I have gone on a kick where I’m listening to wild rock & roll from the early 1960s that is almost never heard on the radio now. It led me to a startling realization:
If you play me an oldie from that time, I can usually tell you, just from listening to it for a few seconds, whether it came from Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago or California. Until recently, I had no idea why I was able to do this, but as I pound my brain with this music now, I’m starting to notice the elements of the music that make it possible to hear the difference.
At the time this music was made, it was possible to become a famous singer from almost anywhere in the United States. Now the music industry is much more consolidated in Los Angeles, US radio stations have playlists that are generally determined for the whole country at corporate headquarters, and the Canadian government has shrunk down to nearly zero the influence of Canadian radio stations on the US music scene. For this reason, everything is more homogenized now, and you don’t get these interesting regional differences.
What do you think, Amy? Can you tell old Philly music apart from other music?