Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mark Merry reaches 100

Confidence is a good thing. One thing I really do well is think up titles for things. (What do you mean this blog has a daft title?). When on Soul Forum ESSENTIAL MODERN SOUL record collector and passionate music fan Mark Merry asked for a title for his weekly Soul mixes I came up with "The Soul Sermon". At the time he and I were in regular correspondence about music via the forum. He understood what I was trying to do (back then) in pushing a certain view of music, even if he wasn't too blown away by my choices. To his credit he acknowledged that my agenda was driven by my love of music first and foremost and that I wasn't after much by way of recognition (or was I ?).

The music that I posted on EMS that was Gospel though really did appeal to him-hence my Title for his mixes which he adopted. We exchanged a lot of links to websites back then-Soundclick for example. His encouragement to me became important, I owe him a debt. When I struggled his words helped. Mark Merry had always been around supplying music to others, something I only came to understand much later. His taste overlaps mine but only at the edges, but he has an ear for what is popular (or would become so)-this is a skill I lack. Armed with lots of links and paid accounts at places like E music Mark began to put his mixes together. They may not have changed the world but in total they represent something rather special.

One cannot begin to contemplate the endless hours this must take, his devotion to his cause and his ability to brush off the fact that in some cases he would uncover something that became very popular without getting much credit for it. Sometimes his frustration would boil over he would write some daft things alienating himself from others- but never from me. My advice to him was always the same "It's a long game"-and it is.

If backed in a corner and made to quickly sum up his choices I say "He likes the peripheral".  The Singers might hit a few duff notes-it might be new but sometimes sounds old-he's a classicist. He acknowledges the Old in the New. 100 mixes on he shows no sign of slowing down.

Thank you Mark-for keeping the game long-may you never change.....