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William C. Altreuter
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Listening now it is striking how regional sounds mark the popular music of my younger days. East Coast vs. West Coast is what's on my mind because Gerry Goffin just died-- the songs he wrote with Carole King were as New York as a hot dog with sauerkraut, and couldn't sound more different from, say, the songs that Sonny Bono was putting out, or Phil Spector, to pick just two examples. I couldn't hear it then, but there is all the difference in the world between the West Coast sound of the Wrecking Crew and the music that the Funk Brothers were making in Detroit. The Detroit sound was different from Stax, and Stax was different from Philly....

And I suppose it has been that way as long as there has been recorded music. If you came out of the Territory Bands that played the Midwest you were going to sound different from cats who learned their chops in Harlem, or Chicago. Lately I have been thinking that a comprehensive history of record labels in America needs to happen, and maybe that's the way to structure it, city by city.

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