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ARSCLIST  July 2007

ARSCLIST July 2007

Subject:

Re: Is The Record Shop Dead?

From:

"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 1 Jul 2007 19:50:01 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (166 lines)

see end...!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dismuke" <[log in to unmask]>
> --- "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > Well...the younger that kids/record buyers are, the
> > more inclined they
> > are to "follow the herd!"
----
> I don't know how typical my experience was or if
> things have changed much in the years since, but I did
> not really become aware of "the heard" in my life
> until I went to junior high in the 7th grade which
> would have put me at 12 to 13 years old.
> 
> My mother is British and I was raised VERY different
> from the other kids around me in the lower middle
> class, largely "redneck" part of town I grew up in. As
> a kid, I never questioned my upbringing and regarded
> it as perfectly normal.  In grade school, the fact
> that I had been exposed to and was interested in
> different things didn't exactly make me "fit in" - but
> I wasn't exactly an outcast either and some kids
> thought it was kind of neat.  When I hit junior high
> school it was a disaster.  The expectation was to
> conform, "fit in" and not question - and I resented
> and rebelled against it to my very core.  The most
> difficult part was the kids who used to like me that
> suddenly wouldn't be seen talking to me out of fear
> that they, too, would become "it."  I have no idea
> what became of those particular kids - but they sold
> their souls out to the mob. I didn't.
> 
> I will never forget when a kid I knew was riding with
> his parents through a main drag in town where the
> teenagers used to congregate and hang out.  His
> parents were listening to classical music in the car -
> and the kid became quite upset and insisted that his
> parents turn it off because he did not want to be
> "seen listening to that sort of music."
> 
> That, I submit is pathetic - not only on the part of
> the kid who clearly lacked a strong sense of self but
> also a popular culture where such a mindset is
> regarded as natural and normal.
> 
> Unfortunately, in this day and age, parents can only
> count on themselves to provide the sort of guidance
> and  wisdom to hopefully enable their kids to see
> through such horrible and crippling nonsense.
> 
> I think pretty much the window of opportunity to do so
> is at an early age.  Parents really need to expose
> their kids to a very wide variety of music in the
> home, the earlier the better.  Same true with regard
> to art and other values where there exists a great
> deal of room for personal preference.  When the kids
> begin to respond to a certain type of music, the
> parents really need to let them know it is a good
> thing and encourage them and assist them to the extent
> of their means in exploring and enjoying such things. 
>  That will help give them a chance to develop a strong
> sense of self and personal values and hopefully give
> them the courage and knowledge to not be so impacted
> by the various sorts of intimidations, both verbal and
> physical, used to secure conformity to the mob. Of
> course, the ideal would be to find a way to avoid the
> kid from being force to interact with the mob in the
> first place.  But that seems to be pretty hard to do
> as it is a phenomenon that seems to exist in various
> forms across the entire demographic range.
> 
(me): > > I suspect that were I counting the number of modern
> > young people who
> > had been exposed to ANY music of the "78 era" I
> > could use all my fingers
> > still visible after I had made fists of both
> > hands...?!
> >
> 
> Actually, I think the Internet is a bright spark of
> hope in that regard.  I get occasional emails from
> kids in junior high and high school who were told to
> listen to Radio Dismuke or visit my website as an
> assignment for history class who discover the music
> that way and think it is wonderful.  I would say that
> 98% of my audience is of people who were NOT alive
> when the music was popular.  Someone who was 15 in
> 1935 at the tail end of the music I feature would be
> 87 today.   Some are people who discovered the music
> through their parents and grandparents records.  Many
> fell in love with the music on cartoon soundtracks as
> children and later discovered that the music that was
> popular in the 1920s and 1930s was quite similar in
> many respects.  Others discovered it as a result of
> following a link they stumbled across to my station
> and decided to give it a listen.  The emotions and
> passions that the music expressed are timeless - if
> enough people are able to have an opportunity to
> discover it, eventually it will have its much deserved
> renaissance.  And that is one of  many reasons that
> Internet radio must continue and be fought for.  And
> that is why the RIAA which depends on the existence of
> such a mob for its very survival wants to shut it down
> out of fear that people might start thinking for
> themselves when it comes to deciding what sort of
> music they want to hear.
> 
Well, I grew up with 78's from a VERY young age! My father wasn't a
collector...but he did have about 200-300 78's, mostly thirties and
forties (with a few early-thirties reissues, like a number of Boswell
Sisters sets and a couple of Crosby sets) which I was allowed to
play from the time I was three or four onward. In fact, I eventually
inherited them (after the rest of the family had turned them down,
in fact...) and that was the original nucleus of my current shellac
archive! Needless to say, that music wasn't often heard on AM radio
in the fifties! I did have a very little exposure to classical music
as a child...I attended Francis W. Parker school through the sixth
grade, and we did occasionally attend Chicago Symphony concers. But,
after we moved to Waynesville in 1954, there were only two types
of music on AM radio..."hillbilly" (which most of the town's adults
listened to...) and "rock'n'roll" which all us younger folks listened to!

In 1958/59, I became aware of blues music. First, because Jimmy Reed
often "made the Top 20" on WPEO (our r'n'r station)...and second through
the accidental discovery of WLAC (Nashville, Tenn.) which, after sunset,
broadcast blues (and gospel on Sundays) for many Black listeners through
the southern and eastern USA. Sadly, I never bought any of the records
that were promoted via WLAC...but I did occasionally find blues 45's
in the "used jukebox discs" places where I bought all my 45's (quite
a bit cheaper!).

However, even though I liked the music I had heard from my dad's 78's,
I never bought any (I would guess they were all over thrift shops, but
we no longer had a 78-capable player. As well, an elderly lady we knew
gave us an old wind-up console and about a hundred 78's...my brothers
quickly rendered the machine "hors de (child-led) combat," but I rescued
and stored away the records that weren't already broken.

Finally, around 1973, I inherited the record that both my dad and my
grandmother had owned...and discovered the inexpensive "stereo" I had
bought for my mobile home could actually play those old 78's...so I
started looking for more. About that time, a friend for whom I worked
part-time (as an "antique radio repairman") bought several thousand 78's,
and offered to give me those that I wanted if I would sort them out
and find him the records he could most easily sell. I added about 700
records to my burgeoning collection through that deal.

But...I was the "official outcast" all through my teen years (for other
reasons than my tastes in music...!)...OTOH, I was quite satisfied to
listen to the "Top 20" (and to WLS once they changed formats c.1960).
Never heard much classical (these days, I enjoy it but know NOTHING
about it...!) in my small-town-Illinois milieu. I had a VERY few LP's
of both blues and twenties music, which weren't easily found in the
record stores I could access! But...when I finished my brief "USAF
career" early in the seventies, I developed a taste for the then-
current "rock music" and bought a lot of those LP's, as well as now-
more-easily-found blues albums (sadly, I no longer own any of those
LP's...long and painfully-sad story...!)

Finally, when I moved to Toronto in 1977 (with about 1500 78's...) I
discovered "auction lists" (through a 78 dealer who eventually ran off
with my wife...!) and my 1500 rapidly increased...!

Steven C. Barr

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