Rants and Raves

Outlaw Musicologist Says: “You Are the 51%”

The American Musical Heritage Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit with the simple mission to build Planet Earth’s record library with a copy of every phonograph record that has survived the wholesale destruction of the last 100 years of being sent to the landfills. Too many treasures are already “lost,” probably forever. The core of it is my own expansive collection, called the Musicians’ Reference Library. The M.R.L. is a scientifically designed “tool” to learn about and to accurately play all styles of music, something that can only be learned from access to the phonograph records and/or the people who made them, if they are alive. The more important a record is, the more likely I’ll have it. From there, we’ve added other record collections including Bing Crosby’s, Jerry Colonna’s, Dr. Richard Alpert’s, and William Saroyan’s, to name just a few.

In addition, I added other perfectly good records, many not as obviously “important,” but still part of the greater interconnected web of musical styles. In 1974 or thereabouts, my friend’s dad died, leaving 4,500 LPs from the 1950s, mostly sealed, and all mint. When I went out to check them out my heart sank: it was the least interesting genre of the early LP era. This was just after the glory days of buying cutouts, when I was buying Ike and Tina Turner on Sue, James Brown on King, and all these sealed old jazz, folk, and rock LPs really cheap, because they were not stereo. My friend’s dad, at the same time, was buying up easy listening music like mad. I mean, this was the instru-mental case old smoothies for people who were too senile for lyrics and singers — background sounds for folks for whom Frank Sinatra was way too intrusive. It’s still quite a collection of that stuff, and one of the things he had was Bagels and Bongos, by the Irving Fields Trio. No one bought anything, so I got the whole thing for a song, pulled out a few things that looked interesting at the time, and put the rest in deep storage. They survived because even though they weren’t worth money at the time, I realized they were somehow important and shouldn’t go to the landfill. See more from: idelsohnsociety.com

SOLD OUT: Kosher Katz and Kittens with Glenn Allen Howard

sold out: Idelsohn Society event See more from: idelsohnsociety.com

WAS THERE THEN“ (My First Dead show Saturday night, Feb.23,1963)

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 from “Was There Then”.

BEFORE: How did I go from this innocent fresh-faced little cowbabyboy… TO: this stomach-flu, Steinway-pumpin’, punk-rawki ‘n’ barrell0rollin’, cow-polka kid… AFTER: to this far less innocentsual bigger cowpoker-face stealer… to THIS? Well, first it was because I was always good at taking “tests,” and always got an “A,” especially when it came to the special kind of A-Tests that made you much smarter even if you didn’t graduate.