SAN DIEGO — In 1981, News 8’s Larry Himmel presented a three-part series on the business of making and releasing music reporting that the record industry brought in a whopping $3.7 billion the year before. The feature took Larry behind-the-scenes to get a look at how music makes it onto radio, how successful bands made the leap from airwaves to massive stages and what San Diego bands were doing to try and “make it.”  

In part one of the series, Larry Himmel spoke with record company executives about what they were looking for in artists. The piece also looked at the process of getting radio airplay for a record. Larry went behind-the-scenes at a meeting between a Warner Bros. record promoter and the program director at San Diego radio station 101 KGB where they discussed hot new releases and what would ultimately get played.   

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For part two, Larry looked at bands who had mastered the radio portion of the music business and were taking their hits to huge stages around the world. In the piece, Larry attended a San Diego concert where Jimmy Buffett opened, and Heart headlined. He spoke with Heart singer – and San Diego native – Ann Wilson about dedicating her life to her music career and the difficulties of being successful in the industry. Larry also spoke to San Diego singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop – who wrote songs recorded by artists like Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins and Barbra Streisand. Bishop talked about his experiences striving in the business and spoke candidly about the prevalence of drugs – especially cocaine – in the music industry at the time. Over 30 years later, we found that Bishop is still releasing music today!  

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Larry wrapped up his music industry series with a piece on San Diego bands who were hoping to hit it big in Los Angeles. The Magnets and The Penetrators were among the bands that spoke with News 8 about their passion and process while record industry folks talked about their “long shot” chances of being successful in the highly competitive business.  

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