Because so much of our history was recorded, photographed, and documented at a time when technology was rather archaic (at least by today’s standards), I think that many of us living in 2014 have a disconnected view of the Past that shaped this Present we now live in (and take for granted). I have always been a great lover of history and have found great insight for my own life while investigating so much of what came before me. Maybe it’s because, early on, I heard the cliche “Those who don’t know their history are destined to repeat it.”. Maybe it’s because I realized some time ago that, if you take some of the key specifics out of the equation (and maybe squint a little bit when you look back into the Past), what we’re experiencing now is merely a moment in time in this Grand Cycle that just keeps circling the proverbial block.
I was in a convenience store yesterday, buying my morning dose of liquid caffeine, and witnessed this mid 20’s guy behind the counter pontificating on the virtues and social impact of the 1998 album “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” to an almost-20-year-old African-American girl… who had never heard of Lauryn Hill or that album.
Ignorance of the Past and Short-sightedness toward the Future will be the death of the music business as we know it. Unfortunately, those persons responsible for all that’s being put in front of the noses of today’s General Public are not that much more informed than their audience.
All of that being said, I came across an amazing collection of old, historical black & white photos that have been expertly colorized. Seeing these iconic people and situations in full color really does re-frame their meaning and impact for me. In the case of photos like that 1939 Louisville, Kentucky billboard photo, the true social commentary of that ironic moment becomes immediately apparent. Seeing historical luminaries like Darwin, Einstein, and Churchill or Pop Culture icons like (a then-young) Clint Eastwood, Audrey Hepburn, Louis Armstrong, and Lou Gehrig through this fresh, new “lens” makes them incredibly real for me. In this sort of presentation, the Past comes alive for me as if it happened only mere days ago.
Click the following link to check out this selection of photos: 52 Colorized Historical Photos That Give Us A New Look At the Past
In 2014, if we had music fans that were as rabid for a real person playing a real instrument, made of wood and metal, in real time as the spectators in that 1953 Big Jay McNeely photo, the Music Business would not be in the dire straits that we find it in today… maybe there IS something to be learned from the Past. We have just got to be proactive & open minded enough to seek it out and put it into play in the Present.