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The Culture Wars: The Way The Music Died


The music scene as we know it today was created in 1969, at Woodstock. Half a million musical adherents, dozens of artists, and the politics of the times came together at a ‘big bang’ moment in our history to create what would eventually transform into a corporate behemoth, a multi-billion dollar music industry focussed primarily on revenue generation.

Over the last twenty years, with the advent of Much Music, MTV and compact discs, followed by music industry downsizing, corporate consolidation and Internet piracy, a scenario has been created where a confluence of factors — a ‘perfect storm’, if you will — seems on the verge of wiping out the recording industry as we’ve known it.

In a PBS Frontline documentary, titled The Way The Music Died, which aired this past Thursday, the programme examines how the business that has provided the soundtrack of our lives seems on the verge of collapse. Although incomplete in its coverage, the programme is still worth a look.

PBS will re-air this documentary in the coming days. For those of you living outside of the Vancouver area, consult your local television listings. In the Pacific Northwest region, the The Way The Music Died will be re-broadcast on PBS channel KCTS 9 (Cable 27), at 1:30 a.m. Set your VCR’s.

PBS has also made the programme available online. Click here for access.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at May 29, 2004 11:15 AM in Music


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