Category Archives: Music today

April 18 Music et al

April 18 Music et al

Tommy Shannon

April 18, 1946: Tommy Shannon born. Bassist best known for his work with Johnny Winter.

April 18 Music et al

The Beatles

Dell Shannon

April 18 Music et al

April 18, 1963: The Beatles performed at a rock show at the Royal Albert Hall in London broadcast live by the BBC.

The event, titled Swinging Sound 63, also featured among others, American singer Del Shannon. They performed twice – at 8:40 pm and again at 10 pm.


Following the event, Paul McCartney met Jane Asher for the first time. (Beatles, see May 5; Shannon, see June 1963)

1965 Oscars

The Sound of Music

April 18, 1966: 1965 Oscars held. Bob Hope hosts. Best picture: The Sound of Music  which had surpassed Gone With the Wind (1939) as the number one box office hit of all time.

April 18 Music et al

The Road to Bethel

April 18, 1969: the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals gave permission for the festival in the area known as Scotchtown. (See Chronology for much expanded list)

Tim Hardin

April 18 Music et al

April 18, 1969: Tim Hardin signed to perform at Woodstock. $2,000. (see Apr 21)

The Beatles

John Lennon

April 18, 1975: John Lennon performed in front of a live audience for the last time when he appeared on ‘Salute To Sir Lew Grade’, performing ‘Slippin And Slidin’, and ‘Imagine’. During ‘Imagine’ he ad libs “Imagine no immigration…” because of the recent reversal of his deportation case.

From Ultimate Rock site: “Everything finally seemed to be coming together for John Lennon, as he took the stage for what would sadly become his last public performance on April 18, 1975.

Wife Yoko Ono had become pregnant following their post-Lost Weekend reunion, earlier in 1975; Sean Lennon would be born on John’s 35th birthday that October. By then, a New York State Supreme Court judge had reversed Lennon’s pending deportation order, allowing him to remain in the U.S. He’d finally concluded a long-standing legal action over songwriting royalties with his publisher too, and that’s what brought Lennon to the New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The occasion was a gala all-star special, organized for television broadcast, called A Salute to Sir Lew Grade: The Master Showman.”

From Buskin with The BeatlesThe name of John’s eight-piece backing band was Brothers of Mother Fuckers – abbreviated to “BOMF” on its bass-drum head – which is probably why they were jointly announced as “John Lennon Etcetera”. (He would subsequently rename them Dog Soldier.) The musicians all wore masks created by sculptor Ruby Jackson on the backs of their heads as a sardonic reference to Grade’s two-faced personality, making John’s participation even more baffling.(see June 13)

April 18 Music et al

Tash Sultana Already Does

Tash Sultana Already Does

Tash Sultana Already Does

Tash Sultana Already Does

One of the most common comments I hear while volunteering at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is “How come they don’t make music like that anymore?”

“That” being music like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, or some other dead band or musician of the 1960s.

I have two answers to that question.

  1. On a deeper level, we first experience music at a time and place in our lives that connects those musicians to us in a unique way. Since we can never experience that music again in the same way, it holds a landmark place in our personal history and life view.

As I say, that’s the deeper level answer.

2. On a simpler level, the answer is that “They” already make music like that, but are we are willing to set aside those personal landmarks for a moment?

Tash Sultana Already

Tiny Desk Concerts

NPR’s Tiny Desk series is a gold mine of new music. Host Bob Boilen [retired from NPR on October 2, 2023] described the show as one with “intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered….”

All Songs Considered is the key phrase. If we are searching for golden music, we must be willing to put in the time to pan through a lot of grit, get uncomfortable, and have patience.

Tash Sultana Already Does

Gold in the Cloud

Gold there is, though, in them there sound clouds.

Tiny Desk featured Sultana on April 7, 2017. I was simply surfing the show’s many offerings, but I stayed with her a bit to watch her build the song “Jungle.”

Here is the link to Sultana’s mesmerizing 25 minute 37 second Tiny Desk performance 

It wasn’t the first time that I’ve seen a single  musician use modern electronics to build sounds into a song. For some, such construction is cheating. The sounds are not “real.” Songs need several musicians, not one. To me, that thinking is weak since any electric music is manipulated sound. And acoustic musicians use all kinds of techniques to change acoustics.

Tash Sultana Already Does

Five days one million

In 2016, Sultana posted this video of herself performing/creating “Jungle” in her living room. It fools you because it looks like there is far too much music to come from just one person.

One cute part of the video is when her mom sticks her head around the hallway corner at 2:23.

In its first five days on YouTube, the video had one million views! As of April 2019?  Nearly 40 million views!!! 

Tash Sultana Already Does

Vein of gold

Tash Sultana Already Does

Tash Sultana associates with the musicians’ site  We don’t listen to music on the radio anymore. We stream music and Bandcamp is a streaming site.

Its difference is that it is also a platform for artist promotion,  particularly independent artists.  Artists can post their music for free and we can listen for free.

The idea is that if you like what you hear you can buy the music.  The idea apparently works since the site recently posted the following:

Fans have paid artists $1.25 billion using Bandcamp, and $194 million in the last year


Bandcamp describes Sultana as “…a roots reggae/folk inspired singer/songwriter from Melbourne, Victoria. Since having her hands wrapped around a guitar at the mere age of three, the self taught artist was only destined to expand over the coming years.

For me, it answers the question…

How Come They Don’t?

Because Tash Sultana does already. And she continues to have an energetic tour schedule to put it mildly!

She has released lots of music, her most recent being her Sugar EP in 2023.

Tash Sultana Already Does

Happy Vinyl Record Day

Happy Vinyl Record Day

August 12

Thomas Edison

While  American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was officially credited with inventing the phonograph on November 21, 1877 and did not file for the patent until December 24, 1877, August 12, 1877 is the date popularly given for the completion of the model  which used a cylinder.

With these various dates to choose from, in 2002 Gary Freiberg of Los Osos, California decided that August 12 would be National Vinyl Record Day. The Mission Statement is:  “The Preservation of the Cultural Influence, the Recordings and the Cover Art of the Vinyl Record” 

Freiberg is  a radio host and investment counselor in San Luis Obispo County.  (

Happy Vinyl Record Day


Happy Vinyl Record Day
Emile Berliner

At the same time as Edison, Emile Berliner (invented the microphone that became part of the first Bell telephones) patented the gramophone, which  was the first flat vinyl record player. The device had to be operated by hand, and played seven inch discs (first of glass, then of zinc, then of plastic).

In 1901, the Victor Company released a record player called the Red Seal, and it played ten inch vinyl records. Interestingly, RCA adopted Berliner’s trademark: a dog listening to “his master’s voice.” The picture was actually based on an 1899 painting by Francis Barraud.

Barraud with one of his many copies of the painting “His Master’s Voice”.
Happy Vinyl Record Day


In 1948, Columbia Records developed the 33 13 rpm LP (for “long-play”) format.

In response, RCA Victor developed the 45 rpm format and marketed it in 1949. The 45 format allowed for juke boxes to proliferate.

Audio Fidelity offered the first commercial stereo two-channel records in 1957, however, it was not until the mid-to-late 1960s that the sales of stereophonic LPs overtook those of their monophonic equivalents, and became the dominant record type.

Such stereo technology combined with LSD’s psychedelia created an opportune format for many bands to present their music.

Happy Vinyl Record Day

CDs Kill Vinyl/Streaming Kill CDs

With the 1990s vinyl recordings, despite their sound quality, were largely replaced by the compact disc, then around 2000, digital downloads and streaming replaced CDs.

In 2007, vinyl sales made an unexpected small increase, starting its comeback, and by the early 2010s it was growing at a very fast rate.


Gary Freiberg

In a June 25, 2010 Goldmine site interview, Gary Freiberg explained his idea for the day: It was spurred by a couple of things. I conceived the idea in November of 2001 inspired in part by the events of September 11th. The idea for Vinyl Record Day (VRD) came from both the intense constant news that we were getting then, combined with my growing involvement in vinyl. It seemed we needed a break from war, terrorism and however random thought occurs mine was establishing VRD with one of the goals of Vinyl Record Day to remember regardless of world events we always have our personal memories of good times, of good people. And music is the primary vehicle to those memories. Everyone has their own soundtrack, as Dick Clark called it, when you hear a song and instantly fondly remember a good time or people you relate to that song. I wrote a proposal to the Board of Supervisors where I live and they officially declared Vinyl Record Day in San Luis Obispo County. Not to be corny but think of the good for the national psyche to have a day that we remember to keep in touch with life’s basic goodness regardless of the world news or personal challenges. Preservation is a natural primary goal of VRD but I see the two goals: preservation of our audio history and a day of music, friends and family as equally important goals.

Happy Vinyl Record Day


In 2016, fans purchased more than 3.2 millon LPs, a rise of 53% over 2015 and the highest number since 1991 when Simply Red’s Stars was the bestselling album. 2016 was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads.

In 2018,  vinyl sales moved nearly 10 million units.

In 2019 CNBC reported: This past week, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released its mid-year report. It showed that 80% of the of music industry’s revenue comes from streaming, but it also showed that revenue from sales of vinyl records is on track to overtake that of compact discs by the year’s end, should current trends continue.

On July 3, 2020, the Statistica site reported that, “Continuing one of the more surprising comebacks of the digital age, vinyl album sales in the United States have grown for the 14th consecutive year. In 2019, 18.8 million LPs were sold in the United States, up 14 percent compared to 2018 and more than 20-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback began.”

Happy Vinyl Record Day

Sweet vinyl’s sound return.

Here is an interesting perspective about our shelves today and vinyl records. The New York Times article begins with, “When I was 13, in the early 1990s, I dug through my parents’ cache of vinyl records from the ’60s and ’70s. We still had a phonograph, so I played some of them, concentrating on the Beatles. Their bigger hits were inescapably familiar, but a number of their songs were new to me.”

And below is a 2015 video from the New York Times about this vinyl renaissance and keeping up with pressing records. It features Independent Record Pressing in Bordentown, NJ.

And a WHYY 2020 video from their site:

Happy Vinyl Record Day

2023 Update

The Smithsonian Magazine reported that “For the first time since 1987, music lovers in the United States are buying more vinyl albums than CDs.

In 2022, listeners purchased 41 million vinyl records, compared to just 33 million CDs, according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group representing record labels, musicians and other recording businesses.”

As exciting as that news was to vinyl-lovers, the article soberly pointing out that, “Even so, both records and CDs made up only a small fraction of the music industry’s revenue in 2022. The majority—roughly 84 percent—came from streaming services….

July 12, 2023: a Variety article reported that, “The vinyl boom is not going bust anytime soon. In the first half of 2023, vinyl LP sales were up 21.7% from the same period the year before, a robust vote of confidence for the format that has dominated album sales in recent years. That’s one of the findings in Luminate’s Midyear Music Report, being released by the leading data company today.”

Happy Vinyl Record Day