John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for November 12, 2021

BACK TO SONG COLLECTING

After a little over five years, I have decided to take up an old hobby, one that was enjoyable, but somewhat tedious.

That hobby? Collecting songs. Top 40 songs to be  specific and finding and collecting mp3 of every song that made the Top 100 - even if it was on the chart just one week, from 1955 through 2005. That represents the first 50 years of Rock and Roll, but it also includes those crossover songs like Contemporary Country, R and B, Pop Music and all the other specialty genres in between from grunge to New Romantics to Progressive Rock, Metal and Hip Hop (although finding Rap music without the "F" bomb and lyrics containing "kill a cop" and "bust a cap in whitey's a**" is hard to come by.

I have over 28,000 songs falling within those years, and with the exception of 3, I have every song that made the Top 100. I also have about 2,000 songs that either did not qualify as A Hot 100, or Pop Top 100 on Billboard, but made a survey called "The Bubbling Under". These include many songs by artists like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and even some Beatles tunes that were just not tested for charting purposes back in those days.

According to Rock Record and Billboard historian and researcher Joel Whitburn, there are over 46,000 songs between the beginning of 1955 and 2020, 37,000 or more making the Top 100, but another 8,500 falling in the "Bubbling Under" category or just didn't make the charts but had some air time by a few specialty radio stations and would have charted if given more consideration by the industry.

My goal is to have every song that ever charted or would have charted between those fifty years and what is now known as the "Pre-Rock" Rock songs from 1944 to 1954, most of them either blues, rhythm and blues (R and B) and southern gospel/country that somehow charted as a "swing" song or doo wop. I have found over 1500 of those songs and am now just downloading them and hope to have those done before the end of the year.

Yu may be wondering how is it that I came to have this kind of collecting as a hobby. My brother collected stamps when he was a teenagers, but quickly tired of it and from what I saw, I wasn't interested in doing that. I did start to collect coins, but that got to be expensive. My two boys used to collect baseball cards and the oldest still does with the help of his oldest. I collected them when I was young, but lost interest.

It just seemed that music was a way to go since I trained in radio broadcasting, was an announcer/DJ for a number  of years and loved to play and record music. So I started collecting song, in particular .mp3 back in the mid 90's. When I did my internet based radio station - WJJC (which stood for John and Janice Corson), I played those .mp3 which at the time number only a modest 9,000 songs. Music from the first 40 years of rock, I used to promote. Well, I kept collecting songs, off and on from about 2004 until 2016 when all of a sudden, I just stopped.

You may be asking why did I give up this venture? Well, from the time I really started to build the library, downloading, editing the files, do the volume matching, balancing the sound, compressing the files into a single bit rate, matching and unifying the frequencies to 44,100 Hz., and finally normalizing the volumes, I was really enthralled into the thing. Sitting next or near me through most of this work was my little girl Princess, the prized Shetland Sheepdog. She was even the mascot of our internet radio station with sound bites of her barking going out over the air as if to say she was on guard when no announcer or engineer was around.

Well Princess passed away in September of 2016 and two things happened as a result. One is that I stopped eating Y & S Strawberry Licorice. Princess loved those things and I could eat a whole bag in one sitting. She could smell them a mile away and certainly while I was sitting in my office upstairs with four or five of them in my hand, she would be downstairs at the other end of the house and could smell them and come running. She was my licorice eating buddy. The other things was that I couldn't sit and listen to balance and edit music anymore. She wasn't there to keep me company.

Today, I downloaded and edited about 30 songs and now feel up to doing more and on a regular basis. I don't know if I will ever eat Strawberry licorice again. Not yet, at least.

So, I have been working on songs this afternoon. Before that, I took Reggie over to the groomer's for his bi-monthly hair cropping and buff up. He looks pretty good for a 15 and a half year old Bishon. Then, I went to lunch with my friend Mark Reon; you know, the one whose wife is my doctor and he a pastor. I had a nice visit with him before coming home to my long lost hobby which I hope that by this time next year not only to have all those songs that were considered "Pre-Pop/Pre-Rock" but a lot of those songs that were part of the Non Charted and Bubbling Under tunes from the 60's through the early 2000's.

Tonight, CBS will be airing another "all new" Blue Bloods and this one seems like it is going to be a good one, at least from what I read on the channel guide. Between now and then, I think I will just chill and enjoy the evening.

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Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.