Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Minstral Show

Stewart Brennan - Program Host of "The Minstral Show"

The third of four children, I consider myself lucky to have been born and raised in Montreal in the year 1960.

The second World War had been over for 15 years, modern music was in its infancy, there were jobs a plenty, the dollar had value, quarters and dimes were made of real silver, community was very much a big part of everyone’s lives and a new sense of freedom had grown in the Province of Quebec by the end of the Duplessis era.

In the US, Dwight D. Eisenhower was to deliver a gripping farewell speech (61), and the last real President of the United States, John F. Kennedy had been elected to the office of the President. Happy times indeed…

Fast Forward

From 1975 to 1986 I had a side business as a DJ, and by party standards, I was pretty good at it. I played 100’s of parties, Weddings, and various engagements that kept me busy on Friday & Saturday nights. My knowledge of music came from family, Radio, and early television.

Having an older brother and sister helped with my early music education, and like all American families, we Canadians also watched the Ed Sullivan show in the 1960’s on our black and white RCA TV’s with the ever important rabbit ears to tune in the show. I loved watching and listening to the music portion of that iconic show that now just seems to be a dream in fading memories. They were great times in a great era of music evolution.

The 70’s brought a whole new level to the music scene with glamour rock and the evolution of AM radio to under ground FM radio stations. Montreal had the best FM station in Canada back then called CHOM FM.

Being a port city, at the front end of the St Lawrence Seaway, all the European music back then would hit Montreal before any other North American City. CHOM FM’s Radio shows would introduce all the new artists, and back then, we never went too far without listening to a radio.

Like most teenagers in the 70’s, I had a weekend Job and summer job washing dishes at a restaurant. The money I made bought my record collection, of LP’s, 45’s, stereo equipment and concert tickets. Imagine, back then (1975) we paid $7.00 – $8.00 to see a big concert at the Montreal forum. The equivalent of 2 hours pay washing dishes. Life was really good back then.

Music Evolution History

The 60’s and 1970’s allowed aspiring musicians to take a chance on their dreams because back then, we had hundreds of small competing record labels. Anyone with a good hook and a great beat could cut a record and go after their dreams of pursuing their music ambitions. We had a large variety of music back then, which also served as a catalyst to evolve music into different genres. It was great to be a musician and a music fan.

Alas, that ended in 1986 with Music Industry collusion and the creation of the top 40 format serviced by the 6 main record labels. CD technology replaced vinyl, and music costs for fans tripled from $7.00 an album to $21.00 a CD. Variety in music died as a result of the collusion and the big record labels cornered the market by eliminating all the competition. That is, until 1999 when the Internet, computer storage, and Napster pushed the mp3 into a massive World debut, spotlight. Technology changed everything in the music industry again, only this time, the pendulum returned in favor of the musician and music fan.

Today, the home computer can now transform any household into a recording studio, where millions of musicians can take their shot in this constantly evolving music industry. The surviving mainstream music dinosaurs, UMG, WMG, and SONY now have millions of competing Indie Labels that will challenge their monopoly.

The future of music belongs to the musician and the music fan. Variety is back in the limelight as are a growing number of Indie mediums for the artist. I am tempted to call it underground FMp3. The rules that govern the Radio airwaves do not apply to the Internet or freedom of speech, so like they say in the Ed biz, “On with the shoe!”.

Oddly enough the DJ business I had from 1975 to 1986 was called “Music on File”. My subconscious must have known something when I named my business back then. LMAO! I can now say I have my record collection back with a great library of new music...and I have to say that I am truly excited about the future as a tsunami of new music artists are now readily available across the world through the Internet.

Guru’s of the mp3 and the New Freedom

There were a number of people involved with bringing the mp3 technology into existence, but for me, it is the dedication of Manfred Schroeder, and Karlheinz Brandenburg. To them we owe our freedom of expression and a return of the expressive artform called music. A 100,000 thank you’s!

Anyhow, 24 years later here I am. The mp3 is replacing store bought CD’s and I am back doing what I always wanted to do, promote good music through a unique radio show. 8O)

The Minstral Show

Since late April 2010, I have been showcasing Indie music through a two-song radio feature on the World United Music blog. Youtube acts as the initial host of my ten-minute audio feature, so one might call it a unique way of creating a radio program. I call it, “The Minstral Show”. 8O)

I also created this World United Music Blog to house all the music and artists I've found on the Internet. I love music and it has been my dream to host a radio program showcasing new artists just like they did on FM way back in the late 60's early 70’s.

Time did not stop from 1986 to 2000, but for me, the music did, and now I can get back to life, with real music.

Stewart Brennan host of "The Minstral Show"

And now that you know a bit about music evolution history and me, why not have a listen to the Minstral Show, here on World United Music!

The Minstral Show Music Playlist

You can also find me at the following links:


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