Here at Old Days New Ways, we're reminiscing about the great lead guitar players that we experienced during the progressive era, the 1970's, the progressive, "prog rock" era. Well, recently we had another very interesting birthday to celebrate. Laurens Hammond was born January 11th, 1895 and he died July, 3rd, 1973. In 1973. I was a junior in high school and I was just beginning to love the sound of the Hammond organ in groups like Deep Purple & Chicago. Then they came to the forefront with my favorite bands, who's front-men were keyboardists like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer with Keith Emerson on keyboard. Yes, with Rick Wakeman on keyboards, and a completely different style and Tony Banks the awesome keyboard player of Genesis. What a trifecta, growing up with those three guys and hearing what you could do on the Hammond organ.
Now, Emerson, of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer is widely known as the first person to ever tour with a Moog synthesizer. As the synthesizer started to come into vogue in the seventies. They were around in the sixties, but they came into the big time with Keith Emerson, who toured with a Moog synthesizer. But they all had Hammond keyboards and there was a Hammond C3, I think there was a B3, maybe something like that. And what was so cool, if you remember, about the Hammond organ in concert was they were always connected to what were known as Leslie speakers. Leslie speakers were a special set of speakers, but at the top of the cabinet there was a fan that would turn on and off when the keyboard player would hit vibrato on the stops or on various buttons on the side of the keyboards. They were a two-keyboard instrument. Usually the upper keyboard was the melody, the lower keyboard was chords. However, in a band you had the bass player and the guitar players to take that over so you could get very creative and create different sounds on the lower manual and the upper manual. Keyboards were also known as manuals.
So, Laurens Hammond was born on this day in 1895. Now he was an engineer, of course. Anyone who develops electronic devices is an engineer of some sort. I think every artist in the seventies had a Hammond organ. Me personally, I was talking recently about the birthday of Jimmy Page and how much him and three other guitar players, Steve Howe, Peter Townsend, and Brian May influenced me as I grew up. They were with me through my childhood and early adulthood and have stayed with me to this day. My favorite instrument is keyboard. I actually play a little bit, but I am not a keyboard player really. I can play some chords and get by, but it all started when I first heard Tarkus, the album by Emerson Lake and Palmer. My friend David invited me over and had this great new album by this group, ELP or Emerson, Lake, & Palmer as we called them then, and we sat down and listened to this keyboard masterpiece called Tarkus. I don't know what you'd call it. Is it rock? Is it classical? Is it... what? That was the beginning of my love affair with Emerson Lake and Palmer and all the other keyboard players that I have mentioned. Rick Wakeman, completely different style, awesome player, amazing. It was so cool to see these guys on tour. Emerson would tour with 13 keyboards on stage! Wakeman had 13-15 keyboards and he would play them all during the concert, it wasn't for show! They were different keyboards for different songs and just amazing. We wont go into the different types of keyboards that and the evolution to keyboards that were around in the sixties and seventies because, you know, there was a piano then there was the Mellotron; then there was the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, ARP synthesizers and all were used to different degrees to create great sounds and unique effects.
This is Brad from Old Days, New Ways. Celebrating the birthday of Laurens Hammond, who invented the Hammond organ, who was born in 1895. Rock on.
Listen To the Audio Version Here!
Yesterday was the 75th birthday of Jimmy Page on January 8th, 2019. Jimmy was born in 1944, but it's just amazing to me that 75 years have passed. I, it just seems like yesterday I grew up listening to led Zepplin. I'm just marveled at all the 50th and 75th anniversaries. Even Woodstock is celebrating its 50th anniversary and something's in the works for a celebration. What a mindblower, being a young kid being a teenager and then an adult and now I’m here, looking at all of the stuff I love most turn 50 & 75. I was actually teenager during the late sixties and into the seventies, and I was blessed while not knowing at the time that it was a renaissance of explosive music how music affected the culture. We just took it for granted. We grew up with the Beatles and the Stones and the first British invasion.
And then, right after Sergeant Pepper, it seemed that the flood gates opened to creativity and all different kinds of music. But that second British wave, the bands that we call the progressive bands today, started to appear. Kind of independent from that was Jimmy Page. I had liked Led Zeplin, I didn't love them, but I was intrigued with their sound. I wasn't too thrilled with Robert Plant, although I love Robert Plant, especially when he talks about what he knows about culture and whales and Celtic Lore and also his views on the United States and music in general. He's a very intelligent and interesting human being. If you saw them on the Dan Rather interview recently on AXS channel, it's really worth watching. He's really something else. But the thing I remember was the first time I saw a video. They were not prevalent back then, you had to go see the group live if you wanted to see them.
The first time I saw and listened to Jimmy page and was totally transported to another world, I was fixated on him. His sound was unique, and his stage presence is definitely singular. I've just been mesmerized by him, both his sound and the look when he's onstage. Even to this day, I think he is the greatest guitar player of my generation. I, recently on my personal page, put photos of my top four artists, with Jimmy and Steve Howe of Yes, Brian May of Queen and Peter Townsend of The Who. Now, there's lots more guitarists, but those four have really been there for me as I grew up, transported me to a different world I wasn't quite sure what, but it took me out of my problems or issues or when I was just having a bad day or having a great day and making a great day better. Those guys, through their guitar playing, were part of my childhood, part of my early adulthood and have had a profound effect on me as far as music and culture, to this day. I listen to music. It's an integral part of my life. I listened to music over the streaming capabilities we have today. I'm old school too. I love analog technology as well. This is Brad from Old Days, New Ways, doing our Old Days blog post, congratulating and celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jimmy Page, who I feel was the most original and amazing guitar player I have ever seen and heard.
Hello! A ton of people have latched onto the photo I posted of that cassette changer, so I decided to expand on that! In this post, I'm going to go over a brief history of the cassette, as well as some cool stuff about changers.
Let's start with a brief history of the Cassette tape. The Cassette was introduced to the world in 1963, but wouldn't seen a North American release until about 1966, after Philips had been producing them in Europe for about three years. Music wasn't put onto the tapes until late 1965, as the sound quality and marketing were targeted at voice recording and dictation (captains log...) and didn't allow for a quality music experience until then. But after only two years they improved it enough to allow for music! These changes came fast, and soon enough the cassette changer came along.
There are, of course, more types of changers than Cassette changers. The most popular of which are the Jukebox! Cassette changers were the next natural step in making music easier to play. Although they weren't very common, it was easier to simply change the cassette manually, they still were popular. as evidenced by the response on the post!
Huge thanks to Gene Arés and Mark Stevenson (and anyone else) on our facebook post for telling us about Techmoan's video all about the exact same changer we posted! It was super helpful and informative, as I don't even know much about them myself, despite having an extensive collection of cassette tapes. You can find the video linked here (opens in new window), we recommend giving it a watch if you really liked our post!
Another hot debate is between 8-track and Cassette. Both were popular enough to warrant changers, but many more people seemed interested in the cassette changer, some even disparaging 8-tracks. As a transfer specialist, 8-tracks are annoying because I can't take them apart, and they are pretty much unusable now. Cassette tapes have held up much better, and I can replace the case if I need to. But that's just my personal bias, if you prefer 8-track or cassette, comment on this post saying which you prefer and why, I'd love to hear from you all!
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Hello , everyone! Welcome from Brad from Old Days New Ways! So many of you like our Facebook page (over 2,000, wow!) and I love interacting with all of you. I wanted something a little more customizable, however, as I have music and videos and more that I want to share with you! So I decided to start using the blog capabilities of our new website to reach out to you more personally.
I want each post to share something cool about the time I grew up, and especially as it relates to today! The Old Days in the New Ways.
To start off, let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite albums, The White Album by The Beatles!
A little history, thanks to the Vinyl Rewind youtube channel for consolidating all the information for me! The White Album is actually The Beatles’ self-titled album, and the cover wasn’t always blank white! Recording on The White Album (TWA) started on May 30th, 1968. What made this album special started in the studio. Instead of figuring out the songs, practicing them, and then recording them once; the band figured out the songs pretty much on-the-fly! They’d written the lyrics during their stay in India where they explored meditation and spirituality, and when they came back they booked open-ended sessions whereupon they would work in the studio until they felt they were done for the day, or that the song was done.
This process is really cool, as it allows song to come about more naturally and collaboratively than usual, but it’s a lot more expensive and sometimes a song just doesn’t come together. The only downside to this was that, at the time, the Beatles apparently weren’t getting along very well. Their performances were fraught with criticism, and Ringo even left for a time! That never seemed to affect their teamwork on each others songs. We forget that they were best mates! The others convinced him to come back, though, and they eventually finished on October 14th, 1968. The album would later be released on November 22nd, 1968. November 22nd is my Son’s birthday! Although he was born much later.
This album had many songs which would become hits/favorites among fans. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Blackbird to name a few. The songs on the album are as varied and interesting as you'd expect from the newly-inspired spiritual Beatles. My top three (in no particular order) are
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
& Savoy Truffle.
The White Album remains one of The Beatles' most famous works, and for good reason. This was the highlight of their career, when they were pretty much the biggest band in the entire world! It's hard to believe it's been fifty years already.
Listen to The White Album Here!