Check out the revamped Peach radio station online

The new Peach digital station pays homage to the original Peach 94.9 from the 1970s and 1980.
The new Peach digital station pays homage to the original Peach 94.9 from the 1970s and 1980.

Credit: Pretty Cool Media

Credit: Pretty Cool Media

The original Peach name was used on the Atlanta FM dial from 1972 to 2002

Atlanta-based Pretty Cool Media recently resurrected a classic Atlanta radio format: easy listening The Peach radio station online.

Its slogan: “Easy hits. None of the Pits.” It’s available commercial-free on both the iHeartRadio and Tune-In apps.

Benji Kurtz, a 44-year-old veteran radio operator runs Pretty Cool Media, which owns six streaming stations said the digital-only station is a direct homage to the early days of Atlanta’s Peach 94.9 in the 1970s and 1980s when it was heavily instrumental. The station shifted in 1990 to what radio professionals call “soft adult contemporary” with more Phil Collins, Billy Joel and Michael Bolton but kept the Peach name until 2002.

iHeartMedia, which was Clear Channel back in the day when Peach existed, no longer has the copyright to the name Peach so Kurtz said he was able to use it.

“I have a passion for good radio,” Kurtz said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He hired voice-over expert Jeff Laurence, who was B98.5′s voice guy in the 1990s, to do the station liners and added jingles modified from a 1960s easy-listening station out of Los Angeles.

The Peach focuses heavily on orchestral instrumentals often dubbed “beautiful music,” or, more derisively, “elevator music” back in the day.

Kurtz, who started in radio at age 13 and once worked as a jock on Atlanta’s former hip-hop station 95.5/The Beat, said the library is 2,500 songs deep, most of it from the 1960s and 1970s. He throws in about two songs an hour with vocals for extra flavor.

On Wednesday evening, the Peach played James Last’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” James Galway’s version of “Annie’s Song,” Jack Jezzro’s take on “Let It Be,” Ray Conniff’s “Some Enchanted Evening” and Henry Mancini’s “Love Theme from ‘Romeo & Juliet.’”

It’s a format that fell out of favor by the late 1980s as the Silent Generation (born 1927 to 1945) began aging out and Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) became advertiser favorites.

Today, the target audience is at least 75 years old.

“It’s very niche, but with almost no overhead on a stream, we can serve everybody in the world,” Kurtz said. He doesn’t yet know how many people are actually listening.

Another format he created focused on big band music, called The Biltmore, has been more popular, he said. He lives at the storied Biltmore in Midtown and noted that WSB had its radio studios there for three decades.

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