Miami in the 1950’s was a hotbed of r&b, doowop, and country music, gambling, political activism, crooked politics, police corruption, liquor drinking, reefer smoking, hooker hooking, and hardcore nightclub action.
In and amongst all this, the independent music studio scene was in an incipient stage of development spurred forward by some of the greatest session players, producers, engineers, a&r’s, and of course featured artists in the region. Given Miami’s musical fecundity, these individuals came to be some of the most influential representatives of their skills on Earth.
Now HistoryMiami has paired with Henry Stone Music and DJ Andrew LeSpam from City of Progress Studios to present Analog Archives Part 1, Henry Stone in the 1950’s. Here’s what Spam had to say about classic tunes, the nature of the party, and the importance of Henry Stone Music.
HenryStoneMusic: Wasup man, what you got going on?
LeSpam: I’ll be pulling my records while we’re talking, I’m doing a gig at the boat show.
Cool, hell yeah. What’s up with this Analog Archives event?
Well basically it’s a chance for us to let people hear some of the archiving activities that we’ve been involved in at City of Progress.
While some of the clients like Joe Stone and Henry Stone Music, and also Willie Clarke, and Bo Crane need to figure out what their strategy is for what they want to do with their material, it’s nice that we can let the public hear this stuff and see what we do in a sort of non commercial way. It’s a free event. The bar will be spilling drinks. It’s about music appreciation
What will it be like?
I for sure am gonna be throwing up visuals corresponding with whatever is playing. It’s not a formal curated listening but I want people to know what they’re hearing. We’re not gonna talk about each thing as we play it. It’s subtle. It’s sort of more of a hang.
What do you have on Ervin Rouse, composer of the blue grass classic “Orange Blossom Special?”
Yeah, he’s particularly important to Country Western music. Ervin Rouse is super important cause the guy is one of the fathers of bluegrass fiddle playing, a blueprint for that style. And in a more broad sense it’s just kind of a snapshot of our music culture in Miami in the 1950’s.
Things going on down here are reflected in the clubs, the studios, the artists we had down here.
And each recording is a room. A moment in time preserved for ever.
How did HistoryMiami get involved?
They came over here cause they’re trying to expand their music archive. And they came over here cause they’re trying to identify people who have Miami music archives and they were picking my brain on other people have historical materials. And then we started listening and playing some of the tapes and as we’re listening to them I dont know we just I think I came up with the idea
For the people!
This is just me giving back. This is important actually. I got the Knight grant for the studio. I’m grateful for that and I’m only able to reach a narrow segment in terms of the clients that can come here. It might be wide in music but not wide in terms of Miami’s population. So if there’s some way that I can do something to let people know what we’re about here I want to let the people know. And that’s where it comes from as well.
How did Gramps get in the mix?
Adam that owns Gramps used to have a night called FM at the bar that’s now called Electric Pickle. That’s how long I been working with that guy. It was me and some funk collectors at this fucked up bar that was all tore up with a broken floor. Gramps is awesome.
ANALOG ARCHIVES: A NEW EVENT SERIES PRESENTED BY HISTORYMIAMI MUSEUM
February 24, 7:00pm. Gramps, 176 NW 24th St, Miami, Florida 33127
Discover Miami’s musical roots with classic analog recordings by the legendary Henry Stone in the 1950s. Digitized from original tapes by City of Progress Studio with a Knight Foundation grant, these recordings showcase Miami’s dynamic music history and include rock and roll, bluegrass, soul, and country western artists and songs.
DJ Le Spam (City of Progress Studio) will spin vintage music by Johnny and Marsha, Ervin T. Rouse, Sonny Thompson, Johnnie Mack, and more. Presented with HistoryMiami Museum, Henry Stone Music USA, Inc., and Gramps.
Free to the Public