Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Who is this guy?

Early Bill

Bill Hanley was born in March 4, 1937.  Happy birthday, Bill!

He was born in Medford, MA when radio still ruled the airwaves. Like some other young people of his time, listening to the radio evolved into looking inside and discovering the world of electronics.

During the early 60s, a childhood friend of mine showed me how easily we could hook up an extra speaker or two to my simple record player to enhance the sound. Such “simple” reconstruction can lead to the love of sound.

Such was the case with Bill Hanley and his brother Terry.

Keep in mind that for most outdoor sound at this time, the phrase was PA, as in “public address.” That is, the group or individual that needed outdoor sound concentrated on sending the speaker’s voice out into the audience.

The Hanley brothers loved good sound and their love coincided with a time of increased outdoor music events and musicians needed more than simply sending the singer’s voice, musicians needed their instruments to be heard as well.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Hanley Sound

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

In 1957 Bill Hanley began a relationship with the Newport Jazz Festival and its organizer, George Wein.  Remembering that difference between what a PA can do versus what a good “sound system” can do, think about how important quality sound production would be to jazz musicians.

Shortly after that Bill and Terry Hanley began Hanley Sound Inc, at 430 Salem St. in Medford, MA.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Good timing

In 1964 Baby Boomers experienced Beatlemania and the British Invasion. Like all stories, being in the right place or knowing to be in the right place at the right time can make all the difference.

In 1966 Hanley Sound was working with the Boston band, The Remains (“the greatest band you never heard of”) and while the Remains were not a household name outside of Boston, they were good enough to land quite a gig: the 1966 Beatle tour.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Epstein meets Hanley 

On that tour Brian Epstein recognized the quality that Hanley Sound could produce and used them.  Next came the Beach Boys. And by the end of the 60s, Hanley sound was doing outdoor concert after outdoor concert.

The most famous one was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Last Seat In the House

Bill Hanley continued his golden touch on sound. One person in particular who has tried to get the recognition for Bill Hanley that he so deserves is a John Kane.  John has been working on a film about Hanley called “Last Seat In the House.” 

The title reflects the goal that Hanley Sound always aimed at: that the people in the last row could hear the music as well as anyone seated anywhere else.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
Here are some words from John Kane:

I am a post grad doctoral student and for the past three years I have been researching the life/career of pioneer sound engineer Bill Hanley. Since the beginning of this research, until now my discoveries have been overwhelming.

Collectively, sound reinforcement is an area of technology that is often overlooked. It is my hope that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledges, considers, and/or inducts Bill Hanley and his pioneering sound company into their institution. If the RRHF leadership were to peel away the layers of popular music as we know it today, they would surely realize that the area of “sound” owes much to Hanley’s pioneering work. An acknowledgment like this would bring light and significance to an era innovation where quality sound in popular music mattered most…the 1960s and 1970s.

In my view (and others) Hanley was a primary force in bringing quality sound to the forefront of the evolving music and political arenas. When primitive public address technology was the “norm” for various events, the influence of Bill Hanley elevated the quality of sound via his innovative methods and application.

Lastly, if you choose to sign this petition would you kindly forward this email to your network of friends and colleagues? This will allow us to reach our rather ambitious goal.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

So…

Help Induct Bill Hanley of Hanley Sound into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Click here and please sign petition

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
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September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Anarchism in the US

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

September 19, 1892: Andrew Berkman is sentenced to twenty-two years in prison for the attempt on steel magnate Henry Clay Frick’s life on July 23, 1892.  [1970 NY Review article] (see June 1893)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

BLACK HISTORY

September 19, 1955:  the kidnapping (only) trial of J W Milam and Roy Bryant opened in Sumner, Mississippi, the county seat of Tallahatchie County. Jury selection begins and, with blacks and white women banned from serving, an all-white, 12-man jury made up of nine farmers, two carpenters and one insurance agent was selected.

Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till Bradley, departed from Chicago’s Midway Airport to attend the trial. (see Emmett Till)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Nuclear/Chemical News

Operation Plumbbob

September 19, 1957: the US detonated a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test. Rainier was part of a series of 29 nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons safety tests known as Operation Plumbbob that were conducted at the NTS between May 28, 1957, and October 7, 1957. (related NYT article) (see Sept 29)

Cuban Missile Crisis

September 19, 1962:  the United States Intelligence Board (USIB) approved a report on the Soviet arms buildup in Cuba. Its assessment, stated that some intelligence indicates the ongoing deployment of nuclear missiles to Cuba. The Soviet Union above ground nuclear test. 1.5 – 10 megaton. (CW/NN, see Sept 25; see Cuban Missile Crisis for expanded story)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

The Cold War

No Disneyland for Krushchev 

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 1959: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had arrived in the US on September 15 for a summit meeting with President Eisenhower. The Soviet leader indicated a desire to see Hollywood. September 19 began pleasantly enough, with a tour of the Twentieth Century Fox Studios. Khrushchev was taken to the sound stage for the movie “Can-Can” and was immediately surrounded by the cast of the film, including Shirley MacLaine and Juliet Prowse. The cast members performed a number from the film. Frank Sinatra was brought in to serve as an unofficial master of ceremonies later lunched with an obviously delighted Khrushchev. (see Disneyland for more)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Teenage Culture

September 19 – 25, 1960: “The Twist” by 18-year-old Chubby Checker #1 Billboard Hot 100 (see January 1962). The song was written by Hank Ballard and originally the B-side of Hank Ballard & the Midnighters’ “Teardrops on Your Letter” in 1959.

Checker was born Ernest Evans. His boss nicknamed him Chubby. He made a private recording, “The Class,” on which he imitated many singers of the time including Fats Domino. The record was given to Dick Clark whose wife, after Ernest Evans said his nickname was Chubby, asked, “As in Checker?” referring to Fats Domino. The name stuck. (see March 1963)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Vietnam

September 19, 1969: President Nixon announced the cancellation of the draft calls for November and December. He reduced the draft call by 50,000 (32,000 in November and 18,000 in December). This move accompanied his twin program of turning the war over to the South Vietnamese concurrent with U.S. troop withdrawals and was calculated to quell antiwar protests by students returning to college campuses after the summer. (see Sept 23)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

US Labor History

September 19, 1973: a judge sentenced Aubran W Martin, one of the three gunmen convicted  in the 1969 Yablonski family murders, to die in the electric chair. [Pittsburgh Post Gazette story on murders] (Yablonski, see April 8, 1974; Labor, see Nov 12)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

INDEPENDENCE DAY

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

September 19, 1983: Saint Kitts and Nevis independent of the United Kingdom. [NYT article]  (see January 1, 1984)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Sexual Abuse of Children

September 19, 2002: the Boston Archdiocese reached a $10m settlement with victims of John Geoghan, retracting a previous settlement of $30m which the Church said would have bankrupted the archdiocese. (NYT article) (see Oct 7)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

Hurricane Katrina

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 2005: Louisiana’s official death toll stood at 973. (see Katrina for expanded story)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

LGBTQ

Don’t ask, don’t tell

September 19 Peace Love Activism

September 19, 2011: the US military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy officially ended.  [Washington Post article] (see September 20,  2011)

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell/Year 1

September 19, 2012: the one-year anniversary of the end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy passed with little notice because the policy had been so quickly implemented with so little disruption. Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members were thought to make up at least 2 percent of the military’s 2.2 million forces on active duty, in the reserves, and the National Guard. (see October 18, 2012)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism

FREE SPEECH & Colin Kaepernick

September 19, 2016: four Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists during the anthem

Prior to the game, Malcolm Jenkins said the Eagles would protest during the anthem. Jenkins was joined by Steven Means, Ron Brooks and Marcus Smith in raising a fist while standing during the anthem. [Washington Post article] FS & CK, see Sept 20)

September 19 Peace Love Art Activism
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