One for Friday: Ed Haynes, “Splash”

In this weekly space, I write a lot about music I procured fifteen or twenty years ago. Back then I was getting albums on vinyl, on CD, and, if desperate, on cassette. While it was no harder to find the newest U2 or R.E.M. record than it was to find Milli Vanilli or Aerosmith, a significant amount of the music that captured my interest required some hunting to get a copy (or sometimes pleading with whatever small label originally serviced the radio station with a second copy that could be added to a poor radio station staffer’s collection). Often the most desired release was so obscure that the mention of it would elicit little more that a perplexed stare at even the coolest record stores. One album that fit into that category was Ed Haynes Sings Ed Haynes. Sardonic and sly, the album was a sterling collection of humorous (but not pushily funny) songs, played with artful simplicity by Haynes. It was the perfect record to grab when something attention-getting was needed for an on-air mix.

I’m not sure how I got a cassette copy of the album, but I did. Through all my years of having no fancier option than a tape deck in my cars, it was one of the only things that was not a mix to receive regular play. I’ve combed through various used bins over the years, snapping up a surprising number of little-known releases that I was introduced to during those bygone days toiling in that central Wisconsin radio studio, but I’ve never seen that Haynes album.

So that’s why I’m thankful for the way the Web has changed how we find music. Even putting aside the “Long Tail” theory and the remarkable capability to easily buy anything being actively offered for sale, there’s this whole army of people out there getting the music out there. Admittedly, this usually involves ignoring copyright law, but a fair number of people seem to stick with dispensing music that wouldn’t get exposure otherwise. And, for what it’s worth, a significant number of the things that I’ve purchased in recent years, driving money towards the artists and independent record stores that I favor, I wouldn’t have discovered without this vast, wonderfully sprawling online community of music fans.

I don’t have all of the Ed Haynes album any longer, but thanks to a few of those individuals out there on the digital frontier, I have some of the songs. And every time “Splash” shuffles up, I do want to go our and get me a six pack of Rolling Rock.

Ed Haynes, “Splash”

(Disclaimer: The Sings Ed Haynes album appears to be about as far out of print as a record can get, but there are other releases available from the artist in question. The song posted here is done so with the understanding that there’s no readily available means to acquire the song. If anyone with due authority to do so asks me to remove the song, I will gladly comply.)

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