Where has all the good music gone? I have been in and around music for most of my life, even had a stint as a drummer for a small-town rock band in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
So why do I find myself listening to the “60’s Revolution” or “Ratpack” on satellite radio today? Because the good music is gone or at least hiding in hard to find places.
I still maintain that the 1960s and early 1970s were the golden era of music for several generations. I still remember that fateful night when the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Music and I would never be the same.
I was so taken with them that I actually bought a Beatle wig and carved their name in my relatively new headboard. I am still razzed about that nearly 50 years later.
The ‘60s also brought us the incredible Motown years and soul or R and B music.
The 1970s brought in “hard rock,” my favorite era. It brought with it Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jethro Tull, the Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin and on and on.
I’m not sure what happened between 1980 and today. I gave up listening.
I began seeking new sources of music around 1972 when I was first exposed to a monumental collection of music called, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a host of country/bluegrass greats including Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs and Vassar Clements. This led to finding such great artists as Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark and a bunch of great Texas artists.
This album would change how I listened to music. I began looking for the contemporary bluegrass and “alt country” artists such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, John Prine and leading up today to artists like Alison Krauss.
Obviously, I can’t recount the history of music in one column and it’s just my opinion of where the good music is, but it’s certainly not on any commercial radio station, now overcrowded with mundane talk shows. I count six stations with all-talk formats and very few good music choices around here. But that’s another column. Would love to hear your comments on the state of radio in Central Arkansas. Hint: I primarily listen to public radio.
A reader writes!
I had a reader actually send me an e-mail last week. I think that makes two in almost a year of doing this column. It makes me wonder if Maumelle people read the paper, or are they just so passive that they don’t want to go to the trouble to comment? Here’s a note from a reader (edited for length):
Dear Mr. Moore:
“ I could not agree with you more. The city certainly needs a community arts center and yes, a cultural center. We have traveled to several towns and cities and most, if not all have a town square or center. We live on Lake Willastein and I am with you, there is so much more in entertainment that could be done. I would love to see the band stand have some good music and entertainment. What about a bluegrass night and maybe another type of music other evenings? A “night under the stars” is a wonderful idea. I agree, it is time to take the Lake Willastein events to a higher level. Maumelle is a wonderful place to live but I feel we are missing a lot, and I am not alone. Again, thank you for the article, and I hope in my lifetime, we can see this happen.
Council creates silly ordinance to ‘protect’ us
I noticed that the City Council has passed an ordinance creating a list of homes that do not want to be bothered by door-to-door solicitors and suggests that we have a right to put a “no solicitation” sign on our doors. We would put our names on this master list of “no solicitations” and the solicitors would not be allowed to step on our property. Seems to be much ado about not much.
I have lived in Maumelle for almost 15 years and I can count on one hand the number of solicitors I have had. I could always, and still can, put a sign on my door. I don’t ever have to open the door to a solicitor, or I could say (and have said), “I’m not interested,” before they even get to the door.
Dear Mayor and Council: Let’s worry about the streets, water system, parks department, police and fire, animal control and things that really matter. I can handle who comes to the front door.
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore owns a creative consulting firm, Neal Moore Creative. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter, @kneelmore.