The Fillmore, San Francisco, California: The Source of Psychedelia
As home to The Fillmore Auditorium, and its legendary concert promoter Phil Graham, San Francisco's Fillmore neighborhood became the nexus for the 1960’s psychedelic movement. The list of bands who performed at The Fillmore include a who’s who of the greatest bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s including Grateful Dead, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Aretha Franklin. The Fillmore Auditorium also has a place in music history as The Source of the innovative use of light shows, smoke affects, and projections to enhance rock and roll performances.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama: The Source of the Greatest Rock and Roll Recordings of the 60's and 70's
Located on the swampy banks of the Tennessee River, the town of Muscle Shoals, "Hit Recording Capital of the World", was The Source of many of the biggest hit songs from the 60's and 70's. The list of artists who recorded at FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio includes Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Paul Simon. The genre defying "Muscle Shoals Sound" fused black gospel, blues and traditionally white country musical styles with rhythm tracks laid down by legendary house band, "The Swampers."
Jerusalum Ridge, Rosine, Kentucky: The Source of Bluegrass
Rosine, Kentucky takes it's place in the history of American music as The Source of bluegrass music. It's the birthplace, and final resting place, of Bill Monroe: the father of blue grass music whose performing career spanned 69 years. An inductee to both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his influence stretches far beyond the genre he invented. Monroe was born in 1911 on the family farm, named Jerusalem Ridge, now the location of the Bill Monroe Museum and the annual Jerusalem Ridge Festival.
Normaltown, Athens, Georgia: The Source of Original Music of the 70's and 80's
As home to anything goes music venues like Allen's, the 40 Watt Club, and Uptown Lodge, Normaltown, a neighborhood in this sleepy Georgia college town, was The Source of highly original new-wave and alt-rock music in the 1970's and 80's. Normaltown's most famous bands, The B-52s and R.E.M., emerged from a scene where University of Georgia art students combined punk, art rock, local folk and country traditions with a dash of psychedelia to create unique and irreverent style of rock and roll.
Fremont, Seattle, Washington: The Source of Grunge
Known by locals as "The Center of the Universe" and "The People's Republic of Fremont," this Seattle neighborhood was a The Source of grunge, the driving nexus of hardcore and metal that came to define Generation X. Producer Jack Endino's Reciprocal Recording studio is a prominent Fremont landmark. Here, Nirvana recorded their first demos and debut album for Sub Pop records, Bleach.
West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan: The Source of Motown
Producer Barry Gordy opened his first recording studio, Motown's Hitsville U.S.A., in 1959 on Detroit's West Grand Boulevard. Mining Detroit's rich gospel, jazz, and blues heritage, Gordy and his artists were The Source of a new music called Motown. Motown combined soul music with a catchy pop appeal that translated into global hits for legendary artists like Diana Ross, the Four Tops, and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and so many more.
The Bronx, New York, New York: The Source of Hip Hop
The exact address might be debated (163rd Street and Prospect vs 1520 Sedgwick Avenue) but everyone agrees that the Bronx is The Source of hip hop music and culture. In the 1970's, against a backdrop of New York's urban blight, young African-American artists like the Ghetto Brothers, DJ Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa built the foundations of a unique music and culture, combining global influences like Jamaican dance hall, salsa, afro-conga, jazz, and funk. Using now familiar techniques like rapping, scratching, looping, and sampling, they initiated a musical revolution that has spread from the city to the suburbs and around the world.
South Side, Chicago, Illinois: The Source of Chicago Blues and Jazz
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the African American migration from the southern states to the north brought the rich musical traditions of the agricultural south to the industrial north. Chicago became The Source of a regional sound that fused southern blues and gospel traditions into a uniquely regional style of blues and jazz. South Side legends include blues artists Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, as well as rock and roll pioneers Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry.
Music Row, Nashville, Tennessee: The Source of Country Music
Nashville exploded onto the American music scene in 1925 with the launch of radio station WSN and its weekly country music stage show, Barn Dance, later renamed the Grand Ol' Opry. Over the years, nearly every legend of country, bluegrass, and gospel music has performed on the Opry stage including Bill Monroe, Uncle Dave Macon, The Carter Family, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and hundreds more. Nashville is now known as "Music City," and since the 1950's, Music Row has been The Source of Nashville's music as home to recording studios, publishers, venues and museums. Music Row is visited by millions of tourists every year.
Compton, California: The Source of Gangsta Rap
Compton is a small Southern California City with a big place in popular music history as The Source of Gangsta Rap. With the global success of Ice-T and N.W.A. in the 1980's and 90's, Gangsta Rap became Hip Hop's most financially lucrative sub-genre, upending the music industry, and shocking conservative American culture. Artists like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, whose careers began as part of Compton's Gangsta Rap explosion, have gone onto massively influential careers in music, technology, and film.
SoCo, Austin, Texas: The Source of the Austin Sound
Austin, Texas is known as "Live Music Capital of the World," and South Congress, or SoCo, is the eclectic neighborhood where locals and visitors go to get their musical fix. Low rents, friendly audiences, and the "Keep Austin Weird" spirit have proven to be The Source of exceptional music from nearly every musical genre including country, rock and roll, punk and rap. Austin's spirit of tolerance, and appreciation of a good time inspired the creation of the "Austin Sound", a mixing of "hippie" and "redneck" culture that gave rise to the careers of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Steve Earle.
The French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana: The Source of Jazz
The French Quarter is New Orlean's oldest neighborhood, and has been a popular destination for visitors seeking good times for almost two hundred years. It is also The Source of one of America's most important musical innovations. It was a fashionable neighborhood until the late 19th century when it's reputation fell due to the construction of a nearby red light district. But, what was bad for the neighborhood was great for music: the arrival of brothels, gambling, and vaudeville proved fertile ground for the creation of a new form of popular music: jazz. This mixing of ragtime, creole, marching band music, and Afro-Cuban influences was developed in neighborhoods throughout the city, but its popularity was spread throughout the world by The French Quarter's many visitors.