The Listening Room: It Begins With Joey

The second post in The Listening Room series is dedicated to my favorite [defunct] radio station, Joey 92.3 (at times, as 923 Joey). This fueled my love for smooth jazz and easy listening music, which continues up to this day.


It was 2005 when I was introduced to a smooth jazz station DZRU-FM Joey 92.3 (now DWFM 92.3 News FM) by accident, on board the bus during a school tour (I brought a pocket radio with me that time). It has an impressive choice of songs, ranging from smooth jazz to easy listening songs, European style jazz, and world music. It is one of the few radio stations that time which caters to the higher echelon crowd, mostly affluent people. But of course, jazz lovers and anyone seeking refinement from the [unfriendly] mainstream radio stations should benefit from this.

Since I was intrigued by the station’s unusual choice of songs (including some commercials, which complimented the radio station as well), I decided to listen to it for a week. And then for a month… And then I’m on it until its sudden change in the format a few years later. I never switch to any other radio stations, for the time being, thinking that Joey is the perfect radio station to listen to.

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I listened to Joey for almost 2 years, almost accompanying me with smooth music while sitting in front of the computer. Within that period of listening to that station:

  • I started listening to a handful of smooth jazz and easy listening music, particularly those from David Benoit, George Benson, Hiroshima, Yutaka, George Duke, Michael Franks, Basia, Lee Ritenour, The Jones Girls, The Manhattan Transfer, Angela Bofill, Everything But The Girl, Paulinho Da Costa, John Kaizan Neptune, Swan Dive, and a lot more.
  • I remember hearing the catchy song “Paper Mache” by Rita Calypso playing on this station a few times, which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally performed by Dionne Warwick. I liked that version of the song so much, and it took me so long to figure out the singer and the song (as well as downloading it).
  • Some of the songs played are smooth covers of the originals, some of them translated in a foreign language such as French. Some of these include The O’Jay’s “I Love Music” (covered by Rozalla), Aretha Franklin’s “Until You Come Back To Me” (covered by Basia and Miki Howard), and Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” (covered in French as “Le Temps Qui Court” by Isabelle Antena). A lot of jazz standards and bossa nova songs are also covered by various artists.
  • There are a few segments dedicated to a specific musical genre. Some of these include Solid 70’s (featuring disco music), Totally 80’s (featuring new wave), and Planet Beat (featuring world music from Putumayo). There is also an informative segment called This Week In History, featuring notable events from the past that happened exactly on that week.
  • I loved the idea of the station being automated and all, but that makes it difficult for us to figure out the title of the song and the artist. I did figure out the song’s title a few years later by means of the lyrics, or by luck. Some of the songs, however, are obscure and are hard to find (and a simple search won’t do at all).
  • They also play a handful of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) on this station as well. Some of these include Side A’s “Windows Of Our Soul”, Boy Katindig’s “I’ll Always Stay In Love This Way”, and Tillie Moreno And Ray-An Fuentes’ “Umagang Kay Ganda”.
  • Most of the commercials aired in this station are aimed towards a specific market. Some of these commercials include Fruit Magic, De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop, Osim, and Adobo Magazine. At one point though, they also aired a PCSO commercial (the Walang Kupas commercial). Pretty unusual for a smooth jazz station, but I wouldn’t mind.

Too bad the station reformatted to an electronica and trip-hop station called xFM (not to be confused with the British radio station of the same name) in 2007 after the Holy Week, but the memories of listening to that station will remain. Just thinking of those times make me wanna go back to the past decade. It was a great radio station worth listening. Definitely a groove thing.

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All right, I’m going to list some of the songs that best remind me of that station. Some of the songs featured are the ones I heard first on this station.

  • David Benoit – Promise Me A Carousel
  • Dave Grusin – Haunting Me
  • Lee Ritenour – Is It You?
  • The Jones Girls – At Peace With Woman
  • Lori Perry – One Chance
  • Isabelle Antena – Le Temps Qui Court
  • Rita Calypso – Paper Mache
  • The Spinners – Could It Be I’m Falling In Love
  • Quincy Jones – Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song)
  • Al Jarreau – Spain (I Recall)
  • The Love Unlimited Orchestra – Easin’
  • Ive Mendes – If You Leave Me Now
  • The Manhattan Transfer – A World Apart
  • Everything But The Girl – Letting Love Go
  • Natalie Cole – This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
  • Michael Franks – One Bad Habit
  • Barry White – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love
  • The Fifth Dimension – Ashes To Ashes
  • Grover Washington, Jr. (feat. Patti LaBelle) – The Best Is Yet To Come
  • Paulinho Da Costa – Real Love
  • Jim Photoglo – When Love Is Gone
  • Ramsey Lewis & Nancy Wilson – The Two Of Us
  • Burt Bacharach – Living Together, Growing Together
  • Rupert Holmes – Answering Machine
  • Hiroshima – Holidays
  • David Benoit – Life Is Like A Samba
  • Basia – Reward
  • Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
  • Lee Ritenour – I Once Had Your Love (And I Can’t Let You Go)
  • The Temptations – Get Ready
  • John Kaizan Neptune – Soft Melody
  • George Benson – Lady Love Me One More Time
  • Jeffrey Osborne – Eenie Meenie Miney Moe
  • Randy Crawford – Rainy Night In Georgia
  • Gregg Karukas – Three Wishes, One Desire
  • David Benoit – Take A Look Inside My Heart
  • Joe Sample (feat. Michael Franks) – Leading Me Back To You
  • Angela Bofill – This Time I’ll Be Sweeter
  • Robbie Dupree – Make It Easy On Yourself
  • Ronnie Laws – Stay Awake
  • Kenia – Celebrate The Night
  • Matt Bianco – More Than I Can Bear
  • Hiroshima – The Door Is Open
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