About Five Years Ago . . .

When did this blog start? There really is no easy answer.

After the Texas Gal gave me a USB turntable for Christmas 2006, I began to rip lots of vinyl into mp3s. Having wandered through hundreds of other folks’ music blogs (and having been encouraged by the Texas Gal out of my skepticism that others would be interested in anything I happened to post), I set myself up at Blogger.

For a while I just shared albums, using commentary from All-Music Guide to fill the white space, and then I slowly began to write about the music myself. Sometime around the end of January 2007 – it could have been early February – I put a counter on the site to see if anyone was coming by. A few folks were.

Then, on a Saturday morning, the Texas Gal and I came home after a night in the emergency room; she was fine but she’d had a difficult night. Exhausted but not wanting to leave the blog blank, I cobbled together a mention of the night before and then wrote a brief memoir about a single that takes me – every time I hear it – back to the autumn of 1973: “Rør Ved Mig” by the Danish duo of Lecia & Lucienne:

Purely by accident, I’d blundered into two of the constants of Echoes In The Wind: Memoir attached to music and a single on Saturday. The following week found me writing, among other things, about Leo Rau, the guy across the alley from my childhood home who ran a string of jukeboxes and gave me old records; about my grandfather purchasing a 45 of fairy tales for my sister that turned out to be fables told for the hip set of the early 1950s; and about rummaging for records with my pal Rick and hearing, for the first time, the Twin Cities band Gypsy.

And on the following Saturday, I wrote briefly about Cris Williamson, a member of the women’s music movement. Calling the post “Saturday Single No. 1” (and I really should have called it No. 2), I shared the lovely “Like An Island Rising” with whoever happened to come by:

What that means is that right about this week, this blog will mark five years of telling tales, playing games with numbers, making lists with sometimes flimsy evidence or insufficient thought, and sharing enough singles on Saturdays that next weekend’s post will be Saturday Single No. 275.

More than I ever could have anticipated, writing this blog has enriched my life. Not because I’ve gotten to tell my tales and write about music, though I admit to loving both of those things. Rather, my life is richer because of the people I’ve met along the way, folks who stopped by to see what I was up to and continued to do so, often leaving notes when they thought I got something right or wrong (both types of notes are welcome, of course). Many of those folks are represented by the blogs linked on the right-hand side of this page. Deserving special mention are jb of The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ and his Mrs. and frequent commenter Yah Shure, who – as last week’s post made clear – have become dear friends to me and to the Texas Gal in the real world. I hope in the future to convert more cyberfriends to real-world friends.

I’ve also had the joy of getting to know through email and letters a few of the musicians whose stories I’ve told here. Chief among those would be Bobby Jameson and Patti Dahlstrom.

And I’ve had to start over twice, having been dropped by both Blogger and WordPress. (Posts published during those times are being reposted – without links to music – at Echoes In The Wind Archives; that project has reached February 2009 and has about a year’s worth of writing left to post.)

It’s been quite a trip, and the journey’s not over yet. I plan to keep on writing about the music that moves and mystifies me for a while yet. I do want to make sure that I don’t become like some garrulous uncle who tells the same stories over and over, but I think there are tales yet to be told, and I’ll do my best to tell them.

I rummaged around this morning, but I couldn’t find a tune titled “Five Good Years,” so I settled for close: From his 1994 album From the Cradle, here’s Eric Clapton’s version of the blues standard, “Five Long Years.”

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7 Responses to “About Five Years Ago . . .”

  1. jb says:

    I can’t remember the first time I read your blog. I am pretty sure it wasn’t right at the beginning, although it must have been fairly soon thereafter. I should troll back through the archives and see. Needless to say, I’m glad you started it. Cheers on your anniversary.

  2. Yah Shure says:

    It was either an early Debb Johnson post or the tasty gingerbread siding on your blog that lured me in for my first nibble. Happy 5th anniversary, and keep up the great work.

    Oh, and don’t worry about telling the same stories repeatedly: I’ve read some “oh, this looks interesting” chat board posts, only to discover that 1) they had originated from my own keyboard, and 2) I had no clear recollection of having written them in the first place.

  3. AMD says:

    I always thought you had been around for much longer than that. I came across Echoes In The Wind soon after I started blogging in earnest in June 2007, and thought that your blog was someting to aspire to. You certainly command great respect from your readers.

  4. Alex says:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    I can’t remember the first time I read your blog either… maybe not 5 years ago, but at least 3 (several generations in internet time).

    Looking forward to the next few years of songs and stories!

  5. I raise a pint to you, sir. Here’s to the next five years.

  6. Paco Malo says:

    Congratulations, whiteray! And As the musical landscape becomes littered with more and more schlock, it is people like you that help us sort it out. You are a gentlemen, a scholar, and and a first class rocker. Keep on keepin’ on!

  7. AMD says:

    What happened to my comment? Aargh!

    Anyway, I was saying that soon after I started blogging seriously, five years ago in May, I came across Echoes In The Wind. I thought you had been a veteran of that blogging gig. You set a standard of writing and erudition that I aspired to.

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