The Fabricator 

KDF changes formats

KDF changes formats

When longtime rock station 103 KDF abandoned rock in favor of country in order to entice back popular morning man Carl P. Mayfield, the move was a calculated risk in a radio market already saturated with country stations. That became clear when the first Arbitron ratings were released and the newly christened Music City 103.3 scored lower ratings than KDF the rocker ever had.

“I got the station into this mess, and I’m going to get them out,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield’s plan, which has been under wraps for weeks, is to program the station exclusively with different versions of the song “Free Bird.” The song, first recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972, is a natural for both country and rock artists, Mayfield noted.

“It’s a rock song, but it’s country influenced. Country itself is more rock now, so it fits with listeners of both types of stations. And ‘Free Bird’ is one of the most requested songs of all time. This can’t miss,” he said.

Mayfield said the station will play Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 9 1/2-minute version of the song once every three hours and will program in newly recorded versions by a variety of artists, including the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, George Jones, David Bowie, and Jill Sobule.

“We have a bootleg of a version by Kurt Cobain that will raise the hair on the back of your neck,” Mayfield said. “We hope to get permission to play it on the air.”

Not all of the new versions match the original for length. “Jewel’s version lasts only two minutes, and Little Jimmy Dickens’ only a minute and a half. On the other hand, The Pride of the Southland Band’s rendition is a full 23 minutes, 11 seconds,” Mayfield said, adding, “We’ll be playing them all!”

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