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the reason to listen to music before 1960

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:30 pm

People listen to the Beatles, maybe the Beach Boys, but not a lot else from the first half of the 60s and certainly not (usually) from decades earlier.

There are reasons to dig further back. Most of this is from emails to some KZSU list over the past few days.

50’s: the start (for all intents and purposes) of Rock N Roll, Motown, Phil Spector, R&B coming out of gospel as a twinkle
in Sam Cooke’s voice, folk as a traditionalist revival (and the release of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music), folk as a mainstream genre, cool jazz, hard bop, classic country, one of the only reasonable periods of musical theater, etc.

30’s and 40’s: perhaps one of the two most important collection of traditional folk music from the American South, the Lomax field recordings. the turning period of jazz from a dance genre to essentially an art music genre, the signature American sound in classical music and theater (in the Copland and Gershwin sense).

(As with all broad sweeping statements, these can be argued with, but they’re generally accurate)

One Response to “the reason to listen to music before 1960”

  1. Sarah Louise Says:

    You and my brother would be able to talk music. He’s into all the old stuff. I dig folk music in a big way. WYEP has a show called an American Sampler for a few hours Sunday mornings (when I was in college it was every afternoon for hours upon hours).

    I am intrigued at what your comfort music might be that is so embarrassing…Wham! or the BeeGees? Because they play a mean song even though they can be embarrassing…oh I know, it’s Britney’s latest!

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