(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘rock and roll

“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water”*…

Prohibition agents amid cases of scotch whiskey in hold of a rum running ship, 1924 (Library of Congress)

From the annals of self-help, get rich quick writing, The Saturday Evening Post

If you were a bright, ambitious, young man in 1922 who wasn’t inconvenienced by your conscience, you might have considered starting your own liquor distribution business.

There were, of course, challenges: specifically, the 18th Amendment, Treasury Department officers, and, to a wildly unpredictable level, state and local law enforcement.

But in our May 13, 1922, issue, an Anonymous Bootlegger offered insider information to help ambitious entrepreneurs on their way to becoming the next Al Capone.

He discussed three promising business models: brokering legal “medicinal” liquor, driving liquor over the border from Canada, or bringing it by boat from overseas…

How to: “So You Want to Be a Bootlegger,” from @SatEvePost.

* W.C. Fields

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As we scoff at the law, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that city authorities in the California beach town of Santa Cruz announced a total ban on the public performance or playing of rock and roll music, calling it “detrimental to both the health and morals of our youth and community.”

It may seem obvious now that Santa Cruz’s ban on “Rock-and-roll and other forms of frenzied music” was doomed to fail, but it was hardly the only such attempt. Just two weeks later in its June 18, 1956 issue, Time magazine reported on similar bans recently enacted in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and in San Antonio, Texas, where the city council’s fear of “undesirable elements” echoed the not-so-thinly-veiled concerns of Santa Cruz authorities over the racially integrated nature of the event that prompted the rock-and-roll ban… (source)

rock ban

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On an orthogonol (and personal) note: the important (and revolutionary) work of @b612foundation (on whose board I sit) is featured on the front page of this week’s New York Times Science Section: “Killer Asteroids Are Hiding in Plain Sight. A New Tool Helps Spot Them” (unlocked).

Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 3, 2022 at 1:00 am

“Well, I was born in a small town”*…

… which is, new federal designations now dictate, definitely not an urban area…

Hundreds of urban areas in the U.S. are becoming rural, but it’s not because people are leaving.

It’s just that the U.S. Census Bureau is changing the definition of an urban area. Under the new criteria, more than 1,300 small cities, towns and villages designated urban a decade ago would be considered rural.

That matters because urban and rural areas qualify for different types of federal funding. Some communities worry the change could affect health clinics in rural areas as well as transportation and education funding from federal programs…

Groups like the American Hospital Association say the changes, which are the biggest being made to the definitions in decades, could cause problems for people who need medical care in rural areas…

Different federal programs use different definitions of urban and rural, and some communities qualify for rural funding for some programs and not others. But any changes “will have significant implications for many groups and communities,” said Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire who studies rural issues.

“Another likely concern for many rural communities is that if many existing urban areas are redefined as rural, competition for the limited rural funds will increase,” Johnson said…

The difference a designation can make: “100s of US urban areas will become rural with new criteria,” from @AP.

[image above: source]

* John Mellencamp, “Small Town”

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As we contemplate categories and their consequences, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, at Magoo’s Pizza in (the then small town of) Menlo Park, CA, that Phil Lesh attended a performance of a band then known as The Warlocks. High on acid, he enjoyed it so much that he danced by himself in front of the bandstand. The Warlock’s leader, Jerry Garcia, cornered him and announced, “Hey, man-you’re going to be the bass player in this band”… and so the fundamental line-up of what became The Grateful Dead was set.

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“The music was always in the background, like music at a church service; it was something to depend upon”*…

The Gap In-Store Playlists blog is the passion project of Mike Bise, a 56-year-old elementary school computer teacher and former Gap employee. Bise, who worked at Gap for 15 years, started the blog in 2015 on a quest to compile every in-store playlist from 1992 to 2006. In the nearly seven years since, he hasn’t let up. And with help from all corners of the country, his musical quest is now nearly three-quarters of the way complete…

I began working at the Gap at Highland Park Village in Dallas on October 17, 1992. Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the music played in the store during business hours. At the time, my main musical passions were the songs of Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush, as well as dance music played in clubs. Gap exposed me to a wide array of music such as House, Techno, Alternative Rock, Modern and Classic R&B, Acid Jazz, and so much more. From that very first day, I was captivated by all of this new music and wanted to purchase much of it for my own enjoyment at home, in the car, etc.

When I started at Gap, the music was on four-hour cassette tapes made by AEI Music. In an eight-hour shift, you would usually hear all of the songs twice a day. By March 1998, Gap had switched over to four-hour CDs for the music, still created by AEI. In April 1999, Gap began using Muzak as the company’s music service, again with four-hour CDs. Eventually, both AEI and Muzak would be acquired by Mood Media.

When each tape/CD arrived at the store each month, a paper playlist insert was included which listed all of the songs and artists on that month’s tape/CD. Most stores posted the playlists either at the cash wrap or in the backroom for employees who were interested in the songs as well as to be able to answer customers’ questions about the music.

New tapes usually arrived the last week of each month. While the old tapes and CDs were required to be mailed back to AEI back then, the playlists did not have to be sent back. Therefore, most playlists piled up in the backroom or were discarded. Because of my interest in the music on the tapes, I asked my manager at Highland Park Village if I could take each old playlist at the end of the month when the new tape arrived. Thus started my collecting of the Gap In-Store Playlists!

I collected almost every single playlist from the Gap brand from June 1992 to February 2006, as well as most GapKids and babyGap playlists from May 1998 to February 2006 and many GapBody playlists from 2000 to 2004. I stored the playlists in a small cardboard box that was once used in visual displays at Gap in 1995. I would buy CDs with the songs I wanted, plus buying individual songs form iTunes starting in June 2005, while ever-so-slowly putting together playlists on my computer. In the back of my mind, I planned to recreate all of the playlists on my iMac. I wasn’t just interested in single songs but the playlists as whole entities.

Shortly after I left Gap in February 2006, I lost the box that contained all of the playlists during a move. It was devastating to realize that all of the playlists were gone forever. Eventually, I began my Gap Playlists blog in the hopes of attracting others who also saved the playlists from when they worked at Gap. Although I have recovered dozens of playlists thanks to the blog, there are still many more to go to reach my goal of re-obtaining the playlists that I lost.

If you worked at Gap and saved any of the paper playlists that came with each month’s CD/tape, please share them with me. Contact me at: michaelbise@msn.com…

Retail refrains: “Gap In-Store Playlists,” from @GapPlaylists.

See also “The Guy Collecting Every Gap Store Playlist Ever Made,” @WeAreMel, from whence the photo above.

* Joyce Carol Oates

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As we hum along, we might recall that it was on this date in 2009 that the Tennessee State Legislature voted to names a stretch of Getwell Road in Shelby County (running from the Mississippi state line to Interstate 240) as the Jerry Lee Lewis Highway.

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“A nice blend of prediction and surprise seem to be at the heart of the best art”*…

Walter, later Wendy, Carlos was a pioneer of electronic music, a collaborator with Robert Moog in developing the Moog Synthesizer that changed music forever (among other things, she convinced Moog to add a touch-sensitive device, allowing greater musical dynamics) and a performer/recording artist who popularized the instrument. In 1970, she did an explainer for the BBC…

We can break popular music into two periods: before the Moog and after the Moog. Upon its debut in 1964, that synthesizer made a big splash in the small but long-established electronic-music world by, among other innovative qualities, being smaller than an entire room. Over the next few years, inventor Bob Moog (whose previous line was in theremins) refined his eponymous brainchild to the point that it became accessible to composers not already on the cutting edge of music technology. But for Wendy Carlos, the cutting edge of music technology was where she’d spent most of her life; hence her ability to create the first bestselling all-Moog album, 1968’s Switched-On Bach

She even plays a bit of the second movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #4, Carlos’ rendition of which on Switched-On Bach‘s follow-up The Well-Tempered Synthesizer moved no less an authority than Glenn Gould to call it “the finest performance of any of the Brandenburgs — live, canned, or intuited — I’ve ever heard.”…

A titan of electronic music breaks it down: “Wendy Carlos Demonstrates the Moog Synthesizer on the BBC (1970),” from Colin Marshall (@colinmarshall) in @openculture.

* Wendy Carlos

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As we plug in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that Chuck Berry recorded “Roll Over Beethoven” for Chess Records. It was released the following month and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 29 on the pop chart. “Roll Over Beethoven” is one of the most widely covered songs in popular music – “a staple of rock and roll bands”, according to Cub Koda of AllMusic– with famous versions by Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles, Carl Perkins, and Electric Light Orchestra. In 2003 it was was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

“What’s in a name?”*…

The Salty Peppers and Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem (or, as we know them today, Earth, Wind and Fire and The Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Sometimes our first thoughts aren’t our best thoughts…

It’s one of the biggest decisions any band will face: what to call themselves. And yet, so many get it so wrong. Fortunately, for every group that comes up with a terrible name and sticks with it, there’s a band that comes up with a terrible name, plays a few shows under it, maybe releases a demo or even an album or two but then finally comes to its senses. Many well-known and successful groups – from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Green Day – have been through the latter growing pains, starting out life cursed with a misguided moniker before landing on a name destined to adorn the T-shirts of millions of devoted fans. The name makes the band, as they say; here are 25 bands that almost didn’t get made…

25 Worst Original Names of Famous Bands

* Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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As we think again, we might send rhythmic birthday greetings to Sir Richard Starkey (or as his stage name would have it, Ringo Starr); he was born on this date in 1940. A musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, he is best remembered as one of the finest rock percussionists.

When he joined the band in which he made his bones, they were of course The Beatles. But previously, they had been Johnny and the Moondogs, The Beatals, and The Silver Beetles.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 7, 2021 at 1:00 am

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