“I’ve learned everything I know off of records. Being able to replay something immediately without all that terrible structure of written music, the prison of those bars, those five lines. Being able to hear recorded music freed up loads of musicians that couldn’t afford to learn to read or write music, like me. Before 1900, you’ve got Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, the cancan. With recording, it was emancipation for the people. As long as you or somebody around you could afford a machine, suddenly you could hear music made by people, not set-up rigs and symphony orchestras. You could actually listen to what people were saying, almost off the cuff. It was the emancipation of music. Otherwise, you’d have had to go to a concert hall and how many people could afford that? It surely can’t be any coincidence that jazz and blues started to take over the world the minute recording started, within a few years, just like that. The blues is universal, which is why it’s still around. Just the expression and the feel of it came in because of recording. It was like opening the audio curtains. And available, and cheap. It’s not just locked into one community here and one community there and the twain shall never meet. And of course that breeds another totally different kind of musician, in a generation. I don’t need this paper. I’m going to play it straight from the ear, straight from the heart to the fingers. Nobody has to turn the pages.”
“It was always, all about records. From when I was eleven or twelve years old, it was who had the records who you hung with. They were precious things. I was lucky to get two or three singles every six months or something.”
“WAS THERE THEN“
(My First Dead Show – Saturday night, Feb.3,1963)
By Rama Lama Ding-Dong Daddy-o-from Dumas -aka Glenn Allen Howard.
Or: “How in the holy-moly mo-fo heliocentric helicopter from Hell, piloted by a non-native ‘take me to your cheerleader’ Saturnist man named Sun Ra-Ra-Rah!) did the likes of little ol’ me get to see the Wildwood Boys at The Top of the Tangent, 50 mutha-folkin’ years ago today, or the story of the very first in a still-sustaining seriously out-of-this-world series of ‘One More Saturday Nights.'” Read more..
Welcome to the American Musical Heritage Foundation’s website. This is a teaching website. And what I means to do is to teach ya ‘bout music. The fun way! Not the academic way. Not out of sheet music and books and stuff like that. Those are supplemental. The main thing is to hear and whenever possible, see the classic recording artists and performers and entertainers of the twentieth century. I don’t think the twentieth century’s ever gonna get beat. Look at all the different genres of music that were created then that are still there now.
So anyway, we’re gonna visit alotta that stuff and here’s a great way to learn music. And if you’re a musician then what you need to do is learn from here. You can read books if you want. That’s supplemental. You can go to school if you want. That’s supplemental. You can certainly learn theory or you can teach it to yourself, but the real meat and potatoes in learning how music goes is to understand the hundred thousand or million different flavors of music by hearing it. You can’t conjure up Ray Charles from sheet music. You have to hear that. It’s the same with a million other voices and we’re gonna cover as many as we can before I kick. So hang in there and I’m gonna learn ya all about music!
For years I’ve been asked to write books, but I am interested in writing or talking better or something about records that people haven’t heard usually. These obscure things. I’m not going to write about the Beatles or that kind of stuff.
So I had the vision, years ’n’ years and years ago, of an electric book where you can hear the music and I can talk or write, you know, and you can pick up on it. But you would learn actually the music from listening to the music, and whenever possible, watching live film footage. Mostly live film footage of mostly dead musicians and singers. All the classic stuff from the twentieth century! It’s right here. If you can watch television, you can learn about music and that’s what this is for.
For years I taught professional musicians from the Musician’s Reference Library, my record library. And this is my gift to the public here, is how to learn American culture.