Voltaire’s Vault

Voltaire’s Vault and What It’s All About
By hosting Voltaire’s Vault I am fulfilling a fantasy I had as a kid. I started listening to music in the late 50’s on a crystal set which was a small AM radio with one earphone and a wire with an alligator clip that attached to a piece of metal. It was small, required no power, had no amplifier and was limited in range. Since I lived in Detroit I was able to pick up local radio station WXYZ. AM transistor radios became popular in the late 50’s. When I acquired a transistor radio in the early 60’s I was able to listen to a number of radio stations in Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
During the 60’s I purchased a reel to reel tape deck and began recording songs from the radio. Back in the day, disc jockeys were required to talk over the end of songs as a deterrent to recording. I will never talk over the ending of a song.
Not surprisingly the music industry was and is male dominated. I usually play about 40 songs during each episode of Voltaire’s Vault and I try to include at least ten songs by female artists in each show. Some of the songs from the era were sexist and supported male/female stereotypes. I include them because they were part of the culture of the times and need to be heard.
One of the great things about popular music in the 50’s and 60’s was that just about any type of music could be a hit – soul, jazz, orchestral, folk, comedy, the blues, instrumentals, doo wop, rock and roll, crooners, torch singers, or male and female artists and groups. Every genre just mentioned had songs that were hits – many of them #1 hits.
For most shows I try to include classics of the era along with tunes that are less well known. I also provide a little history for many of the songs. Every so often I do a “themed” show such as Motown, Stax, Jamaican music, Woodstock, or the The Monterey Pop Festival, to name a few.
So there you have it.
Prince Voltaire