This photograph from was shot by Steven Steigman in 1978 and was used in a series of advertisements for Maxell cassette tapes, back in an era when people had use for such things. It crossed my mind the other day while I looked at my old stereo system and albums, wondering how long it would be until I was ready to say goodbye. It’s really a rhetorical question since I haven’t turned it on in years. With the exception of going out and seeing live music, virtually all the tunes I listen to these days are delivered digitally through my iPhone and pumped into earbuds.
According to iconicphotos.org, Steigman achieved the wind-blown positioning of the model, a man named Jack, by putting “tonnes of hairspray on his hair” and using fishing line to tie strands of it to the ceiling. “The lampshade, tie, and martini were also likewise tied to the fishing lines. The photo was instantaneously a hit, a powerful statement that music has power and force to move the mind and the soul. It was so popular that it was expended into a TV ad campaign. In the television versions, either Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries or Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain was the music responsible for those powerful waves.”
Like the man in the picture, I too am a solitary listener, and although I no longer have the hair, I’m still blown away by music. Many years ago, before No Depression morphed into whatever it is these days, there was a fairly large community of people who contributed on an almost a daily basis what music they were currently listening to. It was a great way to discover things you missed or had forgotten. Some of those folks are still kicking around here, and many are long gone. But in the spirit of the day, I thought I’d share a few things that are on my current playlist.
The Secret Sisters – You Don’t Own Me Anymore
Rachel Baiman – Shame
Tom Russell – Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia
Zoe and Cloyd – Eyes Brand New
James Carr – A Man Needs A Woman
Gene Parsons – Kindling
Ana Egge and The Sentimentals – Say That Now
The Staple Singers – Uncloudy Day: The Vee Jay Years 1955-1962
This article was originally published as an Easy Ed’s Broadside column at No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music