radio show surrounding the brand “This Day in Music.” In doing so, Neil can be seen as nothing less than a patron saint to radio programmers and content creators everywhere, and from way back… regardless of format. Necessity is the mother of invention, and Cossar went to strike, answering the call. (Incidentally, The International Astronomical Union named an asteroid orbiting Mars and Jupiter after Frank Zappa on July 23rd, 1994.) Launched in 1999, Cossar’s award-winning site remains a beacon amidst a sea of lesser show-prep and trivia hound destination. This Day in Music receives over 10M page views per year and the This Day in Music Radio channel this week reached No.1 on the iTunes chart.
Painstakingly tagged and cross referenced, This Day in Music features generators of sorts, delivering useful pearls to the focused and aimless mouse clicker. (In addition to of course the notable musical events of the day, you may also click to reveal more specifically artists’ first shows, first records, and even the first jobs of rock n’ roll legends. This gift of a free service also even includes artist-related jokes. (And did we mention the anagrams? How delightfully British.)
Paperback Writer Cossar’s book This Day in Music, now in its third printing, has been called a must-have for any music fan. Chock full of facts of course, it also includes hundreds of photos, album art, and cuttings.
We chatted with him about the road to This Day in Music, and what’s ahead. “Before I launched This Day in Music I was in an 80’s band called The Cheaters who signed to Parlophone and made 3 albums but never troubled the charts! Spent 7 years in the world of retail at HMV, and was part of the team who launched KFM Radio in Manchester, presenting a nightly music show that featured debut sessions from Radiohead, Blur, The Charlatans and Lenny Kravitz. Since then, it’s grown and grown into its own brand! There isn’t another site like it. It has now been published as a book for the third time. The brand has also released a series of iPhone Apps including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and others. And the latest addition to the brand is This Day in Music Radio.”
With such a masthead, Cossar is at the perfect vantage point to launch an online station. On This Day in Music Radio, listeners can now enjoy 20 documentaries celebrating artists a plenty. “We’ve launched with 30 of these so far including documentaries and interviews on The Beatles, Jimmy Page, Marvin Gaye, The Clash, James Brown, The Kinks, Smokey Robinson, Gregory Porter, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys.”
As Neil explains, “I’ve known Pete Michelle for over 30 years, Pete has had an amazing career in radio working at Virgin Radio / Absolute Radio, BBC & 6Music. Last year over a coffee, he told me about this fantastic archive he has of interviews he has done with some of the biggest names in music, so we hatched a plan to launch them on our own channel. In these Pete digs deep into the history of music, covering classic albums, interviews, and special features. Over the next year we will be adding exclusive interviews and specials with other artists, in fact we plan to launch two of these every week”. And hey, they’re avail as free downloads via iTunes, to boot!
Not one to narrow his focus, Neil also runs his own PR firm, Absolute PR, devoted to promoting artists to radio and press. Cossar’s firm boasts an impressive roster of clients over the last 15 years, including Queen, Led Zeppelin, R.E.M., Michael Buble, and countless others. Cossar is rightfully full of pride reflecting on the brand’s impact. “The reaction to This Day in Music Radio has been really good, we’ve had fan sites picking up on these and we are finding a lot of music fans are sharing these on social media. This week to go to No.2 on the iTunes chart was very exciting! I also find it very interesting how the radio channel fits in so well with This Day in Music, bringing a new dimension to the site, where users can listen and learn more about the history of music.” Hats off, Sir!
For everything This Day in Music, hear to the main website and start the journey: www.thisdayinmusic.com!