Tuesday, March 3, 2009
tate music group...from beefsteak's to bob
I was a history major in college...and no...I had no plans on becoming a high school coach! To be honest, I was running out of money and I needed to graduate. I assessed my situation, turned my minor to my major, and voila...a degree I don't think I will ever use for any related purpose.
That being said, I came away with an even greater love of all things old...historical...iconic. I love to know how and why things happened and what it means for us, today. I especially love the story side of history...the parts that can only be described through interviews and fireside chats. (I think that is what makes me so sad regarding the histories of ancient Greece and Rome...we'll never hear the accounts of events, battles, and decisions that have shaped our world.)
Well, I was listening to a radio interview as I commuted home from work this week and it really hit on the things I seem to enjoy the most: historical story and music. To be more specific, it was an interview with an African-American songwriter from the 1940s and 1950s. She was describing the life and work of a songwriter in those days. It was an interview full of nostalgia...it took you back to a time when music and the industry was finding its way.
This songwriter (sorry, I missed the introduction part) talked about how many of the greatest songs of that era...from Elvis to Ella...were written in the back of an establishment called 'Beefsteak Charlie's' in New York City. That's right, Nashville wasn't always the music capitol of the world. She described late night collaborations between writers...using napkins and old paper sacks...anything to keep the music and lyrics flowing. And the next morning...there was a good chance you'd have a hit on your hands. That is a good example of how it used to work and, in some ways, still does. Songwriters creating hits and making people stars.
Now, fast forward a decade and a half. The era of the songwriter is still in full effect but we have a new breed of artist fighting for recognition. One of the most famous, and most influential, was Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan epitomized the singer/songwriter. He wrote amazing songs and then he sang them...and became a star.
I love the nostalgia and the mental pictures I get from listening to and thinking about stories from the early days in the music industry. But, those thoughts always lead me back to today and many other events that have brought us to where we are with music. Of course, there are still thousands and thousands of songwriters out there making amazing music. David Foster is a good one.
But there are just as many, and maybe more, great singer/songwriters who are out there writing and performing their own music...music they have a deep, emotional connection to...because they created it. In my opinion, this is the purest form of art there is. There is something incredible about an artist taking an idea, a thought, a vision, and putting it on paper, to music, and with a voice.
That is what we are looking for at Tate Music Group. The music industry is changing. Of course there will, sadly, always be reality shows that give us another singer/dancer/??? I don't want to discredit what other artists are doing but, in my opinion, there is a growing desire for authentic, meaningful music. I think that is a huge reason why artists like Bob Dylan were and are so popular. They have something to say...something original...something that is truly theirs. Their songs had a message and a meaning and they connected to people at a deep level.
At Tate Music Group, we want artists that we can help connect to people...to help share their music and message to as many as possible...and to help them to create and keep something that is truly theirs.