Monday, September 2, 2019

What's In a Name?

I am sometimes asked, "How'd you come up with 'The Playground' name?" The start of this 'short-answer' would be when I was youngster growing up in Brooklyn.  I along with all my friends and some other kids in the community played hard for hours at the playground and adventuring to neighboring blocks.  I won't get into the aesthetics other than they surely weren't the playgrounds of now with the nice protectant rubber mats and safety swings. 

Founder and CEO of The Playground
photo PKQP ©

Nonetheless, we played on swings and seesaws, running at top speed during freeze tag, hopscotching along sidewalks, excitedly building go-carts with 'found materials' (old shopping carts, rope, steel drums, giant wooden spools from industrial areas car seats, steering wheels, and if the pickings were lush, lawnmower motors.  We were resourceful [lol]).

Many rounds of stickball and heated tournaments of Skully with the finest milk or beer tops custom-crafted for precision flicking. 

Those moments are forever planted in my memory by what I feel and think was some of the greatest music ever made and that is disco!  From late morning/early afternoon to sunset and beyond, this music filled the streets, from kitchen windows, fire escapes, front stoops, passing cars and boomboxes galore. This music was like your grandmother's favorite dish, seasoned to perfection.  As pretty as the baddest girl on the block that all the boys fawned over.  Or soul-stirring as the best Sunday church sermon. 

Watching folks gather to dance at outdoor jams with the local DJs who spun records on sound systems in the street. Some played disco/dance music and others played what was known as the very early building blocks for Hip Hop ironically. 

There was a disco explosion and here I was this young kid running around Brooklyn, NY before the streetlights came on with some of the hottest dance tunes produced as my life soundtrack.  I would diligently listen to radio broadcasts for hours like Disco 92 WKTU, 107.5 WBLS and the sister station WWRL-AM.  One disc jockey who I not only enjoyed immensely but studied intently was Mr. Ted Currier.  
This master tactician of music mixology was someone I wanted to emulate as I knew I wanted to spin records too.  I was the 'resident DJ' in my house when the family got together lol.  My mom and dad were instrumental in buying my first turntables, speakers and a few records before I was able to go crate-digging for myself. My first disco 45 was 'Love In C Minor' by Cerrone. I didn't really pay attention to the moaning parts [lol].  I was into it for the music composition. This music had me completely captivated for that reason.  

Fast forward and back on track because I can go on and on about compositions and musicality that drew me into this ongoing love affair with disco. 
That's some of the backstories of how it began for me.  I created The Playground out of the necessity to preserve classic dance music in a community/club setting where we can all who share some of the same kind of memories of yesteryear to essentially 'be a kid again'.  It is also my intent to present what I not only feel but think, is a great time capsule of sounds, yet timeless connections through exciting and physically invigorating music. 
Because you gotta get down at The Playground! [lol] 

The Playground GLO Party
photo PKQP ©

That last sentence might have been a little much but you get the gist! 
Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and/or reposting this new blog.  Stay tuned for more insightful music musings and more. 

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