Al Kooper, who wore many hats in the rock and blues worlds over the years, had an online "column"
called New Music for Old People, hosted by the Morton Report, which seems to be a lifestyle blog for
Kooper often spotlighted younger bands and highlighted many genres and musicians. He claimed, in
announcing his shutdown (see below), that neither he nor the Morton Report profited from anything
posted, and in fact his column led to sales of physical copies and downloads.
Shutting down expertly "curated" blogs that draw attention to a wide variety of music and musicians
is very short-sighted. I assume Kooper just got caught up in the general war on Grooveshark, but why
would YouTube shut him down too, when it is teeming with unauthorized uploads of needle-drops and
even full high-rez CD rips?
Kooper's farewell message e-mailed today:
Friday, May 1, 2015
Howdy, music lovers!
It is with a heavy heart that I have been forced to close down my column today as a result of
alleged copyright infringement. The irony is striking as I have never profited from this column,
never received a salary, and my sole intention was to inform others about music I believe that they
would enjoy listening to and then purchase from the proper channels. I think that has ALWAYS been a
major interest of mine. Those who know me well have been subjected to non-stop musical marathons in
my Mancave; in seats next to me on trains and airplanes, in cars on long trips, or just in emails
directing friends to music I thought was appropriate for each individual.
When we started the column, we used Grooveshark because of their way of delivering a proper menu for
each column, the fact that I was able to edit and remaster tracks to make them sound as strong as
possible, and that they were being streamed - the intention being that those who enjoyed a selection
might proceed to download their selections from proper channels and purchase them. I was hired
initially by The Morton Report and paid a month in advance, and then never again. I decided to stay
with it anyway
as I thought it was a good thing to do for others and I enjoyed it more than the paltry salary they
originally offered. Suddenly it's four years later and Grooveshark (who also were accused of
copyright infringement) finally shut down under duress yesterday without any prior warning to us. My
partner in this column these last four years, Lisa McKay, designed the column, selected the photos,
and made it appear on deadline every week, perfectly edited. She also worked gratis for the same
reasons I did and I could never have pulled this off for so long without her inestimable assistance.
By total coincidence, we had decided to switch from the ailing Grooveshark to YouTube today, making
it the first time we would be available for listening on smartphones, iPads and other such methods
as opposed to only computers as sanctioned by Grooveshark.
No such luck. Last night YouTube shut us down immediately for copyright infringement. The only
people in business who understood us were the promo and press people behind the scenes. They totally
"got" what we were doing because it assisted them in doing their jobs. There was one problem with
me, though. I would only use material from iTunes or Amazon that I selected and purchased each week
based on my personal taste. In all four years, I never included a track I didn't like, especially
as a favor for anyone. Nor did I include anything I despised in order to slam it. No way.
So here we are. I was at a crossroads anyway. As I have mentioned before, I am trying to put out a
4CD box set crammed with everything UNRELEASED from my entire 57-year career. It seems I have
concluded my recording career with my last two CDs, Black Coffe and White Chocolate, which IMHO were
the best ones I ever recorded. I started work on a third one, but found halfway through that it
wasn't as good as the two previous ones and pulled the plug. The only way I can deliver this monster
project is with your assistance. At the moment I am talking to several sellers and have realized
that this must be funded by fans. In return I can send autographed paraphernalia and other goodies
lying around the house to commensurate those who contribute. This is a very costly project
for many reasons but I feel it is a capper to my long, crazy journey and I want it to be impeccable.
So once the trail is properly planned I will start a Facebook page for the first time to keep
everyone informed on a daily basis. That should be in the next month or so.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who listened every week and you know I would keep going if they
would only let me...but that's another whole story.
So watch for the Facebook page and please help me to get this box set out
before I leave this poor dying planet.
All my best as always,
New Music for Old People