American Regional Music A|
Casualty Of Industry Consolidation
LOS ANGELES, CA - (INTERNET WIRE) - Jul 16, 2002 - Once upon a time, the regional music
scene in America was vibrant and alive. If your job allowed you to travel, you'd look forward to
hearing a special kind of blues in Chicago and a totally different variety in Memphis.
Route 66 Rockabilly (www.Route66Rockabilly.com) chronicles the recent dramatic rise of rockabilly
music with its Internet site devoted to the more than 500 bands worldwide, local music events and
regional festivals, the unique clothing styles worn by fans, hot rods, Route 66 nostalgia and
Listening to the radio while driving east from El Paso, you'd soon find out that country music in
Texas was unlike anything they called by the same name in Louisiana. The mountain music played in
Kentucky was vastly different from the country tunes heard in Nashville.
Rock and roll coming out of Pittsburgh had a steelworkers' edge to it, and beach music heard along
the Carolina shores was its own brand of boogie. Southern rock from Florida and Georgia had a redneck
swagger to it, and the area spawned hundreds of bar bands in the 70s and 80s.
Everything changed with the consolidation of the music industry. The record companies that released the
music and the radio stations that played the music were both swept up in a wave of corporate acquisitions
over the past two decades. Music playlists became centralized at corporate headquarters.
In 2002, if you decided to drive from San Diego, California to Orlando, Florida, the sounds you would
hear on your car radio would be so similar that it sounded like it was always the same station. American
regional music has become just one more casualty of the "bigger is better" mindset of the music industry.
Rockabilly music has recently been revived by a new generation of young musicians who love the rough-edged,
countrified rock sounds that were last heard in 1954, primarily on Sun Records in Memphis. The fact that
radio won't play the music and record companies won't sign the artists doesn't seem to dissuade the 18-year
olds who are picking up a guitar today. Many rockabilly bands are playing for gas money at non-traditional
venues, such as bowling alleys, just to get on stage and entertain.
Recent rockabilly festivals in Las Vegas, Southern California, Indiana and North Carolina all drew
thousands of fans who drove for hundreds of miles to see and hear their favorite bands, all of which
share one common bond - none of them are played on radio anywhere in America.
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