Finding the “It” in “Hit”

Can a new Broughton Street business help to change everything the world has ever thought about music? David Meredith, CEO of Music Intelligence Solutions, has the answer.

Have you ever wondered what exactly makes a song a hit? Is it the melody? Or the tempo? Is it any one entity, or is a song more of a sum of its parts? For most ears, music is a subjective art, something that’s not quantifiable or dissectible. Deciding whether or not a song makes your download list is often visceral and instantaneous. You know within a few bars whether it’s a hit or a miss. For you and your headphones, there’s no need for data input, computer computations and complex algorithms, right?


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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Let’s Take the Long Way Home

In the anniversary year of his 100th birthday, The South takes a look at Savannah’s enduring influence on the works of the late, great singer and songwriter, Johnny Mercer.

And in your lonely flight, / Haven’t you heard
the music in the night / Wonderful music,
faint as a will o’ the wisp, crazy as a loon /
Sad as a gypsy serenading the moon
“Skylark” (1941)

With over 1,700 original songs to his name, the volume of Johnny Mercer’s work is impressive, but his artful lyrics, as evidenced in this, one of his most beloved songs, confirm the true depth of his talent. Born in Savannah on East Gwinnett Street, Mercer was raised alongside the scenes of the Lowcountry, and biographers and friends attest to the area’s lasting effect on his work. Like a hauntingly still summer night on the marshes, the words accompanying Hoagy Carmichael’s melody conveys a balance of aching loneliness and beautiful serenity.


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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Southern Songstress

songstress1Caroline Herring is no liar. She won’t pretend that she grew up singing on a dusty front porch, playing second fiddle to the sounds of crickets chirping and mosquitoes humming. She will, however, passionately discuss how her quiet childhood in small-town Canton, Mississippi, forged her path to becoming the so-called next big thing in folk music. To say that Herring never imagined that path would lead her to the stage and a roster of critical acclaim as long as her guitar strings is certainly an understatement.

Now in her mid-30’s, the Atlanta-based wife and mother of two still vividly recalls when her father first introduced her to the powerful sway of music when he gave her a ukulele and played records by the Kingston Trio, one of the most influential folk music groups of all time. Yet, despite this unique form of home schooling, Herring’s real love for folk music didn’t begin in the family living room; it all started at Ole Miss when she began performing with The Sincere Ramblers, a local country-bluegrass group. In 1999, when she moved to Austin, Texas, to study folklore in the prestigious American Studies doctoral program at the University of Texas, Herring’s spark of interest became a flame of enthusiasm. Being absorbed by the art of story telling in a city known for its thriving music culture was enough to propel Herring into a fruitful career of beautiful music-making that would later have her setting up camp in the Peach State.


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Category: Entertainment, Feb/Mar 09, Music, The Magazine
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