----- Original Message -----
From: "Dismuke" <[log in to unmask]>
> Yes, of course it is dead - meaning the kind that the
> article talks about and not the kind that Phillip
> Holmes talks about.
> (There actually is one of the latter still around in
> Fort Worth - but on the very rare occasion I have
> found 78 rpms there, none were really worth having.
> But I am able to buy steel phonograph needles there in
> a pinch and I have found some very nice 1920s and
> 1930s recordings on LP reissues there. The world in
> Fort Worth/Dallas, however, has never been the same
> since Collectors' Records in Dallas with its back room
> full of cheap 78 rpms closed because the owner did not
> feel like moving after his rent went way up.)
> As for the conventional sort of record store that
> sells modern stuff - of course they are going to be
> all but dead very soon.
> There are essentially two types of music buyers -
> those sheep who merely buy the lowest common
> denominator stuff that they hear on FM and that
> somebody has convinced all their friends is somehow
> "cool" and those who have more discriminating and
> specialized tastes.
> The former don't need a record store because the
> Wal-marts and Best Buys of the world sell that sort of
> stuff as a loss leader.
> Those who have more discriminating and specialized
> musical tastes would probably LOVE to have a good
> record store that they could go to. I HATE having to
> wait for a CD or anything else I buy for pleasure to
> arrive in the mail. I want my gratification to begin
> the moment my funds leave my possession - and I can't
> begin to count all the times over the years I have
> really wished I could be able to simply walk into a
> store and be able to find something that I could
> become extremely enthusiastic about listening to THAT
> SAME EVENING. I was occasionally able to find
> something really good that I didn't already have or
> know about in the Tower Records store in Dallas and
> that was a very nice treat. But it wasn't something I
> could count on when I walked in - especially if I had
> only visited recently and bought up all that I was
> interested in.
> The problem is that, as much as I would love to have a
> great record store to go to and buy everything in
> person - well, I really doubt a store in Fort
> Worth/Dallas could have ever survived catering to my
> tastes. Maybe in New York City it would have been
> possible - but not very many other places in the USA.
> The Internet is so much better for people who fall
> into that second category - even online retailers
> catering to a mass market stock a lot of the sort of
> CDs I buy because it cost them no more to sell one of
> them than it does a mass market CD. Brick and mortar
> stores only had so much shelf space and had to fill it
> with what sold the most. Warehouse space at Amazon is
> much cheaper than shelf space in high rent shopping
> centers or even in low rent shopping centers.
> So while I hate to wait for CDs that I order over the
> Internet to arrive, I at least never have any
> difficulty finding plenty of CDs that I am eager and
> enthusiastic to listen to. Before the Internet, I was
> frequently not able to find such CDs at the still
> thriving record stores that were available to me.
> So I guess I won't miss the conventional record store.
> All I will miss is the hope that I might someday find
> one that would be perfectly suited to me.
Well...the "popular music industry" has, at least since phonographs began
to be used for dancing, aimed its product toward a young (actually, EVER
YOUNGER...!) demographic! And, it is a "given" that virtually all young
people (more so as the age decreases...!) are heavily "crowd" and "fad"
driven! Even back in my younger days (1956-60) I enthusiastically joined
in the "rock'n'roll Top Twenty" crowd (around 1958-59, I accidentally
ran across blues music...). In fact, I bought hundreds of 45's from
various places that sold "used jukebox records" for a quarter or so
apiece...I had a nice pop-hit collection (and a couple of dozen blues
45's...) which my younger brother took over, and destroyed, while I was
away in the USAF!
Today's "pop music demographic" has now drifted downward in age until it
has started to inclued the "'tweens" (aka pre-teens)...who are, if anything,
even MORE conformist and fad-driven! As well, as the age drops, we begin
more to deal with the fact that children are driven by strong repetitive
rhythmic "beats" (I have many times watched pre-schoolers enthusiastically
dancing in the aisles to the music of Kid Bastien and his Happy Pals...a
very good "New Orleans Revival"-style band!
So...our 12-year-old "music lover" goes to the mall with his parent(s)
(most generally in the singular in the XXI Jahrhundert...!) and, his/her/its
fifty-buck "allowance" in hand, buys the same three or four CD's that all
his contemporaries did/will...! After all, one MUST have "the latest thing!"
Now...IF said youngster was ever exposed to one or more other forms of
music while growing up...tastes in that/those area(s) will eventually
reassert themselves. However, all too many of the current generation of
youngsters/pop music fans have spent their entire growing-up period
sitting in front of a colour TV (and have thus learned their "culture"
therefrom...a task which was once the responsibility of elders...!)
and, at best, will either wind up listening to "New Country" (if they
have a "working-class" job and friends/associates) or, more likely, to
nostalgia-based reissues of whatever garb...er, music...they recall
from their youth...!
Now...a totally different closing thought! Since the Internet (if one
has a high-speed connection, anyway...) allows easy and fast transfer of
MP3's and other (usually compressed) sound files...it is TECHNICALLY
possible to make available virtually every sound recording ever made,
for listening and/or download!
Thus, should our "horrible example" detailed above mature into someone
who has a taste for ANY kind of music from the past...he/she/it need only
go to "EVERYRECORD.COM" and hear or download same!
In fact, this is the "assigned task" for all of us who collect vintage
records and thus hold some part of this ultimate sonic archive...the
creation of same!!
Steven C. Barr