Interview with Chris Taylor

Show Me The Way Gulf War Mix

About the interview:

Chris Taylor was nice enough to respond to my request with his version of how the Show Me The Way Gulf War Mix came into existance. What follows below is his story in his own words. Chris is currently programming several stations for CBS/Infinity in Kansas City. Chris was one of the few programmers playing Hello God in 2004. DDY Talk would like to thank Chris for sharing this story with the Dennis DeYoung fan community.

I was the Music Director for WAVA the big Top 40 station in Washington D.C. When Edge Of The Century was coming out Dennis and JY were doing some promotions in support of the CD one of which included a radio performance for WNVZ in Va. Beach. A&M knew I was a big STYX fan and invited me to a pre show dinner with them. I drove down for my first time meeting Dennis. I was like a geek fan telling him about every time I went to a STYX concert, etc., 3 month later "Show Me The Way" was a single and slowly climbing the charts. Like most Top 40's STYX was a stretch for the format.

When the War broke out radio stations started looking for ways to deal with it. I heard that a guy in Knoxville did a mix with "Show Me The Way." Being the STYX fan selfishly I thought this is the way to get that song on my station. So had them overnight a copy to me. When I listened to it, I didn't think it matched the emotion of the song, so back to the drawing board. My boss suggested I do my own mix but use George Michael's "Mothers Pride." My plan was to come in the next day, a Saturday and put it together. When I woke up that morning I was flipping channels and landed on CSPAN. When all the Senators and Congressman were debating whether to give the first Bush the right to declare war. My generation had never experienced that and I sat there and thought WOW what a decisions that must be!! So I started taping the debates thinking I would use it in the George Michael mix. I took all the audio into the studio and started to prepare. I stopped and started to think..."Mothers Pride" or "SMTW"??? Do what the boss said or try the other??? I thought no harm in seeing where the STYX one goes. So I started.

When it was finished our Production Director David Edgar came in and helped with the final mix down. We just looked at each other and said "WOW this is it." When I played it over the phone to my boss...he said..."put it on the air right now." In DC with the phones exploded. Over that Saturday and Sunday we took thousands of calls. So WAVA added "Show Me The Way" to the playlist. Dennis found out that the big Top 40 in DC added the record and he remembered that meeting with me and thought as a fan I got the song on the station...so he called me to thank me. Not many artists have ever done that in my 23 year career. When we talked on the phone, I told him what I had done and then played it over the phone to him. He was blown away. His first concern, which was cool was that people didn't think that he was trying to cash in on what our nation or troops where going through. I told him that the reaction was HUGE and 100% positive. Then A&M called and wanted a copy overnighted to them for rush release to radio. within days almost every Top 40 and Adult station in America was playing it. I was interviewed by all the senators and congressman's local news papers and they were extremely positive on being used in the song. I was getting letters from family's who had someone in Persian Gulf that were impacted by the song. The moment that seemed to hit people the most, was the little girl who said "I want my daddy to come home". Show Me The Way was a hit record. This was just the avenue that helped such a powerful song connect with the audience. It went top 10.

Chris Taylor

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updated 11/21/2014