May 2020 Podcast – Kent: Small Town, Big Music (S2, E7)

Fifty years ago, in a small town in Northeast Ohio, America was forever changed on a spring day.  In less than a minute, Kent, Ohio jumped from relative anonymity to a lasting symbol of a nation divided.  “Four dead in Ohio” became a battle cry for the Boomer Generation and a stark reminder of the tragedy at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.  While the history of that dark day still permeates the campus and the city, both the community and the university have come to accept their shared responsibility to never forget.  We dedicate this program to the memories of William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Miller and Alison Krause, forever young but never forgotten.

Kent carries another legacy that stretches from before May 4, 1970 and through today, a legacy as a vibrant music town as a birthplace for bands as well as for having legendary live performance venues, both equally as important.  In this podcast, we’ll cover three generations of Kent music – from the late 60’s/early 70’s rock of the James Gang all the way to the earliest work from the Black Keys in the early 2000’s with a variety of music in the years in-between, you’ll hear bands who were either Kent born and bred or bands from Akron who were part of the vibrant and eclectic Kent music scene.  And of course, we’ll hear from the band that is the bedrock of Kent music, 15-0-75 AKA the Numbers Band who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of Kent music, I recommend Jason Pruffer’s excellent book Small Town, Big Music: The Outsized Influence of Kent, Ohio, on the History of Rock and Roll.  Published by Kent State University Press in 2019, the book is an excellent look at Kent’s place in the music world from the late 1960’s through today.  Jason is also producing a documentary film about the Number Band titled Out of Obscurity, Into Oblivion.  The film’s premiere has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but hopefully we will be able to view it soon.

Set List

“I Find I Think of You” – The Measles
From the 1967 album Beg, Borrow & Steal as the Ohio Express.  Written by Joe Walsh

“Funk #48” – James Gang
From the 1969 album Yer Album

“Funk #49” – James Gang
From the 1970 album Rides Again

“Auto Motion” – Devo
1975 demo first released on Hardcore Devo:  Volume One (1990)

“Whip It” – Devo
From the 1980 album Freedom of Choice

“Animal Speaks” – 15-60-75 The Numbers Band
From the 1976 album Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town

“High Heels Are Dangerous” – 15-60-75 The Numbers Band
From the 1987 album Among The Wandering

“Brass In Pocket” – The Pretenders
From the 1980 album Pretenders

“Middle Of The Road” – The Pretenders
From the 1984 album Learning To Crawl

“Puppet Wipes” – Tin Huey
From the 1977 EP Puppet Wipes

“Chinese Circus” – Tin Huey
From the 1978 Stiff Records album The Akron Compilation

“Astronettes (Love? You Must Be Kidding)” – The Waitresses
From the 1981 Clone Records compilation album Bowling Balls II

“I Know What Boys Like” – The Waitresses
From the 1982 album Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful

“Nobody Loves Me” – The F-Models
From their 1981 7″ single

“Noise Pollution” – Hammer Damage
From the 1981 Clone Records compilation album Bowling Balls II

“Alone’s Alright” – The Bomb
From a 1985 unreleased demo

“Play The Game” – In Fear of Roses
From the 1991 cassette release In Fear of Roses

“Another Day” – The Twist-Offs
From the 1987 EP Looking For Bugs

“Red Light” – Indian Rope Burn
From the 1993 album Sex Party

“Race Against Time” – Ray Carmen
From the 1990 EP Radio Friendly

“Retardo y Retardo” – Harriet the Spy
From the 1994 album God Gave Us Music and The Courage to Sing

“Never Ending Cycle” – The Party of Helicopters
From the 2003 album Please Believe It

“Seems Like Most Everything Used To Be Something” – The Six Parts Seven
From the 2001 album Things Shaped In Passing

“Set You Free” – The Black Keys
From the 2003 album Thickfreakness

“Ohio” – Dink
From their unreleased second album recorded in 1995