A furniture company recorded all of the top African-American blues and jazz performers of the 1920s. Despite its roster's firepower, the label folded after just 15 years in business. A new reissue project tries to recapture some of the Paramount Records magic.
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band in Chicago in 1923: Louis Armstrong is kneeling, from left to right behind him are Honore Dutrey, Baby Dodds, King Oliver, Lil Hardin, Bill Johnson and Johnny Dodds.
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Based on the data, Katy Perry's "Roar" feels like a culture-dominating No. 1 hit, while "Wrecking Ball" feels a bit like a trollgaze meme. But on a chart with a history of one-off, faddish but surprisingly enduring No. 1 hits, Cyrus' song is part of a long tradition.
The label run by engineer Cookie Marenco sells super high-definition downloads — a development even she thought impossible 15 years ago. The downloads may be expensive, but she says, the sound is superior to current popular audio formats like MP3.
Cookie Marenco records musicians on a small remote recording console live at the California Audio Show in August. She'll demonstrate the quality of DSD to the audience by playing back her recording. How close will it sound to the live performance? Very close, according to people present.
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Pandora, Rdio and Spotify are changing the way we listen to music, but all have had money issues. Apple and Google join the fray this year and music producer Jimmy Iovine is launching a service with Beats by Dr. Dre.
Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams, Jr. Charles Hughes quotes the songwriter and performer as saying, "Everything I write and sing comes out country, and that's why I have to take so much time in arrangements and instrumentation, because — if not — I'd just be cutting a bunch of country records with black people. And we know that black people are not makin' it in country."
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He said what we've all been saying: rappers need to try harder. And if the past week is any indication, this fall there will be a marked dispensation of niceties — and a renewed focus on craft and song-making.
WNYCSteinway Musical Instruments is on the auction block and a mystery bidder, rumored to be hedge fund manager John Paulson, appears to have the winning bid at $458 million. Ilya Marritz explains why the fairly healthy company is seeking a buyout in the first place.
After 55 years, the voracious creature, built to absorb whatever medium is delivering music to the masses at any given time, is complicated and imperfect — any chart where Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Missy Elliott peak only at No. 2 is — but it's still the best benchmark we have to measure the bigness of hits.