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TBT #01: XM Satellite Radio from 2004.
We take a look back at an old XM Satellite Radio lineup from 18 years ago.
Thursday, June 9th, 2022
Today, we begin the first of hopefully many Throwback Thursday editions of the newsletter. We’ll take a look at what lineups used to look like and find out what happened to those channels during that time since. XM Satellite Radio was in operation from September 25th, 2001 and Sirius Satellite Radio was around from July 1st, 2002 until both companies merged in 2008.
I’ll try to find as many old lineups as possible and if you find one yourself, send it to me! The email is email@example.com.
Today, we’re taking a look at THIS specific lineup from October of 2004. As you can see, back then, there were many different channels available that have seriously come and gone since then. It reminisces what satellite radio used to be like prior to the merger. Let’s break this down by category with the first half up to Dance.
This newsletter will be so long that we’re diving it into two emails. Next week, we’ll break down the second half from Latin onwards.
All the decades channels are still there. However, the 40s-70s channels have since been moved around.
The ‘40s are now known as ‘40s Junction and have since been moved to Channel 71 and moved to the Jazz/Standards/Classical category.
The ‘50s are now known as ‘50s Gold and have since been moved to Channel 72.
The ‘60s are now known as ‘60s Gold and have since been moved to Channel 73.
The ‘70s, The ‘80s, and The ‘90s are still in their respective 7, 8, and 9 channel slots, respectively.
Also to note, all decades channels from the ‘50s onward are now in the pop category and are now in company with two new channels to have come on since then… Pop 2K (2000s Pop Hits) on Channel 10 and The ‘10s Spot (2010s Pop Hits) on Channel 11.
Wow. Lots to observe here as the Country category has seriously been moved around. The channels are still categorized together but just moved to different channel slots from 55-62, instead of being from 10-16 plus, since this time, it has gained an extra channel devoted to Country.
America on Channel 10 no longer exists. Today’s version is now the one controlled by legendary country music superstar Willie Nelson with Willie’s Roadhouse on Channel 59.
Nashville! on Channel 11 also no longer exists. It was replaced by a simulcast of 97.9 WSIX-FM Nashville back in 2011 but since 2013, when the signal went away, it became U.S. Country which is now Prime Country on Channel 58 playing mainly ‘80s and ‘90s classic country.
X Country had more of a progressive country feel on Channel 12. It is gone too now in favor of Outlaw Country on Channel 60 which features outlaw country music and various genres including honky tonk, alternative country, and roots rock.
Hank’s Place on Channel 13 no longer exists either. After doing some research, I found out that it turned into Willie’s Place, which is now Willie’s Roadhouse. Details about that are above.
Bluegrass Junction is still here! However, it has since been moved from Channel 14 to Channel 62.
The Village is also still here! But this channel, previously on Channel 15, probably suffered the biggest move of them all since then as it is now only available on SiriusXM’s streaming plans on Channel 741. It’s no longer heard on a traditional car radio.
Highway 16, no need to tell you where it used to be, is the biggest country channel on the service but that too has since been moved to Channel 56 and is now known as simply, The Highway.
Pop and Hits
This category has since been merged with the Pop category on the current service but there are huge changes from this specific category.
Top 20 on 20 was very popular for a time, obviously on Channel 20. Today though, its since been replaced by Venus. Originally on Channel 3, it has since been moved to Channel 303.
KISS was a special feed, but an obvious simulcast, of 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles on Channel 21. As of last week, that simulcast has finally been dropped from the lineup as anyone can stream the station now on the iHeartRadio app, which made having the station on the lineup totally redundant and pointless, therefore it has not been replaced.
MIX was also a special feed, but an obvious simulcast, of 96.5 KHMX Houston on Channel 22. Its unclear if anything has since replaced it but I do know that MIX no longer exists.
Channel 23 was home to The Heart, all love songs and romantic tunes. The channel is now known as SiriusXM Love but it no longer airs on a traditional car radio. Instead, you’ll have to find it on its streaming plans on Channel 708.
Sunny was on Channel 24. This channel was first known as Lite since it was a simulcast of 106.7 WLTW New York City. It became Sunny in 2002 and had various format changes but eventually, it went back to a simulcast of WLTW in 2011 before discontinuing entirely in 2013.
The Blend still exists to this day. However, thanks to a realignment, it has been moved up from Channel 25 to Channel 16.
Cinemagic is still around today but no longer on Channel 27. Instead, its now on streaming plans as an Xtra channel, in the style of a Pandora-like channel.
On Broadway is still around as well today but instead of Channel 28, its now on Channel 77.
UPop doesn’t sound like a channel that was popular, considering that it no longer exists on the service at all. It was on Channel 29, but it was gone by 2008, and today, there’s no replacement for it.
Final note here, way more pop channels have been added since then but no time to discuss them all. I recommend checking the current lineup to see what else has been added since then.
This category is still around. However, its no longer 31-33 as it has moved to channels 63-65.
The Torch was on Channel 31. It no longer exists today and there was no replacement for it but half of the music’s format (Christian Rock) is now on The Message, Channel 63.
The Fish was on Channel 32. It no longer exists as well and yes, its been merged with The Torch to create the other half (Christian Pop) of The Message.
Finally, Spirit on Channel 33. This one was different from the Sirius version in which this one was more Urban contemporary gospel while the Sirius version was more Contemporary Christian. Those are now merged and are now the home of Kirk Franklin’s Praise on Channel 64.
The category has since added a Southern Gospel channel called enLighten that’s available on Channel 65.
One of the biggest and most popular categories of the satellite radio service and has seriously expanded its footprint since the merger as there are now 30 channels on the service. On this lineup, there are 14 on here.
Deep Tracks still exists today but is now on Channel 27 instead of Channel 40.
Boneyard was on Channel 41, but since 2012, it has been reformatted into Ozzy’s Boneyard. Yes, named after legendary rockstar Ozzy Osbourne, its now broadcast on Channel 38.
XMLM: XM Liquid Metal still exists today but is now known as simply Liquid Metal and is on Channel 40 instead of 42. Its still an XL channel.
XMU is still here today, just add Sirius to the name to become SiriusXMU. Instead of Channel 43, its on Channel 35.
Fred was on Channel 44 and was a sister channel to Ethel (Channel 47) and Lucy (Channel 54). Today, its now known as 1st Wave on Channel 33.
XM Cafe was on Channel 45. Today, The Spectrum replaced it and is on Channel 28.
Top Tracks was on Channel 46. Today, its now known as Classic Vinyl which has mainly 60s and 70s classic rock on Channel 26.
Now we get to Ethel from Channel 47. Today, most of its format has since moved over to Lithium on Channel 34. However, some of the music has been shifted over to ALT Nation for mainly today’s alternative music. That can be found on Channel 36.
SquiZZ was on Channel 48. Today, it has been replaced by Octane on Channel 37.
The Loft was on Channel 50 and is still around. However, its now only available on its streaming plans on Channel 710. Nothing was replaced on traditional plans.
MusicLab sounds like an interesting channel on Channel 51. However, after doing some research, the only aspect of the channel from its format still surviving today is JAM ON on Channel 309.
Unsigned sounds pretty self-explanatory on Channel 52. Today, its now known as The Verge and can be found on Channel 173. Also, ownership has since shifted over to SiriusXM Canada and is now within the Canadian category.
Fungus was on Channel 53. An interesting mix of rock music, the channel is now known as Faction Punk and can be found on Channel 314.
Finally, Lucy. That was on Channel 54 but, as previously mentioned, half of this channel has been merged with Ethel to create Lithium. However, XM had their own version of Lucy and this one is now ALT Nation on Channel 36.
Final note, this category has expanded immensely since there with channels devoted to Rock artists like Dave Matthews Band, U2, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and much more.
Hip Hop and Urban
Not much has really changed with this category but yes, some few changes here and there. Plus, the whole category was moved from 60-67 to now 42-50. You can tell its been expanded a bit since then.
Soul Street was on Channel 60 but the spirit is still here thanks to Soul Town on Channel 49.
The Flow was on Channel 61 and had Neo Soul, never heard of that before. Anyways, the channel no longer exists and after some research, it looks like nothing has replaced it since then.
Suite 62 was pretty much obvious as to where it was located. Heart and Soul are now there but located on Channel 48.
The Groove is still around and still kickin’ with us! It has moved though from Channel 64 to Channel 50.
The Rhyme sounds similar to what The Groove had on Channel 65. It was replaced by BackSpin but has since been converted into L.L. Cool J’s very own channel, named Rock The Bells Radio, on Channel 43. Its still an XL channel today.
RAW was on Channel 66. Today, Eminem has taken over and moved it to Channel 45, which its now known as Shade 45. Its still an XL channel today.
Finally, The City plays the best of hip-hop and was on Channel 67. It has since been moved to Channel 44 and is better known as Hip Hop Nation. Its still an XL channel today too.
Final note, Drake now has his own channel, ‘90s/2000s Hip-Hop has shown up via SiriusXM FLY and there are even love songs from this category on Channel 330.
Jazz and Blues + Lifestyle
This category is still around and nearly identical to the channels slots where it to used be in 2004. I would also say that its been merged with the Lifestyle category to form today’s Jazz/Standards/Classical category, thus merging the two here.
Real Jazz is still playing the best of Jazz today. But it hasn’t moved far, only moving from Channel 70 to Channel 67.
Watercolors is also still on-the-air today. However, was on Channel 71 back in 2004. Today, its on Channel 66.
Beyond Jazz was on Channel 72. It no longer exists and there’s no trace of the channel since then. On the lineup, the format says Modern Jazz which is making me think that the majority of this channel’s format has since been taken over by Real Jazz.
Frank’s Place was on Channel 73. The channel later became known as High Standards before becoming what is known today as Siriusly Sinatra, mainly playing the best of Frank Sinatra’s hits plus similar music from other artists. You can find it on Channel 70.
Bluesville was on Channel 74. But since 2008, legendary Blues player B.B. King has had his name associated with it. Ironically enough, B.B. King’s Bluesville is still on the same channel slot today.
Hear Music was on Channel 75. Did anybody else know until recently that Starbucks had its own music catalog? I had no idea. Anyways, it was called Hear Music and that catalog was available 24/7 on XM. It was known as The Voice of Music at Starbucks. The channel has since gone defunct when the label was shut down in 2008.
Fine Tuning was on Channel 76. The channel was removed in 2008 thanks to the merger and nothing was replaced since then.
Audio Visions was on Channel 77. The same music and format can be heard today via Spa on Channel 68.
Final note, thanks to realignments over the years, the ‘40s decades channel has been incorporated into this category and so have the classical channels including Symphony Hall (Channel 76) and Met Opera Radio (Channel 355) plus the previously mentioned On Broadway (Channel 77).
This is the final category we’ll mention for today. The Dance category has always been recognized as one of the smallest lineups in the service, alongside the Christian, Religion, and Family categories. It has been expanded somewhat but is still small compared to the others.
While I try to keep this newsletter as an unbiased look at the service, I’ll have to put that aside for a bit and say that this is one of my favorite categories to listen to. I love Electronic Dance Music and the majority, if not all, of my music time, is spent listening to SiriusXM’s EDM channels. Okay, biased time over. Let’s take a look at this category.
The Move was on Channel 80 and had lots of shows hosted by various DJs. The channel was later replaced by Electric Area before being moved to Channel 52. Today, its now known as Diplo’s Revolution, named after legendary DJ Diplo who programs the channel.
BPM is the flagship channel of this category, home to today’s EDM hits. It was on Channel 81, but it has since been moved to Channel 51, further cementing its flagship status, since its the first EDM channel to show up once the Hip-Hop category ends.
The System provided a lot of electronica on Channel 82. Its no longer on the air and trying to do some research on this channel, but there don’t seem to be any references towards it so no replacement was made for it, though much of its music can still be heard on BPM and Diplo’s Revolution.
Chrome was all about the Disco format and the dance floor. It was on Channel 83 but has since become Studio 54 Radio, named after New York’s former legendary discothèque nightclub. This came off the merger of XM’s Chrome and Sirius’ The Strobe and can be found, ironically enough too, on Channel 54.
Final note, as previously mentioned, the category has since been expanded to include a 24-hour chill/ambient/deep house and a channel that takes a look back at dance hits from the ‘90s and 2000s. Plus, it has added two more channels programmed by two more legendary DJs, one by Steve Aoki and another by Armin van Buuren. Those can only be found on SiriusXM’s streaming plans.
I will end it there for now. Part 2 next week takes a look at the other categories on the lineup, including News, Sports, Comedy, and much more.
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Tomorrow, the focus is on the week’s news and upcoming events. One of those events is the final stretch of horse racing’s triple crown, the Belmont Stakes. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow and I’ll talk to y’all then.