The Following Article by Frank Lewis (Portsmouth Daily Times | Staff Writer) appearing in the November 8th 2009 issue.

Return to Steve Free News Page


Christmas song getting more air-play, spot on satellite radio

PDT Staff Writer_____

steve free imageThere are some things that will happen during each Christmas season — peo­ple will shop for the per­fect gift for the most important per­son in their life; Santa will check his list to see who's naughty and nice, and Steve Free's Christmas song will get new and expanded exposure.

Free's perennial favorite "Just a Baby Boy," is featured on a newly released CDX titled "Christmas Volume 1026 - December 2009," get­ting extended air-play on about 1,700 radio stations in the United States, 350 international outlets, services and satellite stations, and and the song is in good company.

Songs by Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Sugarland, Diamond Rio, Darius Rucker and more grace the CDX, and Free's "Just a Baby Boy" is right there in the middle of it all.

"I won the Governor's Award last year, and I thought I would never be able to top that," said Free. "But the last album has done very well. It had a couple of number one songs, 'Everybody's Friend' and 'Wayfaring Stranger,' but most of my air-play over the years has mostly been on an NPR (National Public Radio) station, European stations, and what they call Christian Country."

Now, due to several people, includ­ing Bill Wence of Bill Wence Promotions, and Paul Loggins, of Loggins Promotions, a firm that spe­cializes in marketing, consulting and management and co-founder of New Music Weekly, the song will be heard on more radios than ever before.

Free sought to get more coverage by targeting a wider audience, such as mainstream country, Americana and college stations.

"This Christmas song, we put it out every year. And every year it gets a little bit bigger," Free said. "So, Bill (Wence) said the song had done well for me, but most of the air-play, again, is on Christian stations and European stations, and I get a lot of air-play in the United States, but it is on what is called Christian Country."

Free said Wence wanted to get the song out to those new targeted out­lets. Wence told him there is a small window of about six weeks in which to get exposure for Christmas songs, and promotions have to be done three months before the season hits. Wence told Free that not a lot of new Christmas songs come out each year, leading to mostly the recycling of classic Christmas songs.

Free said that one day recently he received a call from Loggins, who just happens to be a cousin to Kenny Loggins, a member of one of Free's favorite duos, Loggins and Messina.

Paul Loggins' clientele list reads like a Who's Who in the music industry — Queen, Mariah Carey, Boys2Men and Chuck Negron.

Free said Loggins got in touch with Wence who, in turn, got in touch with him.

"It's Christmas time and I want to look at Christmas songs," Loggins told Free on the telephone. "I have talked to people in Nashville and other places and they told me there is this guy named Steve Free who has a Christmas song. Get ahold of him."

Through that contact, Free sent Loggins a copy of the song, "Just a Baby Boy," and Loggins liked the song.
"So this year it's going to be on 1,700 rock stations, 350 international outlets, plus the big one — satellite radio," Free said. That means his song will be in rotation on XM satel­lite radio.

"So this year the song will be everywhere," Free said. "This song just won't die."

The song was recorded in Dan Ward's recording studios in Wheelersburg, and mastered in Nashville.
Heard on the song is a children's chorus.

"Dan rounded up a bunch of kids, and they sang on it," Free said.

Free said he will return to the stu­dio again in January to produce another CD.

Free said the best way to get copies of the CD are by going to his Web site — — though it's available in some of the tri-state book stores and coffee houses where he performs, as well.

Free said 80 percent of his per­formances are done in an area he has already identified — Pittsburgh to Louisville.
"You learn your niche," Free said. "And I have learned the further I go north from the river, I'm too country, and the farther south I go, I'm not country at all. You find out where your bread is buttered, and mine seems to be in the Ohio Valley and down into the Mississippi Valley."

Times change, music changes, and radio stations continue to all play the same 20 songs, and each claims to play the best, but in the midst of the noise that is sameness, a single voice is occasionally heard that brings you back to your roots. Listen closely, it is most likely Steve Free, a one-of-a- • kind piece of Americana, carved out of the hills of southern Ohio and dipped in the Ohio River.

FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232






Return to Steve Free News Page