I suppose it’s possible, in theory, to live a happy life without music. But it’s not practical, or even worth trying. Musical moments resonate forever: the treasured childhood memory triggered by an old song, the joy you felt the first time you played a B-Minor chord on a guitar or piano, the delight of belting out karaoke, the life-affirming wonder produced by witnessing (depending on your generation) The Beatles with Ed Sullivan, U2 in a football stadium, Walk the Moon at Bunbury, or thousands of other concert events.
Music surrounds us. It wakes us up in the morning and puts us to sleep. It makes the good times better, allows us to wallow in sadness, and cheers us up. Even the worst singers join in on “Happy birthday!” and Christmas carols. Music is ubiquitous in restaurants and stores; at church festivals and school recitals; and before, during, and after sporting events.
King Records gave the world “The Twist,” James Brown, and Bootsy Collins and made Cincinnati one of a handful of cities that helped invent rock and roll. Music Hall was built in 1878 to house the May Festival Chorus and eventually our symphony and opera companies. UC’s College-Conservatory of Music is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a world-class training ground for performing artists. WLW launched the careers of hometown discoveries like Doris Day and Rosemary Clooney by broadcasting as “The Nation’s Station.”
The music scene here remains vibrant. A great number of Cincinnatians make their living creating, producing, presenting, teaching, and marketing music, while many others spend time in bands and choruses scheduled around “real life” responsibilities. The rest of us sing in the shower and play with iTunes.
Music is everywhere. It’s also a key way people find out about Cincinnati—as evidenced by new albums from Bootsy Collins, Leggy, and Chuck Cleaver and Wussy, our featured interviews in this month’s Music Issue. Tune in, and create your own Cincinnati soundtrack.