By John Lindsay –
30 years ago, early in my radio career I got exposed to an amazing variety of music by double shifting on Sundays. I was producing a radio show called Sonny May’s Country Jamboree: 6 hours of “the best in classic, traditional, and the pure sounds of country” (I seriously just heard Sonny say that in my head, lol). Up until a couple of years ago I had not worked with or heard anyone else on the radio with as great a passion for what he did, or a more magnificently strong “Yankee” accent. Sonny was a fighter for traditional country and bluegrass, with an encyclopedic knowledge of classic country and the record collection to back it up. For New England country artists and those outside of the mainstream “pop country” of the time (this was, after all, the Kenny & Dolly era) he was a beacon of hope and a path to get your music to the masses. I could, and in the future just might, go on for awhile on my days with Sonny and that experience but I bring it up to introduce you to someone whose passion, energy, and quite honestly accent put me back in that studio 1986.
Bobby Golomboski, or “The Iceman” as he is known, is a study in passion, determination, work ethic, and following your dream. Bobby’s back-story and mine are actually eerily similar. We grew up about 30 minutes apart listening to the same radio stations, dreaming a very similar dream. We were both huge fans of Wolfman Jack, listened to the same Providence, RI radio stations JB-105 and PRO-FM, and developed our love of radio early. I was lucky enough to land a job in high school working for a local country station, while Bobby went to broadcasting school after high school and into the “real” world. But enough now about me, let’s follow Bobby’s path.
After broadcasting school, Bobby moved into the business world as an IT professional. The thing about the radio bug is that it never leaves you, so when the time was right in 2013, Bobby left the successful corporate world to pursue his lifelong dream in radio. Thanks to the power of the internet and his knowledge of IT, Bobby created his first internet radio station, and “The Iceman’s Cavern” was born! He did 7 shows a week, all different formats from Sinatra, R & B, Hip Hop, and more. A short time later he took advantage of an opportunity to explore an underserved audience. That opportunity created a “New Country” format station called “BestCountryRadio.com.” He was determined to do it better than the mainstream, and be a place to discover new artists.
This is where I join the story again, because after several of my friends kept dropping his name as a place they were being heard I went online and found the show. I say all the time that corporate radio isn’t in the business of making hits, just playing them- so new undiscovered talent needed a voice. Iceman saw this and provided them a platform to share their voice. And it certainly has struck a chord. It’s an old formula that the Wolfman would love: have fun, be spontaneous, and focus on the music. The enjoyment of what he does, and his passion for the music & artists that create it, are undeniable.
I asked some artist friends about Iceman and his impact. Mark Bray, a singer/songwriter in Maryland says, “Iceman is one of those guys that looks out for the Indy guy, guys and gals like me who wouldn’t have a shot on big radio because we aren’t on a major label.” Chuck Baugh, whose daughter, Maggie Baugh, is in the Iceman Top 40 as we type, says, “Iceman’s Top 40 is hands down the best internet music on the internet today. He is committed to giving new artists a chance to showcase their music.” David Scully of The Shane Duncan Band adds, “He was the first to play our last 3 singles on air. He does more for the unsigned country artist than anyone on the planet.” These are just a few artists who happen to be my friends, I have heard from several more how Iceman has helped them. I have his app on my phone and constantly hear songs that cause me to stop and go searching for more from the artist. In fact, it is the first place I heard Kane Brown, who we’ve just recently hosted here at the day job.
His passion and honesty resonate, and the growth of “The Iceman” brand (I hate using that word but these are the times we live in) clearly proves that it works. It seems every week or so I see another announcement, more stations added, terrestrial radio added and this year the 2nd Annual Iceman New Country showcase during CMA week in Nashville. What started last year has grown to three venues and over 150 artists invited to play. There is little doubt the latest testimony is well deserved as The Iceman now is qualified for CMA consideration in the National Air Personality of the Year category.
Like winter in Westeros there seems to be no way to stop the constant progress of The Iceman, and country music is the better for it.