The new Cities 97 Sampler CD is out…errr…well, it was out this morning at 8 a.m. You can see all the artists and songs on Volume 19 of this CD (all exclusive performances) by clicking the link above.
For those readers living outside of the Twin Cities metro area, Cities 97 is an FM radio station playing alternative and indie artist music along with “the best music of the ’80s, ’90s and today.” It’s a highly rated station in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region.
Each year, as musicians come through on tours and promotional visits, they are invited to sit down in the station’s “Studio C” and play for a small audience. The best performances are recorded and through the magic of negotiation and coordination with charitable organizations in the state, and the goodness of the hearts of the artists themselves, the station puts together a compilation of the best music of the year. It’s sold each November, exclusively at Target stores. And within an hour, it’s usually sold out.
Why the demand? Through agreements made with the artists, the station can only press about 30,000 copies of the CD. It sells for $20 on the day of the offering, but is often found on eBay for two and three times that much. The artists waive any royalties they would otherwise make from their performances in support of the charities that receive the proceeds from the CD.
This has been going on for 19 years and I’m proud to say I have all 19 Samplers…a complete set!