Chris Richardson – pop music archaeologist – is the creator behind Zero to 180: Three-Minute Magic, a music history blog that spotlights the work of deserving artists, as well as songwriters, musicians, producers, engineers, arrangers, and label owners, who have not always received their proper historical recognition. In addition to championing under-celebrated studio songcraft of all types and stripes worldwide, Zero to 180 (born December 12, 2012) serves as a forum for examining the “old fogie roots” of modern rock, pop, and soul.
Zero to 180 completed a Silver Spring music history trilogy in 2017, with original research that chronicles the extensive recorded legacy of Track Recorders – including a special spotlight on the studio’s Chief Engineer, Bill McCullough – as well as independent folk & blues (later, rock & jazz) music label, Adelphi Records, founded by Gene Rosenthal in 1968. In 2018, Zero to 180 extended the research further, with a history piece dedicated to Silver Spring’s lesser-known D&B Sound Studio (plus a sidebar tribute to Koob Veneman‘s affordable-but-decent-quality KAPA guitars and basses), while 2021 would see Silver Spring’s Central
Recording Studio, founded by engineering/drumming extraordinaire, Kevin
Morales, receiving the long-form historical treatment.
Richardson, who helmed the Twitter desk as a guest for Xavier University-affiliated King Studios during Cincinnati’s King Records Month for 2017 & 2018, writes extensively about Cincinnati’s King Records musical legacy. More recently, in 2019, Zero to 180 is honored to have provided the King Records Building Non-Profit Steering Committee with background research in preparation for a mayoral proclamation declaring January 5, 2019 to be “Bernard Purdie Day.” Richardson continues to contribute on the research front as a member of King Records Legacy Foundation‘s Repository Committee. December, 2020 would see Zero to 180’s “Cincinnati in Song” piece serve as a launching point for Steve Rosen’s feature article for Cincinnati Magazine — “Sing a Song of Cincinnati” — for which Richardson contributed a 500-word sidebar of Top Ten Cincinnati songs.
The former Cincinnati schoolteacher got his library and information studies degree from University of Maryland in 1994. Richardson enjoyed his first Mid-Atlantic-area radio appearance in 1997 as Guest Programmer of the Day with veteran radio host, John Hall, on WRNR’s “Hall’s Bar & Grill” in Annapolis. Not long after, Richardson reappeared on radio as the Rocksteady Kid, programming classic sounds in 1960s & 70s Jamaican popular music for University of Maryland’s WMUC campus station. In 2004, Richardson enjoyed a pair of appearances with WKHS’s late, great Charlie Coleman programming all-truck driving song radio shows, and then again in 2011 with Coleman’s son, Martin Q. Blank. Most recently, Richardson appeared with WPFW’s long-time community fixture, Andrea Bray, in 2016.
Musical artists who have given Zero to 180 the nod include Bobby Jameson, Mickey Dolenz, Adrian Belew, Suzanne Ciani, P.P. (Pat Cole) Arnold, Commander Cody, Bill Kirchen, Eddie Angel of Los Straitjackets, Bootsy Collins, Genya Ravan (of Goldie and the Gingerbreads) & Miriam Linna of Norton Records (and The Cramps).
Zero to 180 aims to leverage music history on behalf of the public good.
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Zero to 180 is dedicated to the spirit of Tom Newbold