Hollywood Sentinel founder Bruce Edwin brings readers of NewsBlaze an exclusive interview with the founder of Musicians Contact.
Musicians Contact has been connecting musicians and bands together for over forty five years, from club and casual groups, to traveling bands, concert, and recording acts, their site reports.
Sterling Howard was a young rock vocalist playing Hollywood clubs in the late sixties. Finding the right band members was always a challenge, he states. There were no magazines or papers at this time for players to connect with each other, he adds on his website.
Sterling realized there was a need for a contact service, so he opened an office upstairs in the Whisky a GoGo. The idea he says, was an immediate hit. By distributing flyers on the Sunset Strip and posting ads in music stores, a large number of musicians and bands soon reportedly began connecting at the new referral service.
Within a year the office was moved to a larger location. In the early 1970’s, traveling bands found members as they passed through California, and as word spread, groups from other states called for replacements. Full time working cover acts became more popular, hiring players for road gigs, Sterling reports.
By the end of the decade, Sterling’s office staff had grown to five, and a branch office was opened near Disneyland. Las Vegas groups imported players, and country artists and jazz acts started using the service to hire available players, he says. Soon, he adds, disco was dominant over rock in the clubs, before new wave rock knocked out disco.
In those days, the job listings were distributed to individual musicians either by phone or in person, but a major change was soon to come. his site reports. Sterling hired a team of technicians to build a custom made computer connected to seven tape recorders. Members could now call 24 hours, enter a password into their phone, and hear current available jobs. It was primitive by today’s standards, but he says it worked – in 1983!
By 1990, Sterling says that cruise ship jobs became more popular and gigs arrived from Asia, seeking players for R&B, funk and soul groups. In 1995, it was time to upgrade the call-in hotline yet again with an advanced voice mail system, allowing musicians to record their profiles and demos right over the phone, his site reports.
By 1998, Musicians Contact went online with it’s first website, and became a national service, although he reports, about half of the members were still using the phone system to get their gigs!
Sterling says that there have been various website updates and changes to the site, culminating in what we see today. But, the basic function has always been the same since 1969 he says; a referral service for bands and musicians to find each other.
Listen to the exclusive interview with Sterling here discussing some of his famous clients, favorite gigs, new technology, and more.
Visit the official website for Musicians Contact here below at:
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