A Few Words About Fusion 45
Fusion 45 was launched in December 2006, largely because I wanted to spend more time with my record collection. I figured I needed to listen to them or get rid of them and, given my rather sick obsession with music, I’d likely have an eyeball removed before I get rid of my records.
The basic concept was simple: close my eyes and take 12 records off the shelf; roll a pair of dice once to see what record I would play first; roll the dice a second time to see what cut I would play. Do that 12 times with 33-1/3 RPM records and you have Fusion 45. (Well, actually Fusion 45 1/3, but, as with weight, we round down, don’t we?)
That’s what Fusion 45 was about for the first year. I created some pretty interesting mixes; I’m especially fond of the one that had Rod Stewart and the German beer drinking songs back to back. Mom and I enjoyed it a lot.
Since that time, new ideas have sprung up and the site has evolved and a few thousand people every month come to visit and there you have it. I spend a lot of time with my record collection but even more time with my computer. So it goes.
The cool part is that I’ve become friends with people all over the world who share the same enthusiasm for music that I have. And, when it comes to music, anyway, that’s as good as it gets for me.
The Evolution of The Music Junkie
My first musical memories are of laying in bed, listening to my brother practice the piano. He’s 13 years older than me so, by the time I was born, he was a better piano player than most adults. He was — and still is — a church musician, as well, so his tastes in pop music leaned toward what they like to call Baroque pop these days. I remember sitting on his bed while he would get ready for dates and performances, listening to him play the Beatles, the Association, the Tremeloes and Simon And Garfunkel on one of those fold-out stereo players. He also owned a 45 of Ramsey Lewis playing Hang On Sloopy in the style of Wade In The Water, which, for years, I thought was named Hang On, Snoopy.
My brother was also responsible for my introduction to show tunes and classical music. I used to joke that I read more sports magazines through musicals and slept through more classical performances than anyone on record. I distinctly remember falling asleep to the sounds of many legends, from Arthur Fiedler to Vladmir Horowitz to Yo-Yo Ma. No lie, I saw them all as a child and slept through many more.
I have an older sister, as well, who’s influence on my musical direction was pretty prominent. She and her high school boyfriend bought me Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and Chicago VI (both of which I still own). She and her college boyfriend, with whom I’d spend weekends, had a pretty big record collection: that’s where I learned about the Doobie Brothers, Seals and Crofts and America as well as early Rolling Stones and the like. They would also take me to the Peaches record store in Buffalo, NY, which is where I bought Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever album.
My parents played no small part in this addiction, either. My Dad was a hug fan of Dixieland and Big Band music and, together, they were enablers extraordinaire, paying for music lessons and buying instruments all along the way.
As with many of us who grew up in the 1960′s and 1970′s, the radio had a big influence on me. I listened to Top 40 radio in my hometown of Elmira, NY, particularly WELM and WENY. My favorite disc jockey was Street Stryder, who first started at WENY as the all-night disc jockey and later, while I was in high school, did the morning show on WELM. At night, I would lay in bed listening to Stryder, who would bring records back from New York to play on the his show. Much of it was R&B and soul from that period; that’s where I learned about the Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire and the best unknown soul band of all time, Pockets.
When I got into high school, I became a DJ myself: my first — and wholly intimidating — on-air experience was working for Stryder. Later, I learned the rock and roll canon at 94 Rock and the MOR canon at WSYR, both in Syracuse.
All this contributes to the diversity of styles you see on Fusion 45. I’ve even done jazz radio, believe or not, and we’ve not even touched the tip of the tip of the fusion iceberg.
If I had all the time in the world — meaning: if I didn’t have a real job — I’d launch a website for every style. Maybe someday I will. But, for now, please enjoy Fusion 45 and c’mon back, y’hear?
_/\_ Music Junkie at Fusion 45