Sunday, August 31, 2008

Support The Campaign For Real Music

written by Robert Benson


For those of us who are tired of the same old music being played on radio stations around the world, a novel concept called the Campaign For Real Music (www.campaignforrealmusic.com) is here to help us. The concept is the brainchild of the people at Radio Cafe (www.radiocafe.com), a site that is set up to promote the very best in quality music.

I spoke with one of the founders of Radio Café and Campaign For Real Music, Paul Langford about the goals and formation of these websites.

“I founded the sites with a few friends who feel the same way as I do,” detailed Paul. “It started around four years ago, has evolved quite a lot, but the aim has remained the same throughout- to try and promote real music, and musicians, that simply do not get the exposure elsewhere that they deserve. There are so many artists who, for whatever reason, no longer get radio airplay; therefore, a whole generation is missing out on a wealth of wonderful music.”

“Conversely, there are also numerous fantastic young musicians and singers who haven’t had the chance that their talents deserve. We want to raise their profile and we do this primarily by featuring them on this site, featuring them in our shows and getting them directly involved. We also are slowly building up a happy family of supporters who share the same or a similar ethos.”

“We hope the Campaign will help radio music schedulers appreciate the many types of music that are not being well represented on the airwaves. We’d particularly like the BBC, which offers some fantastic shows on some of its local radio stations, to review its DAB and national radio offering, and provide a broader mix of music for all,” explained Paul. “At the moment, there seems to be so many stations playing the same mix of music, and many popular genres of music have little to no airplay at all.”

I inquired as to what kind of music he is referring to and just how exactly does Campaign For Real Music promote their artists?

“We focus on the quality of the music; irresponsible of age, what counts is the effect, craft and end quality of the music. We promote the music by creating an artist ‘profile’ and we are happy to profile any music which involves time, effort, art and quality - our definition of "real music" - and which has been overlooked,” detailed Paul. “Initially we saw certain genres which are clearly not being catered for on mainstream radio in the UK (although the situation appears to be a little better in the US), as follows:

"Light music" - now known as "beautiful music" in some quarters – gets absolutely no airplay in the UK at all. But not all that long ago it formed the mainstay of British music radio, and the BBC produced masses of this type of music through its own orchestras. Sadly, the 1980s saw its demise and the last dedicated hour of light music on the BBC was cancelled last year.”

"Soul" is also a dying genre. These days it has been replaced by the confusingly named "R&B", aka "Urban", and the focus and sound is far removed from the incredible production and musical talents that provided so much great music during the 70s and 80s.”

"Classic vocalists" - some might call this "crooners". These days yes, we do have fantastic singers like Diana Krall and Michael Buble. But frustratingly this appears to be at the expense of the likes of Vic Damone, Jack Jones and Julie London, who get very little airplay in the UK other than a few chosen tracks. In fact, this would lead a listener to think that these were the only recordings that these artists ever produced - for example, Julie London released dozens of albums, yet we rarely hear anything other than "Cry Me A River" on the radio these days.”

"Jazzy tunes" - while jazz has a huge following, select areas such as dance bands, big bands, jump jive and jazz funk have little to no airplay on mainstream radio. These wonderful forms of music deserve much greater profile.”

“We also include an "other" category so that we capture any artists who deserve a greater profile but do not fit into the above genre.”

I was curious as to what the criteria were for a musician to be selected and to be profiled?

“The criteria are simple: the musician or artist or broadcaster has talent, but does not get the recognition they deserve, or has been overlooked or forgotten,” said Paul.

How can a person get involved with what you are trying to achieve?

“We're pleased to hear from anyone who would like to support the Campaign For Real Music. A number of musicians and artists have been in contact, ranging from funk legend Don Blackman (of "Blackman" fame as well as numerous 1980s adverts) to pop star Leo Sayer ("When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing") to composer Neil Richardson (most famous perhaps for the "Mastermind" TV theme tune, but a man who has done so very much more). But it's really anyone who is passionate about real music that we are keen to hear from. And everyone can have their say and join in at www.campaignforrealmusic.com.”

So there you have it. Music lovers, who want to not only promote the music that they love, but also new music that has the quality and spirit to be loved. And, that my friends, is what music is supposed to be all about.

Copyright 2008 Robert Benson
www.collectingvinylrecords.com

Springsteen ends world tour at Harley celebration

I enjoyed watching the Harley parade on TV commemorating their 105th anniversary. It certainly lets the world know just how down-to-earth and friendly that both the people of this area are-as well as the thousands of bikers who filled the city.

There is a certain aura, a true happiness, when all people can come together like this. There are no whites, Hispanics, blacks, or any minorities, for that matter. There is no hate- just the love and appreciation of this wonderful machine. If only world peace could be this easy......

And the "Boss' made an appearance (better than the 100th when some yahoo had Elton John perform) and here is a story about his concert:


By CARRIE ANTLFINGER,

Associated Press Writer


MILWAUKEE - Bruce Springsteen ended his world tour over the weekend, toned down but revved up.


Springsteen played more than 30 songs over 3 1/2 hours Saturday night on Milwaukee's lakefront for Harley-Davidson's 105th anniversary celebration. He made few comments between songs.

Only for a few moments before "Livin' in the Future" did the rocker — who often brings his liberal-leaning political comments to the stage — stray into politics.

Springsteen performed to a crowd not unlike the one that gave Republican presidential candidate John McCain a warm welcome Aug. 4 at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. Many roared their motorcycles during McCain's speech.

Springsteen said "Livin' in the Future" was about what was happening now: cheese, Harley-Davidson motorcycles (tailoring it to his Wisconsin crowd), transfats, "500 channels of nothing on" and the Bill of Rights.

But he also mentioned wire tapping and rendition — the secret transport of terror suspects from one country to another.

"Things that basically at the heart are un-American," he said. The crowd gave spattered groans but mostly stayed silent.

He did not play "Born in the U.S.A," his anthem about the difficulties Vietnam war veterans faced, or the anti-war ballad "Devils and Dust" about Iraq.

Springsteen's Saturday performance was his last stop on his tour. His Web site said Springsteen and the E Street Band have performed 100 concerts for more than 2 million fans.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson expected more than 100,000 people from around the nation and world to participate in the four-day celebration that officially started Thursday in Milwaukee and its suburbs. It included a parade through the city, a party along the lake, activities at the new Harley-Davidson Museum, a special exhibit at Discovery World and other big-name bands.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com

Record Spree!

Passing Out Needles, Or: How To Stop Worrying And Love Your Vinyl Again

Record Collectors: Start Your Engines


Undoubtedly, you’ve heard vinyl is back. Maybe, to you, it never went away. There were rumors, however, that the traditional LP was a relic, abandoned for much shinier and more-portable storage units called compact discs. Fifteen to 20 years ago people dumped entire record collections at yard sales and flea markets, propping up the major labels by re-purchasing albums they already owned, electing greatest-hits sets over crisp 45s.

The 12-inch beasts and their 7-inch minions still do good business for local record shops and Ebay sellers, though, and since 1990, they’ve been the dominant mover at the bi-monthly Chicagoland Record & CD Collectors Show. The word “CD” might cameo in the proper name, but it’s largely a concession to modernity.

“It was all CDs,” recalls owner John Govi. “CDs were introduced in what, ‘83 or ‘84? By the time 1990 rolled around, everyone was getting rid of their vinyl — it was passé. Records were not the format of choice at that time. They were still around, but CDs were the way to go.”

So why would Govi, an Aurora native, continue selling horses and buggies when cars were the way to go? “I still had a good amount of dealers who wanted to do vinyl. The other shows were primarily CDs, so I stuck with it.”

When tables start going up on September 14th at the Best Western Chicago-Hillside (the old Holiday Inn), a line of customers will start snaking into the nearby church parking lot. Govi’s gamble — which began at the Willowbrook Holiday Inn with a brief stop in Oak Brook’s Marriott — ballooned to the largest and most-popular such venture in the Midwest.

“We’re in Bloomington-Normal,” says North Street Records’ Rob Streibich, “so I’m in the center of the state. Sometimes we’ll do St. Louis, John’s show in Hillside, we’ve done Indianapolis, Peoria, and Champaign, and Milwaukee. John’s is the one we just do not miss.”

Ken Price, a South Bend, Indianan, traverses huge swaths to peddle in his home state, Michigan, and Ohio. Yet he makes a point of creeping up the west coast of Lake Michigan for five of Govi’s six annual bazaars.

“I set up at about 45,” he says, having picked a choice number. “I now run five different shows: South Bend, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Fort Wayne. What happened was the guy who used to run the shows, about three years ago — for a variety of reasons — decided to get out of it. I was doing well at all his shows, [and] he asked me if I wanted to take them over. I really didn’t want to, but if I didn’t they were gonna disappear.”

It doesn’t seem like the Hillside show will vanish. “I have six shows,” says Govi. “I can’t see doing any more shows than that. There are times when I’m sold out and I’m sending dealers away. I’d like to give space to everybody. November, January, March I have to push dealers away. One half of the year I’m not big enough; the other half I’m just right.”

Far from the perception of record shows meeting comic-book-convention levels of nerdiness, the most commonly purchased albums are all-time classics, picked up by those who are newly building collections. “Most records we have are mainstream,” Govi admits. “Don’t get me wrong — we have rare stuff. The records that never fail to go are Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon, the first four Led Zeppelin albums, The Doors — gotta have Jim Morrison — and if you’ve got original pressings of The Beatles’ albums you will always sell out.”

Streibich agrees, stocking up on such records because they’re hot back at the store. “Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones — stuff we cannot keep in stock.” In fact, North Street often go back home with more than they’ve sold. “There are certain artists we just cannot get enough in used. I could sell them all day. When we’re up there we do a lot of shopping to bring back to Central Illinois.”

Both Govi and Price are quick to mention the 60-percent spike in vinyl sales last year — the only physical format whose figures rose. And though Price agrees those figures reflect a very small base, there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue to surge.

He says, “It’s just a general trend. As far as the used-vinyl market, we’re always getting some kids who find it’s an inexpensive way to get into vinyl. There’s nostalgia involved, even for kids who grew up in the ’90s. There’s been a general shift away from ’50s and ’60s music; you’re seeing mid- to late-’60s, ’70s and early ’80s — people who grew up in that period are getting a nostalgia thing and going back and collecting the vinyl they might have missed the first time through; music that kind of was a forerunner to current music starts to do better. People look for metal and punk, look for older electronic music.”

Govi says his own daughter surprised him with what goes on in her college residence hall (and it didn’t involve a case of airplane glue). “She said turntables are all over her dorms and kids are buying used vinyl. Not CDs — REO Speedwagon, The Beatles.”

As such, a new booth will pop up in November sporting nothing but turntables and such accessories. “We’re gonna be pushing needles,” he jokes, saying they’ll fit right alongside record supplies, posters, programs, sheet music, autographed photos, DVDs, and those pesky CDs.

Of course, families of four wearing Colgate smiles and pushing shopping carts full of records aren’t the norm yet. The core business comes from a dedicated cadre of collectors still searching for the elusive gaps in their anthologies. Price is convinced some of his hardest targets will have to come upon him by accident, so thorough has his four decades of crate-digging proven. But Govi remembers a particular collectors-only surprise.

“You know Jerry Butler?” he asks, referring to the former Impressions member who became The Iceman. “His first big hit, ‘For Your Precious Love,’ was on a label called Abner. But the first pressing was on Vee-Jay, limited to 500 copies. Finding that first press is almost impossible. A couple years ago at a show in Indiana, this man approached us and wanted to know who our high-dollar buyers were. I pointed him out to one and he had a mint copy of ‘For Your Precious Love’ on Vee-Jay. He wanted $5,000 for it — he saw that price in a guide. It was eventually bargained for $3,500, but there you go: He just showed up, knew it was worth money, and we had the right guy to make a deal with.”

It’s the magic of vinyl that CDs will never attain.

“My parents bought records, my brothers bought records,” Govi says. “It’s in our blood. I treasure all my Beatles records; I have first pressings on every one.”

Then why keep this up when satisfaction has been had?

“I do run around a lot,” he laughs. “It’s a labor of love.”


written by Steve Forstneger

SOURCE: http://illinoisentertainer.com

This Date In Music History- August 31

Birthdays:

Van Morrison was born in 1945.

Jerry Allison of the Crickets (he married the real Peggy Sue) turns 69.

Tony DeFranco of the DeFranco Family ("Heartbeat- It's A Lovebeat") is 48.

Drummer Gina Schock of the Go-Go's was born in Baltimore in 1957.

Happy 51st birthday to Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze.

Debbie Gibson was born in Merrick, N.Y. in 1970.

It's guitarist Rudolf Schenker's (Scorpions) 60th birthday.

History:

'Bad,' by Michael Jackson - the follow-up to Thriller and therefore the most hotly anticipated album in history - was released in 1987. It topped the charts for eight weeks and yielded seven hit singles.

In 1976, George Harrison was found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism" of "He's So Fine" in writing "My Sweet Lord.” To add insult to injury (besides costing ol’ George $587,000 in damages), the Chiffons regrouped and recorded a medley of "He`s So Fine/My Sweet Lord."

The final "Partridge Family" episode aired on ABC-TV in 1974.

In 1955, a London judge fined Sidney Turner three pounds, ten shillings for, "creating an abominable noise" after Turner threatened his neighbors by saying, "I will drive you mad." Turner played Bill Haley & His Comets' "Shake Rattle & Roll" as loud as possible from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In 1974, John Lennon testified that President Richard Nixon tried to have him deported after he joined anti-war demonstrations outside the 1972 Republican National Convention. He also suspected his phones were tapped and that he was under surveillance by government agents. He was right.

Elton John never struck anyone (except Harley-Davidson marketing people) as a motorcycle lover, but he played the 100th birthday celebrations of Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee anyway, along with Tim McGraw and Kid Rock. I am from the area and watched it on TV. It was deplorable, many, many biker’s left with the ‘thumbs down’ or another finger of choice prominently displayed.

In 1968 Decca Records released what has been called The Rolling Stones most political song, "Street Fighting Man.” The number was written after Mick Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. The single proved to be very popular but was kept out of the US Top 40 (reaching #48) because many radio stations refused to play it based on what were perceived as subversive lyrics.

In 2005, soldier-turned-singer/songwriter James Blunt topped the U.K. singles and album charts with his debut Back to Bedlam and the song "You're Beautiful."

Metallica's self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's pop album chart in 1991.

Following manager Brian Epstein`s death in 1967, The Beatles announced they will handle their own business affairs. But soon control of the group`s business interests devolves into a struggle between Allen Klein (representing John, George & Ringo) and Lee and John Eastman (representing Paul).

Cream`s debut album "Fresh Cream" entered the LP charts in 1968. With Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, the group is heralded as the first Rock super group. The album is known for "I Feel Free" and Baker`s five-minute drum solo on "Toad."

In 2004, Joe Barry, a leading member of the "swamp pop" scene, who scored a 1960 hit with ""I'm a Fool to Care," died in New Orleans. He was 65.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Spin for Vinyl

Vinyl records are in the news and I have posted three articles of interest, I hope you enjoy them. I love to see that the youth of our culture have decided to jump on the 'vinyl bandwagon,' and for all the right reasons. Hail Vinyl!


Another Spin for Vinyl

By ALEX WILLIAMS

DURING his freshman year at Point Park University in Pittsburgh a couple years ago, James Acklin, now 20, felt lost among the social cliques on his new campus until he got to talking with a student who was in some of his classes. She seemed unusual, and it wasn’t just her look: thick-framed eyeglasses, bangs and vintage dresses. Then, one rainy day in February, the two skipped class and went to her apartment. As soon as she opened her door his instincts were confirmed: she had a turntable. So did he. They both spoke the language of vinyl.

Their bond was sealed as soon as she placed the stylus on an LP by the band Broken Social Scene, he said in an e-mail message. “There was this immediate mutual acknowledgment, like we both totally understood what we define ourselves by,” continued Mr. Acklin, who considers his turntable, a Technics model from the 1980s that belonged to an aunt, a prized possession. “It takes a special kind of person to appreciate pops and clicks and imperfections in their music.”

The ranks of vinyl devotees are growing. Lately, the anachronistic LP has experienced an unlikely spike in sales, decades after the mainstream music industry wrote off the format as obsolete. Major labels are expanding their vinyl offerings for the first time since they left records for dead nearly two decades ago, music executives said.

While the niche may still be small measured against overall sales of recorded music, the surge of interest in vinyl — and, particularly, its rising cachet among young listeners — is providing a rare glimmer of hope in a hemorrhaging industry.

“Even if the industry doesn’t do all that well going forward, we could really carve this out to be a nice profitable niche,” said Bill Gagnon, a senior vice president at EMI Catalog Marketing, who is in charge of vinyl releases. He said that people who buy vinyl nowadays are charmed by the format’s earthy authenticity.

“It’s almost a back-to-nature approach,” Mr. Gagnon said. “It’s the difference between growing your own vegetables and purchasing them frozen in the supermarket.”

The category virtually collapsed in the late 1980s with the advent of the compact disc. And despite the efforts of various subcultures of supporters — club D.J.’s, audiophiles, hardcore punks — to engineer a vinyl comeback, sales continued to wither as MP3s joined CDs as competition over the last decade. The industry had shipments of 3.4 million LPs and EPs in 1998 and just over 900,000 in 2006, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

But shipments jumped about 37 percent in 2007, to nearly 1.3 million records. Three years ago Warner Bros. Records returned to the format when it opened becausesoundmatters.com, an online vinyl store stocked with reissues and new releases. At first, any vinyl release that sold 3,000 copies was considered a success, said Tom Biery, who oversees vinyl sales for the company. By comparison, the 2007 Wilco album, “Sky Blue Sky,” surpassed 14,000 copies.

Vinyl is suddenly chic, he said, even among people too young to have grown up with the familiar crackle of a needle carving through the grooves of an album. “I have friends who have younger kids — 13, 15 years old, even 10 — and all those kids want turntables,” he said. “Their parents are like: Wait a minute. What are you talking about?”

Mass-market retailers like Virgin Megastore and smaller record stores like Mondo Kim’s in Manhattan are devoting more floor space to the antiquarian 12-inch disc of late. Newbury Comics, a chain of 29 music and merchandise stores in New England, has sold 400 turntables since it started selling them in June, Duncan Browne, a company executive, said.

Despite the spike, records still represent a sliver of the music business as a whole. In 2007, for example, the industry shipped 511 million CDs. But given the declining interest in compact discs — those half-billion CDs represented a drop of more than 17 percent from the year before — any growth was welcome, executives said.

This year Capitol/EMI is in the process of reissuing its first substantial vinyl catalog in decades. Some of those albums, like “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, are classic rock leviathans aimed at nostalgic baby boomers. But many are albums by contemporary artists, like Radiohead and Coldplay, who appeal to young music buyers, Mr. Gagnon said. Most are pressed on acoustically superior 180-gram vinyl, and many are packaged in gatefold jackets, so they can serve as collectors’ items for young fans who might also have the music in its digital form.

With music so abundant on the Internet, record label executives said they needed to make physical copies of albums stand out as desirable objects in order to get people to buy them. Vinyl albums are up to the task: they are exotic because of their novelty and retro allure, and more physically imposing than CDs. (And the 12.5-inch album sleeve is an ideal canvas for cover art.)

Deluxe editions are trophies of sorts for passionate fans, Mr. Biery said. In September, for example, Warner Bros. Records will release a new Metallica album, “Death Magnetic,” in a five-record box version — each of 10 songs will get its own side — for about $115.

Many new-generation fans of vinyl view LPs as branded merchandise, like band T-shirts or posters, as much as a practical means of acquiring recorded music, said Matt Wishnow, the founder of Insound, an online music and merchandise company. In the last two years vinyl sales have expanded to about 50 percent from less than 20 percent of the company’s business, he said. (The median age of its customers, he added, is 25.)

In an era when “everybody’s music collection is the same” thanks to file swapping, collecting expensive, unwieldy LPs is a conspicuous way for the superfans to advertise their cognoscenti status, he said.

“It’s a customer who wants to have vinyl in their home the same way they want books in their home,” Mr. Wishnow said. For such a customer, he added, the message is, “ ‘When I can have all the music in the world in the palm of my hand, what does it say about me that I spend $15 to $20 for this format that is a pain to store and move and is easily damaged?’ ”

Young vinyl collectors said digital technology had made it easy for anyone — even parents — to acquire vast, esoteric music collections. In that context, nothing seems hipper than old-fashioned inconvenience.

“The process of taking the record off the shelf, pulling it out of the sleeve, putting the needle on the record, makes for a much more intense and personal connection with the music because it’s more effort,” said R. J. Crowder-Schaefer, 21, a senior at New York University who said he became a serious vinyl disciple a few years ago.

Along the way, devotees often cross paths with their parents, who are still upgrading their audio technology. Meghan Galewski, another student at New York University, bought her father, now 56, an iPod for a recent birthday. He bought her a turntable for hers.

“He thought it was stupid that I wanted this old technology,” Ms. Galewski, 21, said. She had to tutor him on how to use his iPod, then rifled through his stacks of records from the ’60s and ’70s to appropriate gems like his original “Woodstock” LP set.

But for Corinne Monaco, 17, who lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, her interest in vinyl provides a way to bond with her parents. Afternoons on the sofa listening to Jethro Tull and Jimi Hendrix albums with her father, she said, give her “a chance to see where he was coming from, with the music of his youth.”

INDEED, records force children of the digital age to listen to music in the rigid manner of previous generations, said Scott Karoly, 21, a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a recent vinyl convert.

No longer can they use a click wheel to sample songs from Miley Cyrus, Nas, Black Sabbath, John Coltrane and the Scissor Sisters within minutes. With vinyl, listeners cede control to the artist. They let the music wash over them, in the original order of songs, at the original pace. “I have a ton of music on iTunes,” Mr. Karoly said, “but with that music I get A.D.D. really quick. With my LPs, it’s like reading a book as opposed to clicking through articles on Yahoo.”

“When you put on a record,” he added, “it’s an event.”


SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com

Vintage vinyl- 200,000 records donated to SU

By Melissa Daniels


Of the many labels attached to Syracuse University, being an artistic epicenter might not be too high on the list. But the addition of more creative hallmarks is pushing SU toward becoming synonymous with arts and culture studies.

In early July, SU received the generous gift of 200,000 78 rpm records from the collection of Morton "Morty" J. Savada, owner of the renowned Records Revisited store in New York City, as announced by local and national media outlets.

The monetary worth of the collection totals about $1 million, but the value it brings to SU is immeasurable, said Dean of Libraries Suzanne Thorin.

"These aren't just for music people," Thorin said. "You can see in political science or history or in arts and science where you would want to look at music and poetry. It really resonates with a lot of the departments in the university."

The records, currently stored downtown at The Warehouse Gallery, will be part of the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, a division of SU devoted to the study of recorded sound. Belfer is now home to the second largest collection of 78s, surpassed only by the Library of Congress.

The Savada collection catalogs a wide variety of early 20th century music - mostly jazz and big band. A variety of blues, broadcast, comedy, country, folk, gospel, Hawaiian, Latin, musical theater, polka and spoken word recordings make up the entire collection. Popular artists included in the collection include legends like Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman.

But Savada's specialty was finding rarities, making the collection a field of hidden treasures for those studying music and society during the early 20th century.

Recording dates range from 1895 to the 1950s.

Melinda Dermody, head of the arts and humanities department in the library, said Savada's collection is an asset because of not only its size but also the unique variety of material.

"He had a very good time collecting in the heart of New York City," she said. "The opportunities that came to him with his reputation, with the location of the store, allowed him to get a lot of wonderful recordings."

Savada founded Records Revisited in 1977. He set up the store on the previous site of his family's clothing manufacturing company, just across from the Empire State Building in Manhattan.

The store was his life, said his youngest son Alan, who helped build the shelves in the store the summer before it opened.

Running the store made Savada an expert on jazz and popular 20th century music.

Throughout his time running Records Revisited, Savada often worked with filmmakers who were looking for a particular piece, including multiple times with director Woody Allen.

One year, when he took his son Alan to a Yankees game as part of a birthday ritual, he stopped and chatted with a friend of his - a friend he introduced to his son as Count Basie, legendary jazz pianist and bandleader.

After decades running the store, Savada became unable to spend long days working the way he used to.

"He slowed down the last couple of years," Alan said. "He used to go in there at 9, then he would go in at 10."

In January 2006, Savada underwent surgery that left him unable to work the same long hours.

"He tried to go back afterward, but he never could," Alan said.

Savada passed away in his home in Harrison, N.Y., on Feb. 11 at age 85.

Savada's eldest son, Eli, said SU was chosen as the sole benefactor of the collection because his father was familiar with Belfer through the Association for Recorded Sound Collection. Eli's daughter, Shira, graduated from SU in 2005.

"He didn't want to sell it," Eli said of his father's wishes. "And he didn't want it split up."

When the records arrived in July, the first box opened by Thorin held recordings of poet Carl Sandburg. The second box held a record from Julliard-trained pianist Hazel Scott, who became the first African-American woman to have her own television show in 1950.

"The third record box I opened had Duke Ellington and his band," she said. "On the record jackets there were little pencil markings by, I assume, Morty Savada, saying who the individual musicians in the band were. He used to use Records Revisited as a place for people to come and talk about the recordings, so he knew who was in Duke Ellington's band at the time."

Theo Cateforis, a music history professor at SU, said the collection amplifies what has long been the strength of the library. Belfer already had an extensive collection of pre-World War II and early Americana recordings.

"One of the attractions with a collection like this is you will find a lot of recordings that have not been released," he said. "You can't get them on CD, can't get them on MP3. They're recordings which really are historic."

The records themselves are pieces of history; 78s are thick, heavy records that are larger than the 33 rpms more often seen in music stores or on public display. Together, the records in the Savada collection weigh approximately 60 tons. It took six Fed Ex trucks to deliver them from the store in New York.

Studying the records is multidisciplinary: there's the music, the way it was recorded, and the historical context, Cateforis said.

"This is an institution where you can think of a number of different programs and people who can benefit from something like this," he said.

SU has been receiving its share of gifts this year, with the one-year anniversary of the Billion Dollar Campaign kickoff approaching. Coincidentally, Belfer was granted $250,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in March, meant specifically for cataloguing 78s.

The collection adds to the campaign dollars, Thorin said, and helps Belfer gain national visibility.

"Paths are not straight in getting gifts," she said. "It takes awhile. One thing leads to another, and if you're lucky and have good relationships with people you will bring something as wonderful as this."

SOURCE: http://media.www.dailyorange.com

Record labels, stores make room for vinyl

By Jed Gottlieb

Jed Gottlieb writes about music, film and pop culture for local, regional and national publications.

Sound matters.

It’s a slogan every record label should endorse. But in the present digital era of CDs and mp3s, sound quality has tanked as labels crank the volume and wash out the dynamic range audiophiles loved about vinyl. Indie labels kept putting out wax by underground artists long after the majors tried to kill off vinyl, but you were out of luck if you wanted to hear that warm bottom end vinyl gave Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top and countless other classic artists whose LPs went out-of-print during the CD boom.

Now, with the second coming of vinyl, the “Sound matters” slogan has been picked up again by Warner Bros. Records to promote a massive slate of big 12-inch reissues. In a strange everything-old-is-new-again twist, Warners and the other desperate majors are sinking money into the format they couldn’t get rid of fast enough in the ’80s.

Now Warners has launched an online vinyl store (Becausesoundmatters.com) as part of its fresh commitment to re-pressing many of its long-out-of-print catalog albums. Of course, committing to vinyl isn’t hard when obsessive fans are snapping up big-ticket sets: both the $30 double-album package of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” and $60 three-disc box of Cream’s “Royal Albert Hall: London” sold out their initial pressings.

“Selling 3,500 copies of the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ set is pretty amazing,” said Warner Bros./Reprise Records VP Tom Biery, who’s in charge of the company’s vinyl initiative. “But it’s not about making huge profits, because vinyl sales are still a small fraction of overall sales. (About one percent of current music sales are vinyl). It’s about branding us. People at this big record company are really committed to having things sound right, sound great. And we want people to know.”

Next month the label plans to rollout a 50th anniversary archive series including James Taylor’s “Mud Slide Slim,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” and more.

Following Warner’s lead with two equally impressive re-issue campaigns are Capitol/EMI and Sony BMG’s Legacy records. On Tuesday, Capitol/EMI launches its “From The Capitol Vaults” series with previously out-of-print-on-vinyl titles including the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” Steve Miller Band’s “Greatest Hits 1974-78” and the first six Radiohead studio albums. In mid-September, Legacy rolls out reissued platters by Charles Mingus, Boston, Johnny Cash and more.

“Who knows why people are interested in Blue Oyster Cult again?” asked Legacy A&R director Darren Salmieri. “Maybe it’s Guitar Hero? Who knows? What we do know is that people are craving better sound quality and they want these core classics.”

What began as a fringe trend in small, independent record shops is on the verge of coming above ground. Even Best Buy - which has slashed CD shelf space in the past decade - has started stocking vinyl in some stores. It’s a move that shows vinyl’s 37percent sales spike in 2007 has finally trickled down to major retail chains.

“These stores don’t have extra space for anything,” said Universal/Motown sales VP Wayne Chernin. “So if they’re giving vinyl room, they really think it’s going to be profitable.”

If the world’s biggest record companies and Best Buy are onboard, can it be long before Target and Wal-Mart jump on the LP boom? EMI A&R and Creative VP Jane Ventom says yes.

“I hope (to see vinyl in more chains) but I don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Ventom. “I’m not even convinced this trend will go on much longer. The numbers just aren’t that significant. That said, we’ll happily take the sales we can get. There is that small, steady customer demand for vinyl, and we want to fill that demand whatever it is.”

Because for some people, sound really does matter.

SOURCE: http://news.bostonherald.com/

Friday, August 29, 2008

This Date In Music History- August 29

Birthdays:

Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana in 1958.

Sterling Morrison, whose talent for guitar noise was exercised in the Velvet Underground, was born in 1942.

Bassist and organist Chris Copping of Procol Harum was born in Southend, England in 1945.

(David) Kyle Cook, matchbox 20 guitarist, entered the world in 1975.

History:

The late Charlie Parker, the sax great who forever changed modern jazz with compositions like "Now's the Time," was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920.

In 1958, Alan Freed's Big Beat Show opened at the Fox Theatre in Brooklyn. Those performing included Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Clanton, Chuck Berry, Bobby Freeman, Bill Haley and his Comets and The Elegants.

Edwin Starr hits #1 with "War" in 1970. It would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

In 1966, The Beatles performed their final performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Sharing the bill are the Cyrkle, the Ronettes, and the Remains. They kick off with Chuck Berry`s "Rock `n` Roll Music" and close with Little Richard`s "Long Tall Sally." Except for the rooftop performance in "Let It Be" this is it. The Beatles never toured again. The show was filmed by Beatles press officer Tony Barrow, but that film has never been released.

Sly and the Family Stone hit #1 with "Everyday People" and #2 with "Hot Fun in the Summertime” in 1969.

The late Dinah Washington ("Unforgettable") was born in 1924.

Paul Anka hosts and Lesley Gore, the Cyrkle and Peter & Gordon appear on NBC-TV's last "Hullabaloo" show in 1966.

Elvis Presley's movie "Kid Gallahad" opened in 1962.

The Youngbloods recorded "Get Together" in 1966.

In 1958, John Lennon and Paul McCartney welcomed George Harrison into their group the Quarrymen.

In 1959, George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney perform together at the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool, England, after the Les Stewart Quartet have an argument and refuse to play. The Quarrymen are hired by Casbah Club owner Mona Best to play a regular Saturday-night show.

In 1964, Roy Orbison released his single "Oh, Pretty Woman." The rocker becomes Roy's last No. 1.

According to today's issue of Billboard in 1964,, guitar sales in America and Britain are at their highest since 1957, when Elvis Presley sparked a craze for the instrument.

The Kinks' sensitive ode to a transvestite, "Lola," was released in 1970.

In 1977, three people were arrested in Memphis after trying to steal Elvis' body. As a result his body was moved to Graceland.

The Beatles performed a second time at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965. Recordings from this concert and the one a year earlier become "The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl" album.

Jimmy Reed, who reached the Billboard Pop chart with "Honest I Do" in 1957 and "Baby What You Want Me To Do" in 1960, died following an epileptic seizure on August 29, 1976, just days shy of his 51st birthday.

In 1987, the East LA band, Los Lobos had the number one single on Billboard's Hot 100this week with a remake of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba", from the movie of the same name. Singer Cesar Rosas said that the song itself is a traditional Mexican tune that means "wedding song".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Date In Music History- August 27

Birthdays:

Tommy Sands ("Teen-Age Crush") turns 71.

"Captain" Daryl Dragon of the Captain & Tennille ("Love Will Keep Us Together") is 66.

Bassist Tim Bogert, who played with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck Bogert & Appice, was born in Richfield, N.J. in 1944.

Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke was born in Shrewsbury, England in 1949.

Rush guitar genius Alex Lifeson celebrates a birthday (1953).

Born on this day in 1942, B.J. Thomas, singer, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.38 single 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head').

History:

Beatles manager Brian Epstein died of an accidental overdose of barbiturates mixed with brandy in 1967. Epstein was 32. The New York Times eulogizes him as "the man who revolutionized pop music in our time." John Lennon later claims he knew the Beatles were over when Epstein died.

Jackson Browne recorded "Stay" and "Running On Empty" in concert in Columbia, Maryland in 1977.

In 2001, Seattle's Pearl Jam - formerly known as Mookie Blakelock - released their blockbuster debut Ten. With its hits "Alive," "Even Flow," "Jeremy" and "Black," the album sails to No. 2 in the Billboard 200 and alters the grunge template forever.

At an auction in 1992, the handwritten lyrics to the Beatles' "Day in the Life" sold for $87,000.

Bob Dylan's second electric album, "Highway 61 Revisited," was released in 1965.

Fats Domino hits #1 on the R&B chart and #10 on the pop chart with "Ain't That A Shame" in 1955.

In 1965, The Beatles spent the evening talking and playing music with Elvis Presley at his Bel air home. The get-together, which included an un-recorded jam session, lasted four hours. While their clients got to know each other, managers Col. Tom Parker and Brian Epstein played pool in the next room. It was an awkward meeting, leaving The Beatles with the impression that Presley's personality was decidedly "unmagnetic". John Lennon remarked soon after, “Where’s Elvis? It was like meeting Engelbert Humperdinck.”

The Association's "Cherish" was released in the US in 1966, where it will reach #1 a month later.

Four days before its official release date in 1987, Michael Jackson's new album, "Bad" was previewed by an L.A. radio station. Advance orders for the album topped 2.2 million.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in 1990, when the helicopter he was flying in hit a man-made ski slope while trying to navigate through dense fog. Vaughn had played a show at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin with Robert Cray & His Memphis Horns, and Eric Clapton. Vaughan was informed by a member of Clapton's crew that three seats were open on a helicopter returning to Chicago with Clapton's crew, it turned out there was only one seat left; Vaughan requested it from his brother, who obliged. Three members of Eric Clapton's entourage were also killed. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Tracy Chapman went to No.1 on the US album chart in 1988 with her self-titled album.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cover Story - Ozzy Osbourne's "Down To Earth"

As always, I would like to thank Michael Goldstein at www.RockPoPGallery.com for allowing me to reprint this wonderful material and part four of our "Album Cover Art Stories" Reproduction is strictly prohibited.


Cover Story - Ozzy Osbourne's "Down To Earth", with photography by Nitin Vadukul

Cover Story for February 8, 2008



Subject – Down to Earth, a 2001 record released by Ozzy Osbourne on Epic Records, with cover/insert images by Nitin Vadukul


Metal fans waited impatiently for 6 years for a follow-up to Ozzy Osbourne’s 1995 hit album Ozzmosis, being rewarded in late 2001 with a new studio recording titled Down To Earth.

Of course, during that period, Ozzy was far from inactive, focusing a lot of time and energy on shepherding the successful Ozzfest tours. Beginning in 1996, Osbourne’s traveling show has introduced fans of all subsets of metal/hard rock music to a wide range of acts, including Godsmack, Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, System of a Down and Velvet Revolver (until 2006, Ozzy typically headlined either as a solo performer or as part of a reunited Black Sabbath, sharing the Main Stage with other top acts such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera, Marilyn Manson and Megadeth.)

Working for the first time on a solo project without the aid of Black Sabbath cohort Geezer Butler, he surrounded himself with a supergroup of supporters, including Zakk Wylde on guitar, Suicidal Tendencies’ (and, after, Metallica’s) Rob Trujillo on bass and Faith No More’s drummer Mike Bordin on drums. The resulting recording highlighted all aspects of Ozzy’s songwriting expertise, serving up fine examples of what keeps fans happy – from straight-up metal in songs like “Gets Me Through” and “Facing Hell” to introspective ballads such as “You Know” and “Dreamer”.

And so, when Sony Records and Sharon Osbourne asked photographer Nitin Vadukul to come up with an image for the cover of Ozzy’s upcoming record release, the guidance he was given was to “think dark” (he is the Master of Darkness, isn’t he?). Having photographed a wide range of other artists (from Radiohead and Moby to Mudvayne and Korn, as well as Dr. Dre and Eminem), you would think that Nitin would have been prepared do deal with the imagined extremes of such a photo session, but as you’ll read in today’s Cover Story, he found himself caught off guard by one aspect of Ozzy’s personality that shaped the entire creative process. So, cue up the maniacal laughter from “Crazy Train” and read on…

In the words of the photographer, Nitin Vadukul (interviewed Nov./Dec. 2007) –

“I was very pleased to get a call from Sharon Osbourne asking me to come up with ideas for Ozzy’s upcoming record, which was going to be called Down to Earth. I had never photographed Ozzy before, but was always a huge Black Sabbath fan. Sony Records had actually recommended me for the shoot, as I had worked with them many times. The ideas I was to develop would create an image that would possibly be used for the cover, but there was no guarantee. I would have 3 days to work with Ozzy and develop several ideas.

The label and arist management people who were involved with the project were truly amazing - they gave me total freedom to create , and then just picked the ideas they liked that I came up with. I feel that this is the best kind of working relationship because you get to use all of your creativity, and the input from the featured subjects will often go on to inspire your final designs and, ultimately, the final product. The only specific direction I got was from Sharon , who said, 'think dark'.

The initial inspiration came from my first meeting with Ozzy, because I had never seen a human being with so many tattoos and amazing gothic jewelry in my entire life!! That introduction made me think of the person behind all that – I wanted to know what was inside him.

I submitted 5-6 different ideas before my clients chose the 'X-rayed Ozzy' one. One of the ideas was to make up Ozzy as Nosferatu, who was the first Dracula in the movies. As you can see on the accompanying photo (below, left), the make up by Screaming Mad George was amazing. We both liked this idea as it allowed Ozzy to play someone truly dark in broad daylight and get away with it. Another image we shot in New York’s Meatpacking district – we seemed to have found the stairway to Hell (see photo below, right). Some of these shots were also used in the booklet as well.





The CD cover is actually the final image in a sequence that begins inside the CD booklet. It shows a multi-step transformation from Ozzy standing on a path in a forest and then some sort of force or beam hits him to begin the transformation. The transformation idea came from someone at the record label, and I loved it without question. We created 'the forest' totally indoors, in the studio.

The entire process - from project approval to the delivery of the final image - took about 8 weeks. I used only a 10x8 PLATE camera, sheet film and my own eyes to shoot the initial images. The only other equipment we used was an X-ray machine and then Photoshop. Sharon had really let me do my thing and suggested some tweaks in the final image - let's not forget, she did OK the ideas to begin with.

I know that they were very happy with the results. I should say they were completely shocked in a good way, because no-one expected what they finally saw. They must have liked my work during this session as they came back to me to license another image for use on the cover of 2003’s Essential Ozzy Osbourne, which was part of Sony Music's 'Essential' series of limited-edition two-disc compilations of major artists.


I have to tell you that Ozzy is an amazing professional. He was on time, did everything I asked of him and at the same time taught me a great deal about believing in yourself and being the best you can be. I also think that, in my life so far anyway, he is the only person that has managed to keep me laughing for 72 hours non-stop (yes, even in my sleep)!

On top of that, he’s 'fit as a fiddle'. I know that because before anyone showed up for the second day of shooting, I found him doing 100 push ups in the studio. He was up for just about anything, but on the day we were going to use the X-ray machine he was in the x-ray room and as he started to take his clothes off I burst out laughing. He then asked me if the procedure was going to be harmful and I said 'no', but then told him that I needed to leave the room while they did the x-ray. He looked at me and smiled -'Not bloody dangerous, eh?!?!?'"

About the photographer, Nitin Vadukul –


Photographer Nitin Vadukul was born in 1965 in Nariobi , Kenya. At the age of 4, his family moved to London, England where he grew up. His photography career started at the age of 14 and he lived in London and Paris before settling in New York City in 1994, where he now lives.

Nitin’s photographs are truly one of a kind. He creates an individual voice for each subject. His style and sensibility along with his strong technical yet artistic flair make him a true visionary and talent. For publications such as Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vogue and Detour he has photographed well know musicians, actors and celebrities including Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, Tim Roth, Radiohead and many others. Nitin has been behind the lens for a diverse group of advertising clients including IBM, Nike, Credit Suisse and Peugeot.

For music clients, he has created groundbreaking CD and publicity packages for musicians such as Radiohead , Mudvayne , Korn, Moby , Iggy Pop, The Secret Machines, Wyclef , Missy Elliott, DMX, Eve, Dr.Dre , Eminem, Herbie Hancock and Ozzy Osbourne.

His solo exhibitions include shows for BBH Advertising (New York City – 2007) and the Richard Sena Gallery (Hudson, N.Y. – 2006), and he’s participated in recent group exhibitions including Art Miami (Miami, FL – 2007), Photo Miami (Miami,FL - 2006), the Vaknin Gallery (Atlanta,GA – 2006), Hudson Arts Walk (2006), the Hardcore Art Contemporary Space (Miami, FL – 2006), the “HIP HOP IMMORTALS” showing at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann (Paris, France – 2004), the Govinda Gallery (Washington, D.C – 2004), the Proud Gallery (London, UK – 2003), the Adidas Store (NYC, NY – 2003), the Plus 81 Gallery (Tokyo, Japan – 2002) and the Festival R’encontre (Arles, France – 1998).

His works are also on display at The Saatchi Gallery site - www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk – and he is currently working on a series of images for a project called “ The Art of War”, depicting an epic journey of warriors in worlds unknown. You can see more on this project at his Web site - www.nitinvadukul.com/aow

See more of Nitin’s work on his website, which can be found at www.nitinvadukul.com

To see all of the Ozzy-related items in the RockPoP Gallery collection, please click here -http://rockpopgallery.easystorecreator.com/items/ozzy-osbourne/list.htm?1=1

All images featured in this Cover Story are Copyright 2001 and 2008, Nitin Vadukul and Nitin Vadukul Photography - All rights reserved. Except as noted, all other text Copyright 2008 - Mike Goldstein & RockPoP Gallery (www.rockpopgallery.com) - All rights reserved

Monday, August 25, 2008

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 08/09/2008


1) 45rpm - Jackey Beavers "Need My Baby" / "Love That Never Grows Old" Revilot - $2,300.00

2) 45rpm - Nirvana "Love Buzz" Sub-Pop - $2,225.00

3) LP - Sonny Clark "Cool Struttin'" Blue Note - $2,093.60

4) 45rpm - Frankie Beverly and the Butlers "Because Of My Heart" / "I Want To Know I'm Wanted" Fairmount - $2,000.00

5) 45rpm - Elvis Presley "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" / "Baby Let's Play House" Sun Sample Copy - $1,999.00

SOURCE: http://ccdiscoveries.blogspot.com/

Allman Brothers plotting star-studded 40th

By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - The Allman Brothers Band plans to use its 2009engagement at New York's Beacon Theatre as the focal point for the Southern blues-rock group's 40th anniversary celebration.

"We're planning a big one, man, a real big one," founding band member Gregg Allman told Billboard.com. "We're trying to get all the people we know that we've played with to come and sit in and play."

A number of performers have confirmed that they'll be part of the celebratory shows, Allman said, but he declined to offers specifics.

"I can't tell you all the secrets," Allman said with a laugh. "Just think about all the people we've played with. We're shooting to get all of them. Of course, people are on tour, but not usually so much in March as they would be, say, in August."

The Allmans' 2009 return to the Beacon -- where their spring multi-night stands have become a tradition over the past 20 years -- will also be big news because the group had to cancel a 15-show stint in May while Allman was treated for long-festering hepatitis C.

"I've never done that," the singer and keyboardist said of the cancellation, "and had it not been a total emergency, I wouldn't have done it this time. But I just flat couldn't make it, man. They make you take this (medication), you might as well plan on staying home for half a year.

"It's hell, man. It's really hell, but it worked. I don't have all my strength back yet, but I'm getting totally back up on my feet again. And the shows have been wonderful."

The Allmans are on a stretch of late-summer shows that wraps October 11 in Atlanta. The group, whose last studio album was 2003's "Hittin' the Note," is playing a couple of new songs, and guitarist Warren Haynes said there's "probably about half an album done" and ready to record.

"We haven't been able to think about much lately except getting through this year," Allman noted, "but, yeah, next year will be really nice to get into the studio. We're looking forward to that."

SOURCE: Reuters/Billboard

This Date In Music History- August 25

Birthdays:

Billy Ray Cyrus, he of the massive hit "Achy Breaky Heart," was born in Flatwoods, Ky in 1961.

Declan Patrick McManus was born in London in 1954. Taking the most famous first name in Rock and his grandmother's maiden name, he becomes Elvis Costello.

Robert John Arthur Halford, better known as Rob Halford (Judas Priest), has a birthday (born in 1951).

Def Leppard guitarist, Vivian Campbell was born in Belfast in 1962.

Gene Simmons of Kiss ("Rock And Roll All Nite") is 59.

History:

'Brothers and Sisters,' by the Allman Brothers Band, was released in 1973. It is their highest charting (#1) and longest charting (56 weeks) album.

Bobby Darin performed his final concert, at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1973. He would die at the age of 37 on December 20th following his second open heart surgery.

Arthur Brown accidentally sets himself on fire while singing "Fire" onstage in Lewes, England, in 2007. Ooops, it's a crazy world.

A Staten Island, New York doo wop group called The Elegants saw their re-worked version of the Mozart lullaby, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" hit the top of the US record charts in 1958 as the re-titled "Little Star". The group spent the following 18 months milking the song for all it was worth with TV appearances and live shows, but follow up records, "Please Believe Me", "True Love Affair" and "Little Boy Blue" could not match the success of "Little Star". Although The Elegants would be around in one form or another until the 1980s, they never had another hit record.

After Cameo Records producers passed on the opportunity to have Dee Dee Sharp record a Gerry Goffin / Carole King song called "The Loco-Motion", Don Kirshner at Dimension Records decided to take a chance on it. He liked the demo record's singer, Eva Boyd, who was Goffin and King's babysitter, and had her re-record it. The result was a US number one hit, this week in 1962.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer made their world debut at Plymouth Guild Hall in Plymouth, England in 1970.

Bruce Springsteen's album "Born to Run" was released in 1975.

Boston released its self-titled album in 1976, which became the best-selling, debut rock album of all time.

2001 - Aaliyah and eight others were killed when their plane crashed in Marsh Harbor, in the Abacos islands of the northern Bahamas. The cause appeared to be engine failure due to the plane being overloaded.

Nine weeks after being released, The Knack's infectious tune "My Sharona" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979, where it would remain for six weeks. Billboard would later name the record as the number one single of 1979. In the UK, it reached number six. Lead singer / guitarist Doug Fieger would say he was inspired to write the tune by Sharrona Alperin, a 17 year old senior at Los Angeles' Fairfax High.

Elton John made his performing debut in America at Los Angeles’ Troubadour nightclub in 1970 (Neil Diamond introduced him).

Producer Jack Nitzsche died in Los Angeles in 2000. As well as working with Neil Young and the Rolling Stones, he won an Oscar in 1982 for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" from An Officer and a Gentleman.

Former Left Banke keyboard player Michael Brown lead his new group, Stories, back to the top of both the Cashbox Magazine best sellers chart and the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973, with a song called "Brother Louie". The gritty lead vocal for the song was supplied by Ian Lloyd, who would later be heard on tracks by Billy Joel, Foreigner and Peter Frampton.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

THE DECEMBERISTS

ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID: A SINGLES SERIES KICKS OFF WITH OCTOBER 14TH RELEASE OF VOLUME 1

Band Will Perform "Valerie Plame" On
"Late Night With Conan O'Brien" November 3rd


The Decemberists will release "Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series" this fall. The three volumes will be available digitally and on 12" vinyl. Volume 1, comprised of "Valerie Plame" and "O New England," will be released on October 14th. The band will give "Valerie Plame" its national television debut on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on November 3rd, the eve of the United States presidential election. Written from the point-of-view of one of Plame's inside contacts upon discovering her true identity, the song is an amorous tribute to the onetime CIA operative. The Decemberists will be playing select U.S. dates this November; details will be announced shortly.

Volume II and Volume III of Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series will be released on November 4th and December 2nd respectively. (See below for track listings.) The series will be available digitally at DSPs, released by Capitol Records, and on 12" vinyl via The Decemberists' own label, Y.A.B.B. Records/Jealous Butcher Records. Fans who pre-order all three singles through the band's website will receive a limited edition version on colored vinyl; the pre-order begins today at http://www.decemberistsshop.com/. The vinyl will also be available at select independent retail stores (go to http://www.thinkindie.com to find out where). In the U.K., Rough Trade will release the series digitally and on 7" vinyl.

Formed in Portland, Oregon in 2000, The Decemberists weave spellbinding tales rife with atmosphere and an infallible melodic knack. 2006's The Crane Wife - the band's fourth full-length album and its first released by Capitol Records - was hailed by Pitchfork as "an enormous folk-prog monsterpiece" while The New York Times called it "one of the most accomplished albums of its kind this year."

The band is currently in the studio working on a new full-length album with Tucker Martine, who produced Always The Bridesmaid: The Singles Series and co-produced The Crane Wife.


Track listings for Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series:

Volume I. Valerie Plame / O New England
Release date: October 14, 2008

Volume II. Days of Elaine / Days of Elaine (long) and I'm Sticking With You
Release date: November 4, 2008

Volume III. Record Year / Raincoat Song
Release date: December 2, 2008

Guide to Audiophile LPs

This is yet another online article, reposted for subsequent reading. I think it is very enlightening and certainly explains the differences between the 'audiophile' recordings and other methods of recording music on vinyl.

Overview

It is no exaggeration to say that vinyl has experienced something of a resurgence in the last decade. In a world of musical convenience gained from the introduction of CDs in 1983 and more recently mp3 players, many ask what the appeal of vinyl is and why people are still buying. It would be easy not to understand its appeal if you have never heard how good an LP can sound on a good music system. From the moment you open a record, the size of the artwork, its touch and smell suggest that its something special, beyond the simple convenience of CDs, but nothing comes close to the experience of listening to it. If you are using a good turntable and hi-fi, playing a record can be a wonderful and enjoying experience, arguably being a much closer experience to hearing the music live - with an analog medium sounding less artificial than CDs and compressed digital formats.

The increase in vinyl sales over the last decade are not just from 'normal' LPs you can still buy in some stores and online, but also from the sale of audiophile vinyl pressings, which are manufactured with much greater care and always arguably sound much better than cheaper releases. Please find below a comprehensive overview of audiophile vinyl pressings - how they're made, what the big labels are releasing audiophile records and links to reviews of some of the best sounding releases we've heard. Think of us as your guide to the best quality records now available, allowing you to listen to your favourite albums fresh, enjoy as close to a 'live listening experience' in your home as possible and gain the best possible listening experience from your music system.

General Overview

- Vinyl Quality. Most audiophile LPs are now released on vinyl weighing either 180 grams ('180g') or 200 grams ('200g') and are denoted as such to indicate the greater quality of the vinyl used, often being 'virgin vinyl' meaning purer vinyl is used rather than the recycled plastics used in the production of standard LPs. A result of the greater quality and weight of the vinyl is usually lower surface noise and less cross talk. Please note: earlier audiophile LPs (including those from MFSL, Nautilus, Nimbus Supercut, etc.) were released on standard weight vinyl, but the quality of the vinyl used was very pure and as such, the quality of the sound on these releases is as good - or in some cases better, than the quality of newer releases. Furthermore, heavier vinyl arguably has a longer life and can withstand repeated plays more than the cheaper, less pure vinyl used on standard LPs.

- Original Master Tapes. Audiophile records are often mastered from the original tapes that were used to record the album in the studio or live. This is in contrast to many standard LPs which are mastered from sixth, seventh or even eight generation copies or dupes. With each successive copy sounding less like the original tapes and losing something in the copying process, mastering from the original tapes means that the sound of the resulting record will be as close as possible to the sound of the original tapes and thus as close as possible to the experience of actually being there during the original recording. Many audiophile records are mastered from the original tapes and clearly state this on the record, for example, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) releases are all labeled 'Original Master Recording' to make this as clear as possible!

- Half Speed Mastering. Half speed mastering refers to the speed of mastering the original recording onto the master lacquer, which is then used to make the masters that press each LP. Many standard LPs are mastered at standard speed, which means that the master tape moves at the same speed as the original recording session and the master lacquer moves at 33 13 rpm. In contrast, it is also possible to run each of these machines at half speed. As a result, there is twice as much time for the cutting stylus to cut every possible detail and delicate groove modulation, resulting in LPs where you can hear details and nuances on your favourite albums that you never heard before. Furthermore, mastering at half speed uses less power and as a result the cutting head amplifiers use only one fourth as much power, resulting in much greater head room, better dynamic range, frequency response and lower distortion. This is another reason why resulting audiophile LPs can sound much closer to the sound of the original recording in comparison to standard LPs.

- Mastering Process. Audiophile LPs are produced with much greater care and consideration at every stage of the mastering process. Some labels clearly state a special feature of their mastering process. For example, Classic Records use tube amplification in every stage of their mastering process, following the logic that tubes sound warmer and less clinical than transistors and as such, the resulting LPs should follow suit. In many cases, mastering engineers may have to work with master tapes that are damaged or which need level adjustments to compensate for deterioration.. It is an art to do this and to still achieve a sound as close as possible to that of the original recording. In some cases, there will be master recording notes to work with, but damage to a recording tape over time can mean that some albums take considerable time to master properly. In any case, there are some clear cases of significant improvements in sound from some audiophile LPs when compared to original pressings, for example with Carole King's Tapestry from Classic Records, which sounds much more realistic and less 'EQ'd' than standard original pressings. There are some mastering engineers who have achieved small celebrity status for the quality of their mastered albums, for example Steve Hoffman and Bernie Grundman.

- 45rpm, One-Sided LPs, etc. Many audiophile labels have recently released some LPs which are playable at 45rpm. This is an extension of the logic used for mastering at half speed. Mastering an LP at 45rpm rather than 33rpm gives a greater groove length in which to press x period of music, which should arguably result in greater detail and resolution. One sided masters follow similar logic, with the suggestion that this results in one perfect playing surface.

- Direct to Disc. Some audiophile LPs were released using this process, which means that the pressing is made live, with the signal from the session going through to the cutting lathe. The logic behind this approach is that the resulting recording should be devoid of the limitations of a recording medium and should have low distortion, excellent dynamic range and the widest possible frequency response. However, the practicalities of this approach have meant that these releases tend to be solo performers and are of the majority jazz albums. Furthermore, modern digital and 'lossless' recording techniques on newer albums mean that the benefits of this approach are arguably less important now.

- Original artwork, labels, and inclusions. Most audiophile LPs include where possible accurate reproductions of the original cover art, LP labels and any other inclusions which were included at the time of the original release. Such dedication allows you to enjoy the record as if you were buying it for the first time again, but with the advantages of the better mastering.

- Poly-lined inner sleeves. Most standard LPs are packaged using cheap paper sleeves, or in worst cases cardboard sleeves, which can scratch and scuff the vinyl when removing and replacing it before and after play. In contrast, most audiophile LPs are packaged with poly lined inner sleeves, which include a sheet of poly lining to protect the vinyl from getting damaged and for safer storage. Mofi refer to their version of these as 'rice paper inner sleeves', which are also now available in packs of 10, 25 and 50 so that you can replace cheap inner sleeves with these superior replacements.

Audiophile Labels

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL)

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL or Mofi) was one of the first companies to release audiophile records in the late 1970s. Denoted as 'Original Master Recording' due to the mastering from the original tapes at half speed, Mobile Fidelity went through several periods as a company, which is reflected in the dates of their releases. However, the philosophy of releasing the best possible sounding releases has remained, as has the company's dedication to presenting luxury packages that include original album artwork and sleeve notes wherever possible.

The earlier releases from the 1970s and 1980s, were pressed on 'super vinyl', which was standard weight (as most audiophile releases during the period were), but was an extremely pure vinyl produced by JVC in Japan, so pure infact that it is translucent when held to the light and feature 'an extraordinarily quiet playing surface, extreme durability and a lifespan many times exceeding conventional pressings'. In 1979, Mofi released their LP master of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' which was a huge seller and became the benchmark hi-fi system test LP for years to come. Following this release, Mofi started to release further releases from 1980 onward. These earlier pressings have some of the most quiet surfaces available of any audiophile LPs. In fact, many near mint and mint examples have next to no surface noise and the level of resolution is incredible. Many releases from this period often sell for high sums second hand, but they are still usually the best sounding releases of the album in question available and likely to rise in value in future, thus also being an investment to some buyers. These releases were mastered by Stan Ricker and Jack Hunt.

Mofi also released three now legendary LP box sets. The first released in 1982, 'The Beatles Collection' is legendary as being the best sounding release of the fab four's albums ever available. The second released in 1983 was 'Sinatra, a collection of his best albums from the Capital label years. The third released in 1984, the 'Rolling Stones Collection' was a collection of their first albums, none of which was released separately (only 'Some Girl's and 'Sticky Fingers' - two of their later albums, were released separately by Mofi). Each box collection is expensive to obtain, but are worth every penny and are arguably three of the best audiophile collections ever released and were all individually numbered. These box sets also included the 'Geodisc' which is arguably one of the best cartridge alignment tools available, but is now available from Mofi and is in store. During this period, they also released several UHQR (Ultra High Quality Records) titles which were pressed on 200 gram (200g) vinyl and marketed as sounding better than their standard counterparts. They also released some cassettes during this period using the same mastering processes, but these are rarer and arguably less desirable now than the LP releases.

The next wave of releases came in 1994 and were referred to as the 'Anadisq' series. These used a different vinyl compound and were released on heavy 200 gram (200g) weight vinyl and mastered using the 'Gain system'. These releases were also all individually numbered.

The original company folded in 1999, but was resurrected by Music Direct and is now releasing audiophile LPs and CDs again. Its debatable whether the newer LP releases equal the quality of the earlier releases, but the company still follows the same 'Original Master Recording' philosophy. These newer releases are mostly released on 180 gram (180g) weight vinyl and include some 45rpm releases.

Classic Records

Classic Records are a recent US audiophile label dedicated to producing high quality new LP pressings. Each release is mastered at half speed from the original master tapes using an 'all-analog mastering process' which also uses tube amplification at every stage of the mastering process. The majority of their releases are pressed on high quality 200 gram (200g) weight vinyl, which has virtually no surface noise and sonically superior dynamics. Classic Records are also highly dedicated to releasing each album with the original artwork, LP labels and any other materials which were included with original pressings. Their dedication to this is shown in the quality of the each release, with albums having thick, heavy duty sleeves, and many being presented exactly how they were when originally released. For example, Led Zeppelin's III has the original wheel cover, 'In Through the Out Door' includes the brown paper bag cover and booklet, The Who's 'Tommy' includes the original booklet and tri-fold sleeve. In short, Classic Records have aimed for each release to be a sensory experience, and as close to the experience of buying the original LP as possible. As a result, their releases allow you to enjoy the experience of buying your favourite albums over again, being in sight and touch exact replicas of their original counterparts, but with the advantage of the quality of the LP included, which in many cases far succeeds the quality of the standard LP release.

Classic Records are critically acclaimed for the sound and presentation of their releases, many of which are now considered to be the definitive releases. These include the Led Zeppelin catalog, which sound of which is breathtaking, The Who catalog, and many more. They are also due to release the Beatles catalog in late 2007 or 2008 - so we will get to enjoy these albums once more and see if they equal or exceed the quality of the Mobile Fidelity releases!

Nimbus Supercut

Nimbus Records have achieved somewhat of a legendary status within the audiophile circle for their 'Supercut' releases, which were only available by mail order through the Hi-fi magazines 'Practical Hi-fi' and 'Hi-fi Today' in the early 1980s. Nimbus mastered each release from the original master tapes using the best available mastering processes. Infact, Nimbus employed many techniques for each release that were not commonly used. For example, generally when bass moves from channel to channel on an LP, groove modulation is employed to reduce the movement of the stylus and this results in this bass being centered more over both channels. Most audiophiles would argue that this - and in fact anything, which changes the original recording should be avoided although this is common practice on most LPs. For example, the release of 'Joan Armatrading' had bass moving from channel to channel in several places, but Nimbus did not limit this, resulting in an outstanding pressing. Nimbus also had the ICI company produce an extremely pure vinyl for the LPs, which has amazing frequency reproduction and is virtually noise free - similar in quality to the 'super vinyl' used on earlier Mofi pressings. Due to their rarity and small pressing quantities, they are often more expensive than audiophile LPs from other labels, but the sums paid can be justified by the outstanding quality of the pressings and the fact that they tend to rise in value over time and as such are deemed as investments by some audiophiles. Other releases included Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', Beatles 'Sgt Pepper' and Wings 'Band on the Run' and many other excellent titles.

Nautilus

At a similar time to the original Mofi LP releases, Nautilus released a comparatively smaller - though excellently mastered number of audiophile LPs in their 'Superdisc' series. Most of these were mastered at half-speed and pressed on high quality standard weight vinyl. These are also rare releases and were released in limited quantities. Nautilus also released some direct to disc releases.

CBS Mastersound

This label released a large range of half speed mastered LPs during the 1980s, all mastered on excellent quality vinyl and using the best available mastering techniques. These releases also include a 'CBS Mastersound Information Sheet' (where still included), detailing the mastering processes used. These releases are arguably sonically equal to many of the earlier Mofi releases, but often do not command such high sums and as such are usually quite a bargain. The exceptions are for some of the releases which are outstanding such as Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'.

Sheffield Lab

This label released a range of audiophile LPs during the 1980s, many of which were mastered direct to disc.

Pure Pleasure

Pure Pleasure are quickly gaining an excellent reputation for releasing excellent sounding jazz and blues releases on 180 gram (180g) vinyl, many of which are mastered from the original master tapes.

Sundazed

Sundazed are dedicated to releasing older rock, folk and psychedelic albums, which have included much of the Bob Dylan catalog (in original mono), the Byrds catalog (also original mono) and many more. Each release also includes faithful reproductions of original artwork and LP labels and are pressed on high quality 180 gram (180g) weight vinyl. The Bob Dylan releases are arguably the best sounding versions of these albums available, each having a much fresher sound than on standard pressings - which in some cases can be surprising, for example with 'Highway 61 Revisited', on which 'Like a Rolling Stone' sounds much fresher than most other versions available.

Warner/R.T.I.

These releases are mastered at half speed, often by some celebrity mastering engineers, including Stan Ricker - who mastered many of the earlier Mofi LPs. They are pressed on high quality 180 gram (180g) weight vinyl and are always presented with high quality thick artwork sleeves and LP labels.

DCC

DCC released a small number of audiophile LPs, most notably the Doors catalog, which were arguably the best releases of their albums ever available, many of which were mastered by Steve Hoffman.

Japanese LPs

Japanese LPs are often highly regarded for having excellent sound quality and for being produced on excellent quality vinyl. They can usually be identified by an 'OBI strip', a long piece of paper around the cover with the album details in Japanese. Some releases are also pressed on red vinyl, which some argue has greater sonic qualities than standard black vinyl, though this is debatable and arguably depends more on the actual quality of the vinyl used.

Conclusions

Audiophile LPs are generally more expensive as a rule of thumb in comparison to standard LP releases, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The greater care, craftsmanship, presentation and most importantly the sound quality of audiophile LPs mean that you are getting something truly special, that will allow you to get the very best out of your music system, and enjoy music the way it was recorded and supposed to sound. Many people who head audiophile vinyl are surprised by the details and sounds they can hear on their favourite albums that they have never heard before and the entire experience is like buying the album for the first time and enjoying how good it sounded when you first heard it. What's more surprising though to the majority of converted vinyl enthusiasts is how much better audiophile LPs can sound in comparison to their CD counterparts, making a real case for vinyl as a format and a luxury for any high end music system that deserves only the very best.

SOURCE: http://www.audiophilelps.com/

Saturday, August 23, 2008

World's Largest Record Collection-Update

Pittsburgh-area record collector shuts down store


PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh-area record collector who hoped to sell his vintage vinyl for at least $1 a record has instead, bitterly, closed up shop.

Paul Mawhinney locked up his Record-Rama Sound Archives for good on Thursday, saying he's been squeezed out of business by the recording industry and big-box retailers who can sell compact discs for about two dollars less than his wholesale cost.

Mawhinney stopped buying CDs in 2002 and sold off his 300,000-disc collection in recent weeks. But efforts to sell more than a half-million albums, a million more 45 rpm singles, and thousands of tapes foundered. One buyer went bankrupt while another on eBay turned out to be bogus.

The 68-year-old started collecting records in 1951 when he bought a Frankie Laine single called "Jezebel."

Let's hope this masterpiece of music finds a permanent home very soon.

Legendary Session Drummer Buddy Harman Dies

Buddy Harman, the Nashville-based drummer who played on over 18,000 recordings, passed away Thursday of congestive heart failure at the age of 79.

It was Harman's drum that struck the beat on Roy Orbison's Oh Pretty Woman, shuffled along on Patsy Cline's Crazy and rocked out Elvis Presley on Little Sister. In a forty year career, Harman played at least once with the vast majority of artists that recorded in the southern U.S.A.

Harman learned drums at an early age and studied in Chicago under Roy Knapp. Upon returning to Nashville, he initially found it a slow go as country was yet to fully integrate drumming into it's sound, but early recordings with the likes of Ray Price, Patsy Cline and Marty Robbins allowed him to develop a distinct style that would see him as being credited as one of the developers of the Nashville Sound.

As a session musician in Nashville, Harman was part of the Nashville A-Team which also included Harold Bradley, Hank Garland, Grady Martin, Boots Randolph, Charlie McCoy, Floyd Cramer, Hargus "Pig" Robbins and Bob Moore, among others. Harman also has the distinction of having played on the soundtrack to all 33 of Elvis Presley's movies.

In his book Heartaches By The Number: Country Music's Greatest Singles, author David Cantwell wrote "Buddy Harman set the standard, both quantitatively and qualitatively, for what a great country drummer should be. The mind boggles at the number of musically distinctive and emotionally fitting ways Harman found to lay down a beat."

WSM radio personality Eddie Stubbs commented, "If anybody could be called the father of modern country drumming, it would be Buddy. He defined the role of the drums in country music. No matter the song, he knew what to play. More importantly, he knew what not to play. Always."

In 1959, Harman became the first house drummer at the Grand Ole Opry, a position to which he would return in the early-90's. Among his accolades are the award for Drummer of the Year from the ACM in 1981 and the "Super Picker" Award from NARAS for drumming in 1975 and 1976.

Among Harman's 18,000 recordings are these gems:

• Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
• Crying - Roy Orbison
• Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers
• Little Sister - Elvis Presley
• King of the Road - Roger Miller
• Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
• Crazy - Patsy Cline
• Big Bad John - Jimmy Dean
• Bye Bye Love - Everly Brothers
• Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison
• Crazy Arms - Ray Price
• Walking After Midnight - Patsy Cline
• Night Life - Ray Price
• Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
• I'm Sorry - Brenda Lee
• Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette
• Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
• The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
• Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley
• Heartaches By the Numbers - Ray Price


Source: http://winkscollectibles.blogspot.com

This Date In Music History- August 23

Birthdays:

Rick Springfield ("Speak To The Sky") turns 59.

Jimy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight ("Gloria") is 62.

Tony "Spaghetti" Micale, lead singer of the Reflections ("Just Like Romeo And Juliet") is 66.

History:

Drifters vocalist Rudy Lewis was born in Philadelphia in 1936. His tenure with the group ended tragically sometime on the night of May 20, 1964 -- the following morning, he was found dead in his bed; some accounts say the cause was a drug overdose, while others who knew him say that Lewis, who was a binge eater, choked to death in his sleep. The group's other lead singer, Johnny Moore, stepped into the breach that same morning on the scheduled session for "Under The Boardwalk", and was the Drifters' lead vocalist for the remainder of their tenure on Atlantic and beyond.

The Beatles performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 (the performance was finally released 13 years later).

Today in 1969 the song "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Rolling Stones topped the charts and stayed there for 4 weeks. Released the day after Brian Jones’ funeral, it’s the group's first hit with guitarist Mick Taylor (Jones’ replacement).

In 1975, Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album entered the charts. It's the former blues band's first record with pop-oriented songwriters Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on board.

The late Keith Moon of the Who ("Pinball Wizard") was born in 1947.

The Looking Glass hit the top of the Billboard singles chart in 1972 with "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)."

The Beatles' movie "Help!" premiered in the U.S. in 1966.

The self titled-debut, "Blind Faith," entered the U.S. album chart in 1969, eventually reaching #1.

Killer Queen. “Queen's Greatest Hits” was released in Iran in 2004. Queen is the first Rock band to receive the official seal of approval in Iran even though Western music is strictly prohibited and homosexuality is considered a serious crime. Queen`s late singer, Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDs in `91, was of Iranian ancestry and bootlegged albums have been available for years.

Ringo Starr quit The Beatles during the recording sessions for "The White Album" in 1968, after finding that Paul had been erasing his drum tracks and replacing them with his own. During his absence, Paul fills in on drums for the taping of "Back In The USSR". He did return.

In 1969, Johnny Cash started a four-week run at #1 on the US album chart with "Johnny Cash At San Quentin.”

In 1987, there was big trouble at a Grateful Dead concert, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love, when police killed an escaped drug addict who had shot one of the officers. The band's "In the Dark" album was sitting at number 6 in the US and its single, "Touch of Grey", was still climbing toward the Top Ten.

Oasis' "Be Here Now" sold 696,000 copies in its first two days of release in the UK in 1997, setting a record for the fastest selling album ever. It will top the chart the following week and reach #2 in the US in September.

In 1978, comedian Steve Martin was awarded a gold record for "King Tut", which had reached #17 on the Billboard chart.

A fan surreptitiously taped a Velvet Underground set on an ordinary cassette recorder in 1970. It turns out to be Reed's last night with the band and was later released as Velvet Underground - "The Velvet Underground Live at Max's Kansas City.'

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Vinyl Stamp? The News Is Good!!

I talked with my vinyl friend, Gary Freiberg yesterday(www.RockArtPictureShow.com www.VinylRecordDay.org) and have some exciting news to pass along:

Vinyl Record Day (VRD), Founder Gary J. Freiberg has announced the United States Postal Service has accepted Freiberg's proposal for a full review and consideration by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a First Class stamp series commemorating the vinyl record. The advisory Committee is responsible for making stamp subject recommendations to the Postmaster General.

"The intent for the stamp series is to raise awareness that we need to preserve our audio history that is available only on the vinyl record and to educate the public on the importance of preserving individual record collections. The RIAA has estimated only five percent of all recordings have been transferred to compact disc or other digital formats. There are a countless number of recordings that will never be transferred to other formats because it is not economically feasible for record companies to reissue releases that will not have commercial support. What many term are "old records" time has turned into audio historical documents, issuing a stamp series would be a major contribution to heightening the public's awareness of the importance of preserving the audio and visual history of the vinyl record." said Freiberg.

If adopted the series would be issued in 2011. Though final decision has not been made Freiberg is encouraged as the initial positive response from the manager of Stamp Development was made in less than a week. Freiberg will keep me informed when new information is available. In the meanwhile check out www.VinylRecordDay.org and help support vinyl's preservation.