The United States of America-Joseph Byrd-Podcast

Hear an interview with Joseph Byrd of The United States of America in Echoes Podcast.

The United States of America

The United States of America

We take electronic music for granted now, but back in 1968 it was a pretty rare and novel thing.  There were bands like Lothar and the Hand People, 50 Foot Hose and Silver Apples, but the group who took electronics the furthest was The United States of America.  That was an audacious name, even in 1968. The group was headed up by Joseph Byrd a somewhat obscure avant-renaissance man who hung out with composers like  John Cage and LaMonte Young in the early sixties while arranging Christmas carols and Patriotic songs for Time-Life records.  He’d go on to produce records by roots Byrd-NYCmusic icon Ry Cooder, create the theme for CBS Nightly News and the voices of Sci-fi robots for the film Silent Running.  And let’s not forget Joe Byrd & the Field Hippies. A new album of his earliest compositions has just been released called NYC 1960-1963, performed by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. It puts another piece into the fractured mosaic of Joseph Byrd.

Hear Joseph Byrd, USA singer Dorothy Moskowitz and Clarice Jensen, artistic Director for the  American Contemporary Music Ensemble talk about music from Fluxus to psychedelia.  It’s on the Echoes Podcast.

~John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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