Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Autoharp +/- harp

Hearts & Flowers: Country Rock

Back when I did the daily commute to Baltimore and my car radio had better reception, I used to enjoy a great community radio station that shares programming with its owner, WXPN, the Philadelphia radio station known for its “World Cafe” program, and yet operates out of a high school

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“Snowfall”: Soulful + Strings

The Soulful Strings evoke the magic of falling snow — thanks to Dorothy Ashby‘s harp — on their classic instrumental track, “Snowfall“: “Snowfall”     Soulful Strings     1968 Discogs helps us appreciate how The Soulful Strings were able to create an identifiable sound despite only playing other people’s material: “The Soulful Strings

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Dorothy Ashby’s Jazz Harp

Just as Rufus Harley expanded the musical possibilities of the bagpipes, Dorothy Ashby likewise liberated the harp from its orchestral internment.  Dorothy Ashby, as it says on her 1957 debut album, was a “jazz harpist” – though not strictly.  1968’s “Soul Vibrations,” as you can hear, would also incorporate funk

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“Wildwood Flower on the Autoharp”: Fine Arts vs. Popular Arts

In 1967 Sheb Wooley released a great single, where the A-side – “Love In” – hilariously mocked the “free love” sentiment then in vogue, while the B-side proudly proclaimed the simple music of the “folk” to be the kind that touches his soul the deepest: Wildwood Flower on the Autoharp

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“The Ash Grove”: Not a Harpo Marx Original

When I first became enchanted with “The Ash Grove” from Harpo Marx‘s Harpo in Hi-Fi album, I initially suspected Harpo to have written the piece: “The Ash Grove”     Harpo Marx     1957 But alas, “The Ash Grove” is a traditional Welsh folk song.  Harpo’s version from 1957, coincidentally or not, predates

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