ABOUT PROGRESSIVE ROCK AZUSA

Where Progressive Rock
Is Alive and Well Online

SAM BUTTERS

FOUNDER, OPERATOR, CURATOR, VOICE OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK AZUSA

Progressive Rock AZUSA is my labor of love and I want to share my love of progressive music to all those who may not have access to it otherwise.

Sam, approx. age 5, in the early 1960's

PERSONAL HISTORY

I am a child of the 1960’s and 1970’s and my first taste of rock music was of the “British Invasion” (Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, etc.).  But I mainly listened to what ever my older brother listened to (his favorite band was the Dave Clark 5).  As the 60’s transitioned into the 1970’s, my musical interests expanded.  One day, in a department store, I was browsing the album selections and I came across a band that had interesting song titles. 

I never heard of the band before, but I bought the album anyway.  After riding home on my bicycle (I was not of driving age yet), I immediately played my new treasure on our old turntable.  One song (Jerusalem) my Mom really liked, but the next song (Toccata) my mother hated!  She said it sounded like “jungle music” (LOL!).  I loved it!  The band was Emerson, Lake & Palmer and they became my favorite band from then on until today!  But I would not know until 20 years later what genre of music that ELP played.  I never heard of “Progressive Rock” and would not know what it was until the 1990’s.  As I discovered much later, all of my musical band choices were Progressive Rock choices (YES, Kansas, ELP, The Nice, King Crimson, Rick Wakeman, etc.).  I loved these artists for decades and I did not know what genre of music they played!

My music collection grew into the hundreds of tracks on vinyls, cassettes, and then CD’s.  My long and successful career in IT financed my purchases of great progressive rock and I wanted to share my love of this music with others as a hobby.  The idea of programming and operating an internet station for progressive rock music, in my spare time, was born.

THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE ROCK AZUSA

There have been two versions of Progressive Rock AZUSA.  The first station existed in the mid – late 2000’s on the old Live365.com platform.  It may have had, at the most, a few hundred tracks, of which many were donated to me by independent progressive rock and ambient/electronic artists.  Thanks to the fans of that older version of the station, Progressive Rock AZUSA was the #1 prog rock channel on that platform.  And I was going up against “professional” prog rock channels that were simulcasting on Live365.  Progressive Rock AZUSA was #1 because my listeners understood that the station was curated by one man and not a robot or a computerized algorithm.  Unfortunately the great recession of 2007-2008 hit America and I could no longer justify the monthly expense of operating the station when my family were top priority.  So, many years passed until I would entertain the idea of reviving Progressive Rock AZUSA.

Sam at the Grand Canyon 1 year after the dissolution of the first Progressive Rock AZUSA

FAILED REVIVAL OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK AZUSA

In early January 2016 I revisited my dream of running a progressive rock station on the internet.  I started up my old, “smart”, internet radio which had a Live365 preset for another prog channel that I liked to listen to.  To my surprise, in between songs, an announcement informed me that the station was migrating to Radionomy due to the impending dissolution of Live365.com.  I was hugely disappointed by this news. 

I still wanted to revive Progressive Rock AZUSA on an apporpriate platform, so I started researching how I could do that.  I soon eliminated the various, expensive methods that I found that could host my station.  Remembering the announcement of weeks earlier regarding Radionomy, I then began researching that platform.  I found a prog rock station on that service and began listening to that to get a feel of how my station may have to adapt to Radionomy.  After a few weeks I determined, so far – so good, so I then researched Radionomy much more deeply and in greater detail.  I actually got to the point of developing a logo for my new station (see below). 

But disappointment hit again!  I found out that Radionomy was NOT licensed for any of the tracks they broadcast (as the old Live365 was).  Broadcasters were on the hook for paying royalties and license fees, which in my case would have been several hundred dollars a month.  There was no way I could afford that, so I gave up on reviving Progressive Rock AZUSA –– at least for the short term.

SUCESSFUL REVIVAL OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK AZUSA

In January 2018, I renewed my search for a legal platform that could host a revival of Progressive Rock AZUSA.  I then lucked upon the greatest of news!  In July 2016, the remnants of the old Live365 was acquired by Jon Stephenson, owner of content delivery network Empire Streaming, and in May of 2017 Live365.com had been re-launched.  I then turned all of my attention to researching this “new” Live365 and reached the conclusion that I could restart my station on that revived platform.

In April of 2018, I enrolled on the new Live365 and began re-building the station from scratch (I had foolishly deleted ALL of my former 2000’s music content, playlists, etc.…) with a target date of June 2018 to broadcast again.  It was a tall order since my music library had greatly expanded to thousands of tracks, with most of them on CD’s.  Daily I would process and upload to Live365 hundreds of tracks, organize them, and do whatever I had to do to get my music ready for broadcast.  But it was all worth it.  In June 2018 Progressive Rock AZUSA began broadcasting on the new Live365.com!

THE STORY SINCE JUNE 2018

The revival of Progressive Rock AZUSA was finally accomplished.  I was able to use the Radionomy logo I developed in 2016 as the first logo for the station.  I still had some missing pieces to address, such as a Facebook presence – which was soon addressed, making the station available on as many global directories as possible – which was also soon addressed, and a station website.  I placed the website idea on hold so that I could concentrate on growing the listenership of Progressive Rock AZUSA.  And that meant producing regularly scheduled shows and reaching out to other ProgRock podcast sources for broadcasting on the station.  

In 2019 the station had grown and had been successful in growing listenership, so it was time to begin creating a website for Progressive Rock AZUSA.  What you are reading now is the successful efforts at creating the Progressive Rock AZUSA website. There is a lot of information on this site that should help you enjoy Progressive Rock AZUSA.  

Please help me keep this station as an on-going source of great progressive music on the air by donating whatever you can.  Hit the SUPPORT STATION link at the top or bottom of this page to donate.  Every donation is appreciated!  And thanks for listening to Progressive Rock AZUSA!