I am not just a writer. I am also an historian. Of many things. I have always found myself becoming very curious about the origins of things. What the thing was before it was what it is now, and how it got from there to here. These are the kinds of things I really enjoy doing as a professional blogger . In doing so, I can talk about an interesting aspect of the industry a client is in, and tie it in directly with what their company does!
Here are a few examples:
Let’s say my client is a rock band:
Rock and roll – You might think of Elvis, or maybe Chuck Berry, or “Rock Around the Clock” when they think of the roots of rock and roll music. But it’s a bit of an internet parlor game to find examples of rhythm and blues, swing, or “jump blues” songs from the 1940s or even the 1930s that meets the criteria for being rock and roll. Personally, the earliest examples I’ve found convincing are from the mid-forties. Anyway there are too many candidates for the distinction to mention here. Google “proto-rock” if you want to hear some of them.
How about a record store?:
Jazz music – Most jazz aficionados can probably tell you that jazz began with Charles “Buddy” Bolden’s band from about 1895-1907. But there were various brass bands in New Orleans (the Eureka, the Olympia, etc.) from the late 1870s and certainly in the 1880s. This was not “jazz” but you take what they were doing, you mix it up with some blues and you’ve got a reasonable facsimile of what the brass bands of today are doing. There are mentions of brass bands during the Civil War era (Charles Bothe’s Brass Band). The whole brass craze seemed to have kicked off around 1838 when the local newspaper reported a sudden infestation of every street corner with bands. That’s about as far back as I’ve been able to track it.
But enough music. Let’s say I scored my dream blogging job and got to write for a professional baseball team.
Baseball – The beginnings of baseball are an incredibly murky subject. How the game is played evolved over time, for one thing. But there are other issues. Conventional baseball history goes backward like this:
The major leagues as we know them began in 1901 when the American League joined the National League. The NL had formed in 1876.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs operated from 1871-1875 and is widely recognized today as the first “major league.”
The first all-professional team was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings (not the same organization as the modern day Cincinnati Reds, nor the Boston Red Sox).
The first players to be paid probably did so in the early 1860s.
The first league, though amateur, was the National Association of Base Ball Players in 1857.
The first set of rules is said to have been written up in 1845 by members of the New York Knickerbocker Club, though there is some controversy about this.
There were clubs forming all over the place in the 1830s who played a game that was a forerunner to what we know as baseball today.
The earliest reference to a ball game being organized ahead of time and reported in a New York newspaper was from the spring of 1823.
In 1792 there was city law in Pittsfield, MA banning kids from playing baseball in town for fear they’d break windows.
A poem from the 1744 “Little Pretty Pocketbook” describes a game that clearly resembles what we know.
That is as far as that one goes, for me. I could go on and on but I won’t.