The Listening Room: High On Smooth Music… The Radio High 105.9 Experience

Next in the TLR series is all about DWLA-FM Radio High 105.9 (now Retro 105.9 DCG-FM ), from the man behind Joey/xFM 92.3. Anyway, while 106.7 Dream FM went off the air in June 2011 and was replaced by a Hot AC/Top 40 station called Energy FM, another smooth jazz station is making its way into the airwaves during that time. Yup, that would be Radio High 105.9, with the slogan “Not For Everyone”.


105.9 on FM band. It’s a blessing in surprise for us jazz listeners since we just lost another great smooth jazz station, Dream FM. Hot AC (masa) stations are dominating the radio nowadays, and it’s starting to lose variety. But back to the highly anticipated smooth jazz station, they were conducting test broadcasts and the name of the radio station is yet to be revealed. By the time it began broadcasting, it was already called Radio High 105.9… and yes, it’s really not for everyone.

Just like its predecessors Joey and xFM, it has a nice selection of songs ranging from the usual smooth jazz to world music, OPM (Original Pilipino Music) included. Anyway, here are my observations and facts about this station:

  • Its programming is generally divided into fifteen minute segments (about three songs per segment) depending on the specific genre (e.g., smooth jazz covers, standards, bossa nova, world music). This was eventually scrapped in favor of the usual programming, save for a few special programs and segments.
  • The station follows a “four commercial per break” rule, meaning more time for music and greater impact for advertising messages.^ Their commercials are generally aimed at a specific (upscale) demographic.
  • The station airs 24/7, just like Joey and xFM. Also, it had the same voice-over talents as its predecessors.
  • Its website also displays the title of the song [being played on the station] and the song artist. It’s essentially helpful for those who wanted to know more about the song being played on the station.
  • Jazz and bossa nova music from Brazil and Europe are often heard on the station. New age music, which are often heard on late nights on its predecessor Joey, are sometimes heard during the afternoons (especially on its first year of broadcast).
  • There were a few radio programs aired on this station, one of which is “Inside 5-Star” by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (Philippines) aired from April to July 2013. “Inside 5-Star” features hoteliers giving inside information on their respective areas of expertise.^
  • The station is known for bringing jazz artists Renee Olstead and Chris Botti to the country. Also, the station was behind Jennifer Lopez’s concert (Dance Again World Tour) at the Mall Of Asia Arena in November 2012.

After roughly three years in the airwaves, Radio High bid farewell and was replaced by Retro 105.9 DCG-FM, a classic hits station. We lost another great radio station, but it was a real high experience listening to this station. And so, Crossover is once again the remaining smooth jazz station in the Metro. And yes, I’m still listening to 105.9 (as Retro DCG-FM), as I’m also into classic hits as well.

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Here are some of the songs I heard on this station:

  • Ive Mendes – Você
  • Iara Negrete – Pra Que Chorar?
  • Coralie Clément – L’ombre Et La Lumiére
  • Anthony Koudele – Was It Love Or Play
  • Clémentine – Un Homme Et Une Femme
  • Deni Hines – I Like The Way
  • Lisa Stansfield – 8-3-1
  • Mama’s Gun – Pots Of Gold
  • Matt Bianco – Altozano
  • Ariella – Gamine (Hey Nineteen)
  • Govi – Abundance
  • Towa Tei – Private Eyes
  • Steve Tyrell – I Say A Little Prayer
  • Sabrina Johnston – Reasons
  • Robert Palmer – Witchcraft
  • Stacey Kent – They All Laughed
  • Jennifer Lopez – Should’ve Never
  • Gabriela Anders – Wanting
  • Tim Weisburg – Is This Magic
  • Alec Milstein – Samba Saudades
  • Suzanne Ciani – Eagle
  • Dave Grusin – History Lesson
  • Kevyn Lettau – Whenever Your Heart Wants To Sing
  • Spencer Day – Till You Come To Me
  • George Michael – Amazing
  • Prince (The Artist Formerly Known As) – Betcha By Golly Wow
  • Ray Parker, Jr. – I Don’t Think That Man Should Sleep Alone
  • Sergio Mendes – Pipoca
  • Ramsey Lewis – You Are The Reason
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