Well, Steven, I don't know if it's necessary to be quite as gloom and
doom as all that. I recall a few years ago how the Revenant re-issue of
early Dock Boggs 78's inspired a couple guys I know to take up the
banjo. Both worked at a local studio that specialized in recording
primarily punk and garage rock - trashy rock and roll stuff. Like me,
these guys had never heard any of these sides until the re-issue, and
probably wouldn't have given the extreme scarcity of the originals. I
didn't take up the banjo myself, but I did record a version of one of
those songs (soon to be released on an actual honest-to-god LP). This
being about 70 years after the recordings were made. No, Dock Boggs is
not a household name by any means, but the music is still alive and
influencing current musicians. The power of the music remains, it's the
(in)ability to find and hear it that is the problem.
The internet is changing all that, in ways that are still far too early
to forsee or understand. I think the concept of an "EFREM" database -
containing the actual songs, not just discographic data - is nearly
within the grasp of current technology. It's really our outmoded
copyright laws and the corporate stranglehold on intellectual property
that are preventing this from happening. But imagine if, in the future:
rather than having to scour the hinterlands for rare recordings (or pry
them from the Golem-like clutches of a collector) when interested in
hearing something one might simply go to efrem.com and download it.
Access to obscure 78's would be just as easy as access to "current hot
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven C. Barr(x)
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 10:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RIP: EMI
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
> Yeah,but people like George Martin,and Tom's parents,will still be
remembered 100 years from now,unlike your kid down the block.
No...that is based on a mis-perception common among those of us who have
an interest in sound recordings and/or the history thereof!
As time continues to elapse (assuming Dubya allows such to eventuate,
which is by no means a "given"...) the individuals responsible for sound
recordings which our own generation considers "definitive"
(anything from "Zulu's Ball" to "Sgt. Pepper's...") will fade into the
vague milieu of "obsolete data," as will, in fact, the sound recordings
The vast majority of "78 collectors" are thermselves of fairly advanced
age, and as such subject to the inevitability of mortality.
As well, the number of people who actually recall any of the recordings
in question continues to approach zero.
Fifty years from now...in 2057 (ten years before any US sound recording
enters the "public domain!") the classic recording, "Sgt. Pepper's..."
will be ninety years old. Any five-year-olds who dimly recall having
heard the recording played by their parents will be ninety-five years of
age...and thus most likely beyond this mortal coil!
"A hundred years from now" (aka 2107)...the market for sound recordings,
in whatever form they then exist, will be "current hot numbers" (defined
by a typical youthful demographic)...and "nostalgia-driven releases"
or, in other words, the pop hits of fifty (+/-) years ago...which, in
your estimate, would be the hits of 2057 (whatever they may be...?!).
Steven C. Barr