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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Saturday, April 7 2001

Catching up on the music of your life

I've encouraged browsing the music files online via Napster to discover what's out there. I know of nothing else so readily able to fill in gaps in your knowledge or appreciation of the music of your life. For example, if you type 50s in the Artist field of the search engine, you immediately get 100 suggestions. That's because many subscribers online at that moment have "50s" in the file name or path of some of their digital music files (called mp3s).

You get no more than 100 suggestions at a time, so from the first 100 you have to be creative, but the list you do get suggests many paths to pursue. For example, I discovered while working on this that I don't have the Skyliners' Since I Don't Have You in my file folder. What a discovery! Am I missing other "must-have" Skyliners' hits? To find out, enter "Skyliners" in the Artist field and you'll get 100 file names attached to Skyliners. It may not exhaust all the Skyliner files out there at the moment, but it's better than any other readily available source I can think of.

Doing that, I found a dozen songs released by the Skyliners that I might enjoy, but only the one listed above, from this search, is a "must-have" one; it's their own top hit done no better by anyone else.

The same approach can be used for songs of the '70's or any other decade, with even "20's" producing 100 suggestions on my test. Or you can enter "country and western," "classical," "gospel," and so on.

One of the best discoveries in this vein that I've made is what a "debt" I have to Andy Gibbs, whom I've recently come to think almost single-handedly "made" the '70s musically. Until Napster, I didn't know, for example, that Sad Eyes is one of his songs...in fact, I don't remember even knowing the song's title until I found it here. But the song is one of the most haunting recordings of the past generation, in my opinion. I now have seven Andy Gibbs songs on my active play list, far more than most other artists, but until last week I didn't realize he was the artist behind those songs.

Incidentally, if you're not familiar with him, I was inspired to find out a little about him as a result of discovering how many favorite songs he made, doing a Google search to get this. Andy Gibb is a tragic figure whose short life should be made into a movie (the soundtrack album alone would make its producers a fortune). The "kid brother" of the earlier breakthrough Bee Gees (much like Michael Jackson is the kid brother of the Jackson Five), his career skyrocketed from the release of his first single. Having one top hit after another and a short career in the movies, he became a cocaine addict in the years when that drug was widely considered cool, and died of its effects by age 35.

Knowing this makes Sad Eyes even sadder.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Poor Richard revisited

Remember, the early bird gets the worm...
But the second mouse gets the cheese.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Lenten thought

A holy man who had seen someone in the act of committing a sin wept bitterly and said, "He today, and I tomorrow. In truth, even if someone commits sin in your presence, do not judge him, but consider yourself a worse sinner than he."

From Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Sent by John Stamps

Lenten thoughts (i.e., pertaining to repentance and spiritual growth, from any faith-community perspective) are solicited from readers.

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