Telephone Music Service: Music Streaming’s Pittsburgh Predecessor

Dotti White oversaw Telephone Music Service, which streamed music into Pittsburgh bars long before the days of the Internet.

(via Pittsburgh Magazine) by Zack Furness

Years before anyone dreamed up the Internet, owned smartphones or casually used phrases such as “music platform,” Pittsburgh’s Telephone Music Service pioneered one of the first successful streaming music services in the country.

The service, which dates back decades, operated a network of jukeboxes scattered throughout bars in the city, all of which were connected to a central studio by telephone lines.

You’d stick your money into the machine, pick up a phone attached to the side, and request your songs from one of the operators on the other end. Then, presto! Your selections would come blaring out through the jukebox.

While this may seem like ancient analog history, it was a functional predecessor of every Internet-based service that millions now use to stream audio content on demand. Dotti White may not be familiar with some of these digital brand names or their ubiquitous applications, but, as owner of Telephone Music Service, she was the last person to operate the business they now echo…

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Video of the Week: Vank Walen – “Your Jumpin’ Heart”

Video of the Week: ‘Born to Boogie’–T. Rex in Concert with Ringo Starr and Elton John, 1972

Songs You May Have Missed #724

Magna Carta: “Life in the Old Dog” (2015)

British progressive folk rockers Magna Carta released 2015’s Fields of Eden on the actual date of the signing of the Magna Carta 800 years later, and few expected an album of its caliber 40+ years after the release of the band’s most iconic LP, Lord of the Ages.

But you can never write off the man who’s been called “the English Paul Simon”, singer/tunesmith Chris Simpson. Clearly there is life in the old dog yet.

I went out last night with a friend of mine,
I bought eight, and he drank nine
Just a shootin’ the breeze and we were havin’ us a good time too
Talkin’ bout women and days gone by, and the feel of the road and an open sky
And a guitar hummin’ like only a guitar do
But we lied about the times we scored and laughed the night away
It’s all dependin’ on your point of view
They can’t take away you’re memories and I’m happy to raise the bet
So watch out, there’s life in the old dog yet

Time waits for no man and the rest, you’re sometimes cursed and often blessed
And the women all look a little bit older, that’s for sure
Partying nights and truckin’ all day, saints and sinners and easy lays
You just hang on in and take it as it comes along
There are those that say, you’ve had your day, and you’ve come to the end of the line
Well that’s dependin’ on you’re point of view and if you
Sail through heavy weather, chances are you might get wet
So what, there’s life in the old dog yet

There’s a face in the mirror I know so well a few more lines, a touch of frost, I can
Tell it’s me and I’ve sure put on a year or two
And I met this kid out on the street, he said hey old man I got you beat, I said
Raise your glass and we’ll have ourselves a drink or three
As the morning sun came through the door he measured his length on the baroom floor
He never understood my point of view
But he lifted his head as they carried him out, with a look I shalln’t forget
Tough luck son, there’s life in the old dog yet

A good man knows when his time is come and turns his back on the things he’s done
And gets a little worried ’bout the devil who’s a keepin’ score
The hardest part is the sweet regret that comes to haunt us all in the wakin’ hours
And tends to stay right with us, til the dawn
There are things you should remember, there are things you’d best forget
It’s all depending on your point of view
There are fishes in the ocean, but a few have slipped the net
Well thank god I’m one, there’s life in the old dog yet oh yeah yeah
Thank god I’m one, there’s life in the old dog yet

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On a Lighter Note…

Jewel-Box Heroes: Why the CD Revival Is Finally Here

Compact discs never had the romance of vinyl or the convenience of MP3s. But they’re still the ideal format for getting lost inside your music collection


In 2021, CD sales increased for the first time in 17 years. For some die-hards, the format has never gone out of style.

(via Rolling Stone) by Rob Sheffield

In 2021, CD sales increased for the first time in 17 years. That’s mostly because of Adele, whose new album sold 898,000 of those shiny little discs. The last time CDs were this hot, Usher, Ashlee Simpson, and Hoobastank were the ones selling them. Now it’s Adele, BTS, and Taylor Swift. It’s part of an overall revival for physical media — vinyl is booming even bigger. But for those of us who love the humble compact disc, it’s a question worth pondering: Are we finally seeing the CD revival? Why are music fans falling back in love with the gadget that once promised “perfect sound forever”?

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Songs You May Have Missed #723

Fool’s Garden: “Million Dollar Baby” (2008)

From the 2008 limited tour edition EP Home, and saved from total obscurity by its appearance on the German band’s 2009 compilation High Times: The Best of Fool’s Garden.

The band hint in that compilation’s liner notes that the song’s title was inspired by the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name–which they, and I, recommend.

Fool’s Garden, fairly or not, are known as a one-hit wonder, that hit being the (nearly) worldwide smash “Lemon Tree”, which charted seemingly everywhere but in the US. If you want to hear their hit, click the link below, but not before checking out the very worthy “Million Dollar Baby”.

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Songs You May Have Missed #722

Badflower: “Promise Me” (2019)

“Promise Me” finds Badflower in a more reflective frame of mind than on the harrowing “Daddy”, which we previously shared.

Both are excellent efforts from a, uh, promising young band.

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How Neil Young Got Ready for the Country on ‘Harvest’

(via Ultimate Classic Rock) by Dave Lifton

Note: Neil Young’s Harvest album was released 50 years ago today.

Between his work in Buffalo SpringfieldCrosby, Stills Nash & Young and his first few solo records, Neil Young had often flirted with mixing country and rock. But with Harvest, released on Feb. 1, 1972, he more or less dove headfirst into it and came out with one of country-rock’s most commercially and critically successful albums.

Work began a year earlier when Young went to Nashville to appear on The Johnny Cash Show, on an episode that also included James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Elliot Mazer, who had produced Ronstadt’s Silk Purse album a year earlier, arranged a party at his Quadrofonic Sound Studio for the three artists, and struck up a conversation with Young…

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