Popular Music History 2020-01-27T16:15:01+00:00 Catherine Strong & Shane Homan Open Journal Systems <p><em>Popular Music History</em>&nbsp;publishes original historical and historiographical research that draws on the wide range of disciplines and intellectual trajectories that have contributed to the establishment of popular music studies as a recognized academic enterprise.</p> Introduction to the special issue 2020-01-27T16:14:55+00:00 Paul Carr <p>Drawing on different contexts, scenes and histories across the UK, all of the articles in this specialissue suggest that although local popular music histories resonate both positively and negativelywith mainstream narratives, they also have a specificity that is unique to the region. Thiscollection represents an historical snapshot of these expressions and feelings in the UK, highlightingnot just music's importance as a symbolic anchor of locality, but also how the voices ofmusicians, audiences, critics, venues, curators and other music industry stakeholders can forma collective identity, in a series of competing narratives, that are often hidden from mainstreamhistory. The collection displays how these narratives can facilitate community members to considerwho they were, are and want to be, often reflecting on at least two of these parameterssimultaneously. All of the articles focus on the 'lost' history of local music participation, rangingfrom issues surrounding curated history (via exhibitions and re-enactments); influences ofthe built environment on popular music activity; impacts of popular music's past on the community,to the ways in which changing relationships with local music venues reflect both localconcerns and wider trends in popular culture.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Pompey Pop 2020-01-27T16:14:56+00:00 Dave Allen <p>This article provides a retrospective account of the author's long-time involvement with 'PompeyPop', a project uncovering the somewhat neglected history of the impact of popular music inPortsmouth. The article demonstrates how the dedication of the author, a retired employeeof Portsmouth University, to this community initiative has established the importance of popularmusic to this working-class city and, most importantly, how it has challenged notionsof 'mainstream' history. After describing the growth of light entertainment in post-SecondWorld War Portsmouth, it challenges a number of preconceptions, ranging from notions ofnew styles 'sweeping away' their predecessors, to tokenized histories of the post-war periodalways being 'depressed', to notions of the swinging sixties being centred exclusively in certainparts of London. Regarding the latter, the article outlines a methodological problem, wherewriters such as Dominic Sandbrook are regarded as focusing exclusively on archival research, asopposed to also including the oral histories of ordinary people who lived through the period.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. They preferred to sit on the floor 2020-01-27T16:14:57+00:00 Mike Jones <p>This article asserts that the swinging sixties was not a phenomenon of London only, but a social, political, economic and cultural force that impacted all parts of the UK, including South Wales. This account focuses on the rise and demise of a long forgotten short-lived music venue in Ebbw Vale called the Drifters Escape (1969-1970). This small-scale council owned rock venue can be seen to capture the zeitgeist of the times, representing not only a changing youth culture's relationship with the establishment, but also a developing music industry, which was beginning to differentiate pop from rock and moving towards album dominated record sales. Interestingly, the Drifters Escape was simultaneously regarded by council authorities as both an opportunity (to build upon the financial benefits an independent rock venue could precipitate) and a threat (as its popularity was seen to threaten traditional notions of social order), a 'clash of cultures' that was not only experienced at a local level, but also more globally in education, the music press and across society, as 'the establishment' attempted to come to terms with changes in the tastes of youth culture. After reviewing the history of the venue, this account, which is investigated via the lens of local council records, press and stakeholder interviews, proceeds to provide a cogent explanation of not only how, but why certain members of the Ebbw Vale establishment viewed rock music as a 'problematic' trend at the time.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The meaning of the music venue 2020-01-27T16:14:58+00:00 Paul Long Sarah Raine <p>This article focuses on a venue/music night in 1980s Birmingham called "The Click Club". The history of the club is documented via a critical account of a 2016 exhibition entitled “Is There Any One Out There”, which celebrated the venue and the many bands that performed there. Since the club’s demise, Birmingham is noted as celebrating some of its local icons such as Black Sabbath and The Electric Light Orchestra, with the city now regenerating itself to highlight and celebrate its musical identity. Memories of “The Click Club” are regarded as “lost” from more mainstream depictions of musical histories of the city. Via engaging with what they describe as an online “community of memory”, the article documents not only the origins and memories of the venue and formation of the aforementioned exhibition, but also the wider historical conceptualizations of the music venue as cultural product, through which meanings are made.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Buildings matter 2020-01-27T16:14:59+00:00 Mike Brocken <p>This article discusses the reshaping of Liverpool's built environment, reminding us that buildingstake on new uses and meanings as they progress through time, with entertainment spacesemerging and declining as part of the meta-narrative of post-industrial capital. The expansionand repurposing of spaces such as theatres and cinemas are discussed, with 'new' spaces suchas record shops also regarded as assisting in re-establishing empty buildings at crucial times inLiverpool's history. The article consequently aims to encourage the reader to consider how buildingdevelopment directly relates to the emergence of popular music history, particularly in thelate 1950s when a number of key venues in Liverpool emerged. A cogent theme is that specificplaces in cities remind communities of not only where they live, but also who they are and were.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. How musical was my valley? Exploring resources and relationships in local popular music-making between 1996 and 2006 2020-01-27T16:15:00+00:00 Anne Cleaton <p>Influenced by the work of Howard Becker and Ruth Finnegan, this article incorporates an ethnographicapproach combined with concepts from social network theory to investigate the historicalimpacts of 'musical networks' on the town of Aberdare, between 1996 and 2006. Focusingspecifically on the local music scene, via a series of interviews, the article uncovers various strategicconnections between the conventions and understandings of the musical community,such as generationally passing down information, musical tastes and values, and local musicalhierarchies. After briefly describing the positioning and social construction of Aberdare withinthe Welsh Valleys, the article proceeds to investigate the motivations of the community to participatein popular music, in addition to the historical significance of material resources such astransport links, venues and rehearsal rooms.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The lost musical histories of Merthyr Tydfil 2020-01-27T16:15:01+00:00 Paul Carr <p>This article focuses on an analysis of a one-month local music exhibition curated in 2018 and anearlier connected project which was implemented as part of the annual Being Human Festival,funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. Although the MerthyrTydfil-based exhibition could be regarded as following in the footsteps of a tried and testedmethod of curating and exhibiting popular music narratives in public spaces, the week-long BeingHuman activities used memory collection and enactment activities to both depict and help understandhow local popular music histories can resonate not only with the participants who witnessedthem, but also a younger generation who were not born when the activities took place. Based onthe data compiled from both of these activities, the article initially presents an historical accountof the development of popular music in Merthyr Tydfil between 1955 and 1975. It subsequentlyproceeds to consider the potential impacts that undertakings such as exhibitions, memory collection,online communities and re-enactment activities can have on local communities.</p> 2020-01-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Equinox Publishing Ltd.