At the end of 2008, I wrote a simple website-scraping script which downloaded the date, time, artist and title of every track played on 93.1 JACK FM in Los Angeles that year...

# - C
627 pgs
D - G
595 pgs
H - M
565 pgs
N - R
565 pgs
S - Z
718 pgs

Now (Dec. 2012) I am releasing a 5 volume book series generated from this data which documents the radio station's entire year, organized alphabetically by artist.

Full single PDF download (#-Z)13.1 MB
MySQL database download
(advanced fans only)
4.6 MB .zip

Please also listen to my Spotify playlist of
77 handpicked personal favorite Jack FM tracks:

Jack FM is a popular CBS-owned radio station with many incarnations across the U.S. (and beyond), broadcasting an unusually large, genre-bending playlist that spans from the present all the way back to the mid-1960s.

The station is notable for its relentless boasting (in advertisements and on-air) that it has no DJs and does not take song requests from its listeners. This blatant opaqueness makes the origins of its musical decisions mysterious and (perhaps) slightly sinister.

Jack FM's musical curation is further confused by its ambigious slogan:
"Playing What We Want"...

Thumbing through the pages, you might ponder the creative decisions made or not made, the often machine-perfect regularity of intervals between songs in rotation, or songs introduced or retired halfway through the year. How much of this pattern is algorithmic and how much is human? You might begin to read the juxtaposed song titles as poetry .

... But who is "Jack"?


# - C .38 Special; 10,000 Maniacs; 10cc; 3 Doors Down; 4 Non Blondes; 50 Cent; A Flock Of Seagulls; A-ha; A3 (alabama 3); Abba; Abc; Ac/dc; Ace; Adam Ant; Adams, Bryan; Aerosmith; After The Fire; Alan Parsons Project; Alarm, The; Alphaville; Altered Images; America; Animals, The; Animotion; Argent; Asia; Average White Band; B Movie; B-52's; Babys, The; Bachman Turner Overdrive; Bad Company; Baltimora; Bananarama; Band Aid; Bangles; Barenaked Ladies; Bay City Rollers; Beach Boys; Beastie Boys; Beatles, The; Beck; Bee Gees; Benatar, Pat; Berlin; Better Than Ezra; Big Country; Bishop, Elvin; Black Crowes, The; Blind Melon; Blondie; Blow Monkeys; Blue Oyster Cult; Blues Brothers, The; Blues Traveler; Blur; Bon Jovi; Bon Jovi, Jon; Boomtown Rats; Boston; Bow Wow Wow; Bowie, David; Boys Don't Cry; Brickell, Edie & New Bohemians; Brown, James; Browne, Jackson; Buffalo Springfield; Buffett, Jimmy; Buggles, The; Burnette, Rocky; C & C Music Factory; Cafferty, John; Cake; Calling, The; Cameo; Candlebox; Cardigans, The; Carnes, Kim; Cars, The; Cash, Johnny; Champs, The; Chapman, Tracy; Charlie Daniels Band; Cheap Trick; Chumbawamba; Church, The; Cinderella; Clapton, Eric; Clash, The; Climax Blues Band; Clinton, George; Club Nouveau; Cochrane, Tom; Cochrane, Tom & Red Rider; Coldplay; Collective Soul; Collins, Phil; Commodores; Concrete Blonde; Cooper, Alice; Costello, Elvis; Counting Crows; Cowboy Junkies; Cracker; Cranberries, The; Crazy Town; Creed; Crosby, Bing; Crow, Sheryl; Cult, The; Cure, The; Cutting Crew
D - G D'arby, Terence Trent; Daughtry; Dave Matthews Band; David & David; Day, Howie; Dazz Band; Dead Or Alive; Deee-lite; Deep Purple; Def Leppard; Degraw, Gavin; Depeche Mode; Derek & The Dominos; Derringer, Rick; Devo; Dexys Midnight Runners; Diesel; Dire Straits; Dishwalla; Divinyls, The; Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; Dna Featuring Suzanne Vega; Dolby, Thomas; Doors, The; Douglas, Carl; Dream Academy, The; Duran Duran; E.l.o.; Eagle Eye Cherry; Eagles, The; Earth Wind & Fire; Echo & The Bunnymen; Electric Light Orchestra; Emf; English Beat, The; Enigma; Escape Club; Essex, David; Eurythmics; Eve 6; Everclear; Everlast; Exile; Extreme; Faith No More; Falco; Fastball; Fatboy Slim; Ferguson, Jay; Ferry, Bryan; Filter; Fine Young Cannibals; Fishbone; Fixx, The; Fleetwood Mac; Flying Lizards; Foo Fighters; Ford, Lita; Foreigner; Four Seasons; Frampton, Peter; Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Fray, The; Free; Freur; Frida; Fugees; Furtado, Nelly; Gabriel, Peter; Gap Band, The; Garbage; Gaye, Marvin; General Public; Genesis; Georgia Satellites, The; Gilder, Nick; Gin Blossoms; Glitter, Gary; Gnarls Barkley; Go-go's; Golden Earring; Goo Goo Dolls; Grand Funk Railroad; Grandmaster Flash; Grant, Eddy; Gray, David; Great White; Green Day; Green, Al; Greenbaum, Norman; Greg Kihn Band; Guns N' Roses
H - M Haircut 100; Haircut One Hundred; Hall; Hall & Oates; Hancock, Herbie; Harrison, George; Hart, Corey; Head East; Heart; Heaven 17; Henley, Don; Hernandez, Patrick; Hollies; Holmes, Rupert; Hoobastank; Hooters, The; Hootie & The Blowfish; Hornsby, Bruce & The Range; Hot Chocolate; Human League; Icicle Works; Idol, Billy; Incubus; Information Society; Inxs; Iris, Donnie; Isaak, Chris; J. Geils Band; Jackson, Joe; Jackson, Michael; Jam, The; James, Rick; Jefferson Starship; Jesus Jones; Jet; Jett, Joan; Jimmy Eat World; Joboxers; Joel, Billy; John, Elton; Johnny Hates Jazz; Johnson, Jack; Johnson, Jack (and Friends); Jones, Howard; Jose Feliciano; Journey; Joy Division; Judas Priest; Kajagoogoo; Kansas; Kc; Kc And The Sunshine Band; King; Kinks, The; Kiss; Knack, The; Kravitz, Lenny; Laid Back; Lauper, Cyndi; Led Zeppelin; Lee Roth, David; Lemonheads, The; Len; Lennon, John; Level 42; Lewis, Aaron; Lewis, Huey; Lifehouse; Linkin Park; Lipps Inc.; Live; Ll Cool J; Loggins, Kenny; Los Lobos; Love And Rockets; Loverboy; Lowe, Nick; Lynyrd Skynyrd; M; Madness; Madonna; Manfred Mann's Earth Band; Marcy Playground; Mardones, Benny; Marley, Bob; Marley, Ziggy; Maroon 5; Marshall Tucker Band; Matchbox Twenty; Maxi Priest; Mazzy Star; Mccartney, Paul; Mccartney, Paul And Wings; Mckenzie, Bob & Doug; Mclean, Don; Mellencamp, John; Men At Work; Men Without Hats; Merchant, Natalie; Metallica; Michael, George; Midnight Oil; Miller, Steve; Missing Persons; Moby Featuring Gwen Stefani; Modern English; Money, Eddie; Morissette, Alanis; Motels, The; Motley Crue; Mr. Mister; Mungo Jerry; Murphy, Peter; Murray Head; Musical Youth; Myles, Alannah
N - R Nails, The; Naked Eyes; Nena; Neneh Cherry; New Order; New Radicals; Newman, Randy; Nickelback; Nicks, Stevie; Nicks, Stevie & Don Henley; Night Ranger; Ninedays; Nirvana; No Doubt; Nova, Aldo; Nugent, Ted; Numan, Gary; O'connor, Sinead; Oasis; Ohio Players; Oingo Boingo; Omc; Omd; Osbourne, Ozzy; Outfield, The; Outkast; Ozark Mountain Daredevils; Palmer, Robert; Parr, John; Pearl Jam; Pet Shop Boys; Pet Shop Boys/dusty Springfield; Petty, Tom; Petty, Tom & The Heartbreakers; Pickett, Bobby; Pink; Pink Floyd; Pm Dawn; Pointer Sisters; Poison; Police, The; Pop, Iggy; Power Station, The; Presley, Elvis; Pretenders, The; Primitive Radio Gods; Primitives, The; Prince; Proclaimers, The; Psychedelic Furs; Puddle Of Mudd; Quarterflash; Queen; Queensryche; Quiet Riot; R.e.m.; Rafferty, Gerry; Ram Jam; Ramones, The; Raspberries, The; Ratt; Real Life; Red Hot Chili Peppers; Red Rockers; Redbone; Reed, Lou; Reflex; Reo Speedwagon; Richard, Cliff; Rob Base & Dj E-z Rock; Rockwell; Rocky Horror Picture Show; Rolling Stones; Romantics, The; Romeo Void; Ronstadt, Linda; Roxy Music; Rufus; Run Dmc; Rundgren, Todd; Rush
S - Z Saga; Salt N' Pepa; Sanford & Townsend; Santana; Scaggs, Boz; Scandal; Schilling, Peter; Scorpions; Seal; Seger, Bob; Seger, Bob & The Silver Bullet Band; Semisonic; Sheriff; Simon, Paul; Simple Minds; Sir Mix-a-lot; Skid Row; Sly Fox; Smash Mouth; Smashing Pumpkins; Smiths, The; Sneaker Pimps; Sniff 'n' The Tears; Snow Patrol; Soft Cell; Sophie B. Hawkins; Soul Asylum; Spandau Ballet; Specials, The; Spin Doctors; Spinners, The; Split Enz; Springfield, Dusty; Springfield, Rick; Springsteen, Bruce; Squeeze; Squier, Billy; Staind; Stealers Wheel; Steely Dan; Steppenwolf; Stereo Mc's; Steve Miller Band; Stewart, Rod; Sting; Stone Temple Pilots; Stories; Stray Cats, The; Styx; Sublime; Sugar Ray; Sugarhill Gang; Sundays, The; Supertramp; Survivor; Sweet; T'pau; T. Rex; Taco; Talk Talk; Talking Heads; Tears For Fears; Thin Lizzy; Third Eye Blind; Thompson Twins; Til Tuesday; Timberlake, Justin; Time, The; Timex Social Club; Toad The Wet Sprocket; Tom Tom Club; Tommy Tutone; Tone Loc; Tonic; Toto; Townshend, Pete; Train; Trans-x; Trio; Troggs, The; Tubes, The; Twisted Sister; Tyler, Bonnie; U2; Ub40; Uncle Kracker; Van Halen; Van Morrison; Vanilla Ice; Vanity 6; Vapors, The; Vega, Suzanne; Verve Pipe, The; Verve, The; Violent Femmes; Waite, John; Waitresses, The; Wall Of Voodoo; Wallflowers; Walsh, Joe; Wang Chung; War; Wham!; When In Rome; Whitesnake; Who, The; Wild Cherry; Wilde, Kim; Winwood, Steve; Wonder, Stevie; Wright, Gary; Yaz; Yello; Yes; Zevon, Warren; Zombies, The; Zz Top

"Jack" is an abstract entity referred to, even addressed directly, by short, slick pre-recorded "bumpers" that get slipped in between songs on the station - These are always spoken by the same snotty male "radio voice" character - Who is not a DJ, and not "Jack". The Jack FM experience most closely resembles listening to some guy named "Jack"'s entire iPod set on shuffle.

Are "We" "Jack"?


AristPlaysPer day
1.Van Halen19255.3
4.Rolling Stones14554
6.Def Leppard14163.9
7.Eagles, The13613.7
8.Mellencamp, John11783.2
9.Depeche Mode11773.2
11.Fleetwood Mac10392.8
13.Petty, Tom & The Heartbreakers10192.8
14.Steve Miller Band9772.7
15.Cure, The9132.5
16.Duran Duran8992.5
18.Bon Jovi8862.4
19.Zz Top8692.4
20.No Doubt8622.4
21.Led Zeppelin8142.2
23.Springsteen, Bruce7672.1
25.Benatar, Pat7432
27.Police, The7212
28.John, Elton7111.9
29.Motley Crue6881.9
30.Oingo Boingo6831.9
Total artists 517
Total songs 1156
Total plays 98054
Avg. plays per day 267

Jack FM is over-the-top jokey, cynical, smug. As teasers, they play songs commonly in their rotation, but re-dubbed with self-deprecating, badly-sung lyrics that mock the real emotional content of the songs - like a more-dudely Weird Al.

This ironic, youthful, white, male attitude is rooted in the post-Gen-X marketing of Doritos, Mountain Dew, and Jack-In-The-Box (no relation). Jack FM treats its songs like unsubstantial junk food - reversing radio's pervasive, almost spiritual reverence for its musical content (especially on "classic rock" stations).

... So what DO we want?
... And can these charts can help us figure it out?


1.Are You Gonna Be My GirlJet231
2.Hey Ya!Outkast226
3.Hey JealousyGin Blossoms225
4.What I GotSublime219
5.The MiddleJimmy Eat World218
7.Semi-charmed LifeThird Eye Blind214
8.Don't Stop Believin'Journey213
9.I Don't Want To BeDegraw, Gavin211
10.Kryptonite3 Doors Down211
11.You Get What You GiveNew Radicals211
12.Money For NothingDire Straits210
13.Separate WaysJourney209
14.You're My Best FriendQueen205
15.Sweet Child O' MineGuns N' Roses204
16.Summer Of '69Adams, Bryan202
17.Owner Of A Lonely HeartYes200
18.Edge Of SeventeenNicks, Stevie200
19.SlideGoo Goo Dolls200
20.Hard To HandleBlack Crowes, The199
21.Freeze-frameJ. Geils Band196
22.Fly AwayKravitz, Lenny195
23.Hold On Loosely.38 Special195
24.It's Not OverDaughtry194
25.When I Come AroundGreen Day194
26.Smells Like Teen SpiritNirvana194
27.Are You Gonna Go My WayKravitz, Lenny194
28.Rag DollAerosmith192
29.One HeadlightWallflowers191
30.Right Here, Right NowJesus Jones191


2.Eagles, The17
3.Van Halen16
4.Rolling Stones15
6.Beatles, The12
John, Elton
Police, The
7.Cars, The11
Duran Duran
8.Cure, The10
No Doubt
9.Benatar, Pat9
Def Leppard
Depeche Mode
Fleetwood Mac
Mellencamp, John
Springsteen, Bruce