HITS Daily Double
"I was especially pleased to read the challenge you put to our friends in radio about their role as cultural gatekeepers."
——Steve Fingerett, The FingerPrints Group


Steve Fingerett Puts His Finger On What's Right With the Record Industry
We get letters. Some of them are even complimentary and not too obscene to publish. Here's one from The FingerPrints Group's Steve Fingerett ([email protected]) in Minneapolis that brought a tear to our eye. Of course we were peeling onions at the time, but what the hey?

I couldn’t find a byline, but congratulations to both the writer and to you, as editor, for the copy in the on-line article titled, On Records: Finding the Up In Down (see hitsdailydouble.com, 2/5).

Among other projects, I am currently teaching a course at MusicTech College in the Twin Cities on music marketing and promotion. I’ve got 23 18-24-year-old students, voraciously trying to get to know and to get into the music industry. The news clippings I’ve been bringing in each week paint such a dismal picture (man, did you see that piece in Wired?) that it is really refreshing to see a position of optimism for our collective futures.

I remember almost 30 years ago, while working in radio (KQRS Mpls), we were coming back from a dinner before a live performance/ broadcast of the late, great Chicago singer-songwriter Steve Goodman ("City Of New Orleans," among others). The Elektra regional and national reps were having some kind of argument about something that seemed important to them at the time, when Steve broke in and changed the subject by saying, "You know, guys, who could be luckier than us? We’ve just had a great dinner, and we’re about to play some music, live on the radio… Really, who could be luckier than us?"

I’ve never forgotten that moment of optimism and the way it put a warm spin on the rest of the evening. I often recycle the "Who could be luckier that us?" concept whenever things seem bleak. It allows us to take a moment and realize how really lucky all of us who are able to make a living with music (remembering that "you don’t have to make music, to make music happen") are.

Your article was wonderful. I was especially pleased to read the challenge you put to our friends in radio about their role as cultural gatekeepers (a concept I’ve been all too aware of in trying to promote Black music, among other cultural forms, to radio in the upper-midwest during my 21 years in the field for the Bunny).

We (they) all need to be reminded, occasionally, of the responsibility we all have to reflect the public’s interests rather than deflect the onslaught of any particular shift in our cultural leanings.

Thanks for reminding us that the future is as bright as we allow it to be and positive thinking yields positive results.

Now that’s responsible journalism…and who’d have ever thought that you guys could be accused of that!