Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Computers, Social Networks, and the lack of Great New Bands and Artists"

 Being a Baby Boomer, I grew up in the Golden Age of American Music. The 60s and 70s brought out a lot of great new artists, genres and music which still shines today on CDs. In the era of  records, you had to be good to get a record deal, because making a good record required a big label studio ,real A and R people and a scene that was incredible in lots of ways.

  In Memphis, you had Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. You had a heavy influence of English musicians starting with the Beatles who propelled rock music to a new level. You had Cream, The Who and The Rolling Stones as iconic groups.

   In Nashville, music row and The Grand Ole Opry was in full flight with artists like Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins, and a thriving business which is alive now, more than ever.

  Artists had something to say or express with their music; the first protest musicians who were not afraid to use music and lyrics as a tool to protest Vietnam War. There was a generation that were not afraid to go against the grain and let their message out. Country Joe and The Fish with "It's 1,2,3 What are we fighting for". It was a time of questioning what was going on and protest and "4 Dead In Ohio" by Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young was a true story song that was a great song in it's own merits.

    They were part of the west coast hippie movement including the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service , Jefferson Airplane and a Spanish guitarist named Carlos Santana. This movement had a life of it's own.

  Meanwhile, Down South, We have the new southern Rock scene with many great bands featuring Lynyrd Skynrd, the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band. I am just dancing around the periphery here with these groups, there were so many more important bands.

   So, What's going on Today? A lot of the same artists releasing new music from Thirty Years ago. And We have the computer and the vanishing CD. Along the way, We started with Records, to Eight track tapes, cassette tapes (which I still Like), to CDs and now the ipod with it's mp3 format. A generation of young folk who have grown up listening to mp3s, They can't appreciate what the Baby Boomers like myself had ,growing up with full bandwidth analog music. Music will always survive, in what form, that is the Question.

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