Turn the Prism – Highlights from the 3/4 Rock and Roll Revisited

Judy Collins once wrote that where music is concerned, there are no new ideas, just people who make them more compelling than the original. Last Thursday’s “Much More Music” section shared three examples of covers, two of which out performed the first version. In every endeavor, there are those who take the seed planted by a previous generation and grow it into something that connects with the current marketplace.

Todd Storz and Gordon McLendon are credited with studying how restaurant customers used the jukebox to choose the music they liked, reinventing radio just as television was making the long form programming of the “Golden Age” irrelevant.

When the Xerox Model 914 copy machine was introduced in 1959, the market was reluctant to pay the huge upfront capital costs because they were used to the per-sheet pricing of the old carbon paper copy solution. Xerox wisely reworked the numbers to make it possible to pay per copy. And the way we duplicated our work was forever changed. Amazon melded the Sears Catalog model with the latest logistics ideas and created a monster company in the process. And everyone has added Uber as a verb to their vocabularies, with a growing number of people considering the disrupted concept of taxi service a good alternative to automobile ownership.

This is the concept of “Turning the Prism“. Everything we do today can be reinvented to take advantage of advancements in knowledge and technology. When the great producer Bones Howe began working with pop acts in LA, all he had was two track recording technology. Like Beatle engineer, Geoff Emerick before him, Bones found ways to innovate with existing tech, so that when multi-track became available, he was ready to capitalize on it.

The best career insurance is to keep your eyes on the horizon, imagining the future and preparing for it today. That’s the secret that long lasting musical brands like Elton John and Tony Bennett have leveraged to extend their relevance into spaces and new audiences. It can work for us too.

Quick Takes:

For the Detroiters in our fanbase: Godspeed Lulu Harwell. Via Mitch Albom and the @Freep

25 years ago, we lost John Candy. Here’s Ryan Reynolds’ video tribute.

An oldie but goodie. The last Blockbuster Video store and how smart, customer focused people are the ultimate competitive advantage. Via @TheVerge

What happens to bankability when a person’s behavior becomes connected with his work? RKelly and Michael Jackson are just the latest. Via @Jacobsmedia

The law of unintended consequences. Self-storage companies are facing a lot of competition. Marie Kondo isn’t helping. Via @Bloomberg

Today In History:

1957: The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.

1963: The surf craze is alive and well in Hawthorne, California as The Beach Boys release “Surfin’ U.S.A.

1966: John Lennon angers fans when his statement that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus is misconstrued.

1967: The Monkees dominate the LP chart for 17 weeks, 13 with their eponymous debut and four more with “More of the Monkees“.

1968: Temptations Eddie Kendricks and Otis Williams are involved in a serious car crash. Both are sent to a hospital in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

1969: Chastity Bono is born to Sonny & Cher.

1972: Don McLean‘s “American Pie” is the number one LP for a seventh straight week.

1974: “The Entertainer“, the theme from the hit film, The Sting is released as a single by Marvin Hamlisch.

1976: Hall & Oates record “Rich Girl“.

1978: The Internal Revenue Service carries out a dawn raid at the home of rocker Jerry Lee Lewis taking vehicles worth over $170,000 to pay of a tax debt.

Happy Birthday To:
(1932) Miriam Makeba (d. 2008)
(1939) Barbara McNair(d.2007)
(1939) Paula Prentiss
(1944) Susan Clark
(1948) Chris Squire (d. 2015)
(1953) Emilio Estefan

Much More Music:

1959: Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini wins Album of the Year at the first ever Grammy Awards Ceremony. The theme from the television series, starring Craig Stevens and created by Blake Edwards aired on NBC from September 22, 1958 to 1960 and then on ABC in 1960-1961. Mancini had a long collaboration with Edwards on screen, most notably, “The Pink Panther” series and “Victor Victoria”. His arrangement and recording of The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet spent two weeks at number one, beginning on June 29, 1969 (Video)

1974: Joni Mitchell releases Help Me. It was the premiere single from her 1974 album Court and Spark, recorded with Tom Scott’s L.A. Express as the back-up band. “Help Me” was Joni’s most successful single, peaking at #7 in June 1974. (Video)


1978: Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours sets a rock era record: 31 weeks at #1 on the LP chart. The singles “Go Your Own Way“, “Dreams“, “Don’t Stop“, and “You Make Loving Fun” all reached top 10. “Rumours” would go on to sell over 40 million copies. We’ll feature “Go Your Own Way” this morning. (Video)


Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting:If you can make them laugh, you’ll have their affection. If you can make them think, you’ll have their respect. If you can make them feel, you’ll have the keys to the kingdom.” ~Johnny Uzan

One for the road: I was talking with ScottOwensShow supporter, Bob Berry, this weekend. We were making a mental list of all the great acts to come out of the State of Ohio – that’s what DJs do ;). One of our favorite One Hit Wonder Bands was The Outsiders. Allmusic describes the act’s secret sauce as, “embellishments [with horns and strings], which slotted in perfectly with their basic three- or four-piece instrumental sound. . . . however bold and ambitious they got, one never lost the sense of a hard, solid band sound at the core.” That’s totally in evidence in “Time Won’t Let Me” which was climbing the charts this week in 1066. You can’t listen to it without wanting to get up and participate in the fun. (Video)

Get the feed in realtimeTwitter.com/ScottOwensShow, and find us on Facebook!

Hope you have a great day! See you weekdays at 6am on Twitter.