History of Positive Radio by Tom Averna
The idea for positive music happened for our station manager, Tom Averna sitting in rush hour traffic in Denver trying to find some kind of music on the radio that would be calming. There was nothing that was both uplifting and calming. What did the trick was his daughter’s tape of Beauty and the Beast that was in the car. The idea began as a question, “I wonder why an adult station doesn’t include the great music heard on Family Movie Soundtracks? From there Tom began to design a format that used several musical genres to weave a positive message that made you feel good listening to it. Music from Soundtracks, Rock and Pop, Country, R&B, etc. At the time Tom was still in radio, but no one seemed very interested in trying the idea so it moved to the back burner. Still Averna began collecting music from family movies and also from mainstream artists of all genres that had a positive message. There were a lot more than he thought there were.
In 1985 Tom left the radio world because he didn’t like the damage that corporate takeover was doing to the industry. He figured that he’d never return.
Around 2000, Tom moved to Washington state and began attending New Thought churches there like Seattle’s Center for Spiritual Living. There he also met some people who wanted to create a website that would be a portal for positive communication. This was the first time that Averna began to see the power of the web for communicating positive messages to the world. In December of 2000, while checking the weather in Chicago for a friend who was flying there for the holidays, he came across an Internet article in a Chicago newspaper that talked about the emerging popularity of Internet Radio. (Can you say synchronicity boys and girls?) Averna read about several places that offered opportunities for webcasters and one of them was very affordable. With great excitement he began to reformulate this idea for positive music adding into the mix many of the Indie artists discovered performing in New Thought churches whose music was purposefully positive. In April of 2001 Radiopositive began broadcasting Tom’s purchased and borrowed collection of Positive Music and New Thought Music on Live365.
Positive Music Radio and Positive Music Association
There have been several milestones and setbacks since then. In 2004, after being contacted by Chris Salazar, a music promoter in San Diego who wanted to start a trade union of sorts for Positive Musicians, he connected Tom with Scott Johnson and together they formed the Positive Music Association. Sadly Chris died before its creation. The name of Radiopositive was changed to Positive Music Radio to better represent the PMA logo. Unfortunately Averna had a personal setback and could no longer operate the station. He thought that would be the end of it. Scott Johnson continued to run the Positive Music Association.
Back To the Present
Between 2005 and 2014 the station attempted to restart a few times but with limited success. Finally in 2014 the relationship between emPower Music and Arts and Positive Radio developed and at last the vision that Tom began in 2001 seems to have find a home and a team with the same drive and commitment and vision to promote positive music. emPower Positive Radio has come of age.
The Music and Message
Although much of our music has a spiritual focus, the radio station is non-religious and seeks to draw an audience from all walks of life and beliefs. Our music and our message is inclusive and not exclusive. It presents a belief that we are all one people and have the power within us to create a positive and joyful world for ourselves and others.