Sources of New Music

Back in the day, listening to radio was how I heard my music. There was a radio in the kitchen of my parent’s home, and a radio in each of our cars. When I was about 9 years old I was given a small transistor radio as a Christmas gift from my dad, along with a story of how he had to make his own radio from bits and pieces of wire and metal that he scrounged from work sites near where he played, and he used his own saved up money to buy the transistor tubes from a hardware store. The tubes and wires and a little cogged dial were housed in a 3″ x 5″ metal index card file box.

When I turned 13 I got an actual record player. It wasn’t even stereo. It came in a little cardboard box with a brass latch that looked like a piece of luggage that was popular in those days. It had a hinged lid and the turntable had three speeds: 78, 45, and 33. I don’t think I ever used the 78 setting but I used the 45 setting almost every day. In the early days, music was sold on 45 rpm singles, with a hit song on the “A” side and a song that no one really like much as a “B” side. If you were very lucky, your single was by someone that actually had a second hit worth listening to on the “B” side. That was usually someone really big, like Elvis or the Beatles.

Years later we bought 8 track tapes, then cassette tapes which played in stereo. Eventually the music business came into the digital world and you could buy CDs. But now, it is all about digital downloads onto iPods and listening online.

The best part of the downloads is that you can buy only the exact songs that you like and want – no more forcing consumers to buy a “B” side or a whole album of 10 songs when all you wanted was one song. That is what has the music industry screaming about how they aren’t making money anymore, but in my opinion, they were riding the gravy train for 40 years and now it is like it should have been all along – buying the one you want and not being forced to buy ones that you don’t want.

Just the Sound Guy

sound guy

Found this poster on Facebook today. I think the person who made this up knows what he is talking about. The sound guy has a great job, but its not all glamour – it can be a lot of grunt work. Still, there’s no music without a sound guy who knows what he’s doing!

Thats Amore

Anybody remember that old Dean Martin song, “That’s Amore?” I don’t know if it was from a movie soundtrack, of from one of his stage shows – or maybe his TV show that he had for a year or two back in the 1960’s.

I know my mom was crazy in love with Dean Martin – she thought he was the sexiest man in the world. It pissed off my dad sometimes to her her swoon about Dean Martin, but its not like Dean was going to come here and snatch up my mom and run off with her. I think it’s kind of stupid to be jealous of a movie star or famous singer. People need to have pretty people in their lives. It is good to have a good looking person be in your fantasies. That’s what keeps a spring in your step and a spark in your eyes. It’s not like we really want to run off with those people – it’s more about re-affirming the goodness in our lives and nothing to be jealous about.

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra will always be cultural icons. I just hope that kids in the next generation will see see the movies and TV documentaries about the Brat Pack and hear the songs they sang so they appreciate what it was like to have the crooners and vocalists of the days gone by.

Save Me, San Francisco

The album by Train called, “Save Me, San Francisco” is a really good album. I have been listening to it on Spotify.

I was not a fan of the music group, Train, until i saw them perform on a morning TV show. For some reason they were not being played on the local radio stations and I just had not heard of them. The TV show was a quick listen, but it was enough to peak my curiosity and check them out.

That is one of the best parts of joining Spotify. I can listen to music that I would not otherwise get to hear because it doesn’t cost me the out of pocket expense of a while CD to listen to just one song that I might like or might not like.

Cristofori’s Dream

There was a compilation album of new age or easy listening music that included a delightful instrumental by David Lantz called, “Cristofori’s Dream.” As I was not familiar with David Lantz, I did a little surfing to see what I could find.

Turns out that Bartelomo Cristofori was an Italian inventor. He toiled away in a little shop working on harpsichords, one of the primary instruments of the day. He was intrigued with finding a way to make the sound less harsh and worked on modifying the design until he found a way to make the sound he was looking for. Thus, in 1709 the piano was born in his modest Florence shop.

David Lantz wrote this song as a tribute to Cristofori – and it’s beautiful.