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Down On The Corner
This print edition of Louisville Music News will be the 296th and final edition. Louisville Music News will continue online at www.louisvillemusicnews.net plus the blog site at www.louisvillemusic.org.
That's the short and sweet version of what is a more complicated story, which began in 1989, when Jean Metcalfe and I decided to make the Louisville Area Songwriters Cooperative's newsletter into a general music tabloid. The first edition in April, 1989 was assembled on galley sheets: strips of text, typed on an IBM Selectric, glued down with rubber cement, with photos to be stripped in at the printers. It was a lot of work but fun.
We set about compiling a list of music industry folks, including record company excutives – especially A&R reps – as well as various notables in the Louisville area, to whom we mailed free copies of the paper. That continued for some years, peaking at around 5,000 copies mailed in the early Nineties.
The reason for the mailing – and, in fact, a big reason for the paper – was to spread the word about all the music in Louisville to the industry and to the rest of the country; essentially it was free-lance economic development strategy. The paper was intended to look like a regular local music paper, written for the locals, but our actual focus was on those music industry folks: it was disguised PR. It was also a way to brand local music as Louisville music
It worked. Soon enough, we began hear from players who had been in various record company offices that copies of the paper were laying around on desks and coffee tables. Others reported that the A&R folks were following them by reading LMN.
Where we failed – after a fashion .– was in Louisville; city leaders still seemed to have no clue as to the strength of the music scene here, apparently viewing music as no more a minor resource for convention bookers to utilize, akin to maid service or food vendors, only not as essential.
Over the course of the paper's publication, a great many writers and photographers contributed to LMN. The list is much too long to print here in its entirety but notable among the stalwarts were bluegrass columnist Berk Bryant; blues columnist Keith Clements and country columnist Mike Stout. Early on, Laura Spaulding created the News From The Pit column now handled by Eddy "Metal" Burke; Paul Whitty wrote a Celtic column; jazz was covered first by Todd Hildreth, then Tim Roberts and finally by Marty Kasdan Jr. Vicky Moon created a Christian music column; Bob Bahr wrote cover stories; Jimmy Brown wrote a series of funny guitar pieces; Kevin Gibson has been the cover story stalwart for some years. Many photograpers contributed, with Jim Moses, R. Hunt Sidway and Laura Roberts taking a lot of cover photos. (Sidway's covers were some of the most imaginative, involving considerable Photoshop work. )
Jean Metcalfe was the editor until retiring in 1995. My role was as the all-purpose technician and floor sweep, which expanded to include editing with Jean's departure.
For any and all contributors I have not mentioned here, I beg your forgiveness and I thank for your contributions, without which there would have been no paper.
While I was writing this column, I tried to avoid excessive nostalgia, as I am a follower of Satchel Paige's famous quote: "Don't look back; something might be gaining on you."
So I look forward, not back: find us on the Internet, covering Louisville music. And thank you all for reading.
Support Louisville music.
Cosdon, John Thomas "Cosmo," 72, died in Louisville on September 6, 2013. Cosmo was a legendary Louisville rock n roll and R&B singer, noted for his live performances, beginning in the late Fifties.
Carter, Boyce N. Jr, 67, died in Louisville on September 4, 2013. He was the business manager and bassist for The Mystics for 30 years.
Rogers, Christopher Lee, 49, died in Louisville on September 21, 2013. He was a guitarist and noted guitar technician.