Is the Blues Being "Loved" to Death

Fred Dabney fdabney@NMSU.EDU
Tue Jun 23 13:03:03 EDT 1998

It would seem to me that the record companies "marketing people" are
in the driver's seat here.  They "package" the artist (ie. the
cover art on Keb Mo's last CD is a face shot of Mr. Moore looking
remarkably like Robert Johnson -- sans cigarette of course), and
market the "product" to serve their needs.  Although I agree in an
"ultimate" sense that "few in the hierarchy...understand most of the
music they sell" at the larger labels, I give them more credit for
being able to package artists and music to fit their needs.  IMHO,
the labels determine what's gonna sell more than the fans.

It's funny, sort of.  For all what may seem to be an attitude problem I
have, I really don't like hurting people's feelings, even in absentia, even
when they're stars.

But I sit there in the station, looking at and checking new releases.  I
find things that so far as I can tell would only appeal to the direct blood
relatives of the persons involved, and then only if you got the family
members blind drunk first.

I'm perfectly willing to concede that the "frisbe made of shit" as some
hapless DJ called a new record some years ago (on the air!) may in reality
represent every ounce of effort, love and dedication the artist had.  But I
get one of these and wonder if the same marketing effort had been placed on
things like blues or jazz as gets lavished on pop stuff, would our music
become more popular?  Not an unmixed blessing I agree, but surely better
than now?

Hear something obscure from the world of early blues and jazz at 9 pm Friday
and Saturday night with host Fred Dabney from the Back Room of KRWG-FM, 90.7
FM, Las Cruces, NM

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