Internet radio music lovers, if you could control the “Wayback Machine”, who’s music would you bring back?
Minnie? Luther? James? Vesta? Who?
I got to thinking about that as I was hunting down new music for upcoming sets. I started thinking back to what got me listening to certain artists even at the young age that I did.
Did the lyrics make sense? Did I really understand what they were talking about on those songs? I’ll admit it, many times..No!!!
More often than not, the beat snatched me by the ‘fro and shook me loose only when done. It seems sometimes that today after years of using my ears, more often than not something seems missing. I’m sure part of that feeling is fueled by a sense of nostalgia. I do miss the tight arrangements of a full blown Cameo or Ohio Players.
I definitely miss the wordsmithing that went on in a number of George Duke‘s cuts. I miss the urgency of Max Roach’s “Right Now”, Eric B & Rakim, Odetta, Grand Master Flash & The Furious 5, The KayGees, Jackie Wilson, Charlie Mingus (shoot, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” still stops me in my tracks…). Curtis Mayfield‘s writing is some of the best ever heard. Marley, Coletrane and Miles all too good to be true but were.
Blakey, Blige & Berry too. Let me stop because I could go on and on. I think you get the drift.
Even some of the so called “mechanical” beats of the 1980s pops into my thoughts from time to time. Now, that is never to say that today’s musical landscape is barren and nothing more than a wasteland. Far from it. I hear some good stuff out there and try as often as one can to get my grubby fingers on those tracks. Still, there are times when I scan the airwaves just to see what corporate minds are trying to dump into ours and I hear nothing.
Used to be you got it off the air because that was where it was. Now, after all of the mergers and buyouts involving local stations this past decade or so, things have become, well, bland. I remember a time when I looked forward to road trips down south from New York because it meant that I would get to hear what everyone down the East Coast was getting to hear.
I also learned over time that what plays in Georgia may not necessarily make it “up North”. So, there’s a lot of music Northerners missed out on too.
Recent past drives “up North” found me lugging stacks of DVDs to listen to in the car.
I remember learning how in the past, stations were concerned about listener “satisfaction”. It would seem that now you get what you get. Less variety and more B.S. They know if they play something enough times – literally beat a song into your brain – they can influence your tastes. They do that instead of presenting something for your consumption and letting you decide if you like it or not.
As a result fewer people have a clue what their musical heritage really is. If people know more about the recording careers of an Aretha or a Johnnie Taylor, I believe there would even be the possibility of less strife between people. If you have NetFlix, check out some of the music documentaries streamed there. There’s quite a few. I recently checked out one about Muscle Shoals. Very interesting. shed light on a lot of things I suspected.
So I’m wondering today. If you had control of a Wayback Machine’s joy sticks, what would you do with them. Would variety play a factor? I know what I would do.
P.S.: We have another dedication coming this week at noon. Those in the know who it is dedicated to and why. Again this week’s cut is dedicated to those who’ve managed to get you thoroughly ticked off. Made you wanna holla not so nice things at the top of your lungs. Scream at the fool in the left lane tying up traffic or cutting people off or tapping on their brakes for no reason or driving with their lips loving a cell phone. It’s short and too the point. But it gets the message across. This Friday 12 Noon. Remember tender eardums may need to turn it down or wait until 12:10! This cut may not be suitable for all environments!