Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: When it comes to music vs. tech, tech almost always wins (part 4)

Here’s one more story about how musicians fought technology and lost.

In the 1970s, Barry Manilow would take a large orchestra on tour in order to faithfully reproduce all his hit songs. This was very, very expensive and the recession of the early 80s made it even more difficult. So for a 1982 tour, Manilow made a change. All the musicians he would normally hire were jettisoned in favour of a couple of synthesizer players.

Musicians’ unions were so outraged that they were being replaced by a machine that they launched an international campaign demanding that all keyboard synthesizers be banned.

How did that work out for them?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38150 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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