Joey DeFrancesco Interview [Listen 30:40] – S02Ep07 (1 of 3) – Riding the Big Wheel with Joey DeFrancesco
Interview Date: March 25, 2012 @12pm EDT
Special Guest (Audio) Joey DeFrancesco (Part 1 of 3): Nicknamed “the finest Jazz organist on the planet,” Joey DeFranceso and GTV present you with an exclusive and in-depth interview, plus his full concert performance in Toronto.
Coming from a long line of established organ players, DeFrancesco started his career off as a child prodigy (starting at age 4) playing with all the greatest organists in the world. He has developed his skill to the point where he dominates the Hammond B3. When DeFrancesco was 17, Miles Davis called him up to ask him to tour with him and play on his 1989 album, “Amandla.” Since that time he has gone on to play with many other "who’s who" in the Jazz world and often being paired with some of the greatest guitarists in Jazz such as Pat Martino, Paul Bollenback, Jimmy Bruno, Dave Stryker, and John McLaughlin. In this podcast we talk about his early years, playing with the greats, and his introduction to Miles Davis
Special Guest (Print) John Broven (Part 1 of 1): I have been in contact for quite a while with John Broven, the author of one of my favorite music books, “Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneers.” The book chronicles the history of the independent rock’n’roll record industry, covering the beginning in the 1940’s through to the 1960’s. It tells the amazing story of the record industry; it covers topics like how and why we went from the 78rpm to the 45rpm format, the history of the independent music scene, the musical significance of the jukebox, and even how the record store was born. Through his research, he was able to talk to, interview, and recount the amazing stories of people like Marshall Chess (Chess Records), Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock (Atlantic Records), Joe Bihari (Modern Records), Art Rupe (Specialty Records), Sam Phillips (Sun Records), and a ton more. He goes into topics like the trade magazine “Cash Box,” Payola, and Nashville radio station WLAC, and he describes how they affected how we listen to music today. We are both hoping to post a full written interview to the site sometime in the future (when he gets off his world tour for his book). Until then, he was kind enough to send me an unpublished questionnaire on "Record Makers and Breakers" just after his book came out.
I agree that the indie record business is “an ode to the genius of American capitalism.” Somebody told me recently, “This is a great American story.”
I think it’s fair to say that as the interviews and research progressed, I realized:
(1) Just what a small industry the indie record business was at the start – I called it a “cottage industry”;
(2) How the record men had to learn the business from scratch: not just the art of recording but also building pressing plants themselves, setting up distribution systems, learn publishing, etc. etc. (see Art Rupe's wonderful new rules, chapter 25).
(3) How everybody seemed to know each other and worked together to a large extent;
(4) How the nascent industry was dependent upon several integral cogs in the machine i.e. record distributors, jukebox operators and distributors, radio/television, disc jockeys, promo men, retail outlets, trade magazines etc. It wasn’t just about the record makers – or indeed the artists.
(5) I was aware of the cover version syndrome and like everybody else put the blame on the "nasty" major labels, but then I began to understand that indie publishing companies were pitching their hit songs to majors – and recorded covers themselves. So it wasn't all one-way traffic.
(6) Must admit I didn't realize the full extent of the majors poaching the indie hit artists until I started listing the artists and the labels.
* Tell me about the importance of the jukebox market (compared to radio and retail).
Just to say that, as stated in the book through New Orleans’ Cosimo Matassa early on, the jukebox operators were terribly influential in dictating the sound of the record, also the length of the record – the shorter the record, the more plays. Basically jukebox play was free promotion – and represented bulk sales to the indies. The jukebox people, whatever their business practices, were very important cogs in the rock ‘n’ roll machine.
March 16, 2012