Freedom from Alaska!

Shawn Phillips: The Ballad of Casey Deiss | Shawn Exiled from USA’s Garbage-FM

This song was on one of my favorite albums during my high school days in Minneapolis, when I had the great blessing of being able to listen to one of the most creative radio stations in the country—KQRS-FM!!

Before they chose $$$commercial$$$ success over artistic achievement, they would actually play large portions of this LP regularly, to my never ending, GREAT DELIGHT! Until the music stopped in 1977:

In the summer of 1968, they [KQRS] started experimenting with freeform progressive rock in the late night hours. It became popular, and by the end of the year, this became the KQRS’ primary format.

By 1977, the freeform rock would give way to a tightly programmed rock approach, courtesy of radio consultants Burkhart/Abrams and their “Superstars” format, which was essentially just the hits from album oriented rock. Loyal KQ92 listeners were VERY UNHAPPY when this happened.

To me, Shawn Phillips opens up whole new horizons as to what can be done musically. He’s an artistic pioneer, not afraid to go where no man has ever tread, climbing the heights with his still (at age-65) more-than-4-octave vocal range. And I don’t recall any other musician who so effectively and not uncomfortably incorporates silence into his/her music, on occasion.

When Shawn is on, he’s mesmerizing. It’s sad that today’s mostly junk radio bans true artists like Shawn.

This is from the album Second Contribution, 1970. Casey was a friend of Shawn’s. And according to Shawn’s just-released DVD, Dianna still is.


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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    You can hear shawn Phillips and all the great artists and music that corporate radio has forgotten on

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