Who hasn’t had an unexpected and, to be honest, unwanted assignment? How often has that kind of work changed the course of your career? Alan Cross worked as a DJ for years before the studio bosses at CFNY in Toronto told him his job was being saved during a time of cutbacks, provided he host a new long-form radio show to explain this new sound that was coming out of Seattle and other cities.
They called the show the Ongoing History of New Music, a title the station manager admitted was terrible, but it was only going to last about six months anyway. More than 750 episodes and 20 years later, the music industry, like journalism, has changed wildly, as has the way in which fans can interact with their favorite bands while finding new music.
“Back in the beginning, when I started this, there was no internet,” Cross said. “There were very few books written on alternative music because at that time it was this weird fringy stuff that nobody was talking about. We can get you thousands of boo