Take a walk down memory lane at the African American Research Library & Cultural Center and revisit some of the groundbreaking albums and gadgets that helped propelled the music industry from its early, experimental stages up to the sophisticated system it is today. The exhibit is the brainchild of Belvit Jordan, AV Production Specialist / Tech Director and Ray Lockley, Assistant Head of Programs and Researcher for the project. The concept was introduced during black music month in June and is to inform the younger generation about the journey the music world has been on for the past sixty years.
It consists of three windows showcasing iconic items from as early as the 1960s, like the transistor radio in window one, a record player in window two and a one inch square music player from Apple in window three. The nostalgia of the eras is unavoidable with albums by The Fabulous Miracles, Al Green's Tokyo Live, Toots & The Maytals and Motown and Epic Record LPs representing the sixties and seventies. Eddie Murphy's Party All The Time, Stefanie Mills, Run DMC, Chaka, Janet and Prince's 1999 albums help take the 1980s leg of the journey with a record player, Walkman and boom box that were the main listening devices back then. The fast changing technology is represented by the presence of cassette tapes which were so short lived, soon replaced by the compact disc. A Shabba cd remind us of the dominant voice of the nineties while Bruno Mars, Fantasia and Jessie James who lead the airwaves today, are placed next to playing gadgets that can fit on the tip of a finger and are capable of holding more tunes than we ever thought possible.
The displays are brilliantly done to convey several eras and genre of the music industry in a relatively small amount of space. The amount of thought and care is further noticed as Jordan uses cork mannequins and hand paints each to represent the different complexions of the music audience, as she feels music is universal.