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“A complete and colourful book that needed to be written. Hats off to Larry Jaffee who stepped up to give us the definitive history of a phenomenon that, for all its crowds and mayhem, changed the course of independent music — saving not just thousands of stores, but easily as many indie labels." —Gareth Murphy, author of Cowboys and Indies - The Epic History of the Record Industry
Career Highlight: Introducing T Bone Burnett, closing Making Vinyl keynoter, June 24, 2022, Nashville, TN
Author, Educator, Creator
Deluxe edition SOLD OUT. Order the standard paperback here or a store near you.
My book Record Store Day: The Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century, was published April 12 by Rare Bird Books for RSD's 15th anniversary. Here's the inside story on how independent record store owners and musicians managed to revive the vinyl format from oblivion, shaping forever the music industry and popular culture. Based on interviews with several dozen industry executives, the book explains how vinyl managed to grow exponentially since 2008 and did not even allow a two-year pandemic to slow its momentum.
Jack White congratulates me on the book after his April 21 Brooklyn, NY concert
My favorite Record Store Day releases?
Here's a start, featured in The Big Takeover.
Like most Beatles fans, I've had the Fab Four on the brain in recent months, thanks to Peter Jackson's revisiting of the January 1969 recording sessions that produced the Let It Be album. Read my review of The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+ in PS Audio's Copper, and the Return of BeatleFest April 1-2 in New Jersey.
Record Collector magazine (left) March 2022:
"Just before RSD, Larry Jaffee publishes a book on the history of the global event to date, while [Taylor] Swift extols the virtues of physical media...." Billie Eilish's retweet (right) gets 35,000 likes in minutes.
My Manhattan Globe students won three awards in 2021 from the Society of Collegiate Journalists and the Fair Media Council. And I won New York Institute of Technology's Presidential Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching.
Author, Record Store Day: The Most Improbable
Comeback of the 21st Century (Rare Bird Books, LA)
Promoting RSD book in Germany
PHOTO: MICHAEL WEINTROB
• Archival piece: 2007 interview with advertising legend George Lois (RIP)
• A trip to the Philips Museum in Eindhoven: Like A Kid in a Candy Store
• Found in the bins: Review of David Bowie jazz tribute LP for trackingangle.com
• Considering the Compact Disc's 40th Anniversary for Copper magazine
• Analysis of the Mobile Fidelity audiophile scandal for Goldmine
• Liner notes for Skip James: The Complete 1931 Sessions (ORG Music, RSD Black Friday)
• Eighties Music is Unfairly Maligned: a look back in Copper,100 albums you should know and love
• 2022 update of vinyl pressing situation and lost chapter from RSD book in Copper magazine
• How high is up? CDs rebound too (Making Vinyl Europe 2022 program essay)
• Liner notes for Detective (debut album vinyl reissue, ORG Music, RSD, April 23, 2022)
• Review of The Beatles: Get Back, in which Peter Jackson provides much-needed context to a misunderstood band period.
• How COVID-19 didn't hamper the vinyl manufacturing industry from pumping out records
• My virtual presentation on how the vinyl comeback is the most improbable development of the 21st century, defying all technological, economic and ecological logic
• Leonard Cohen's complex relationship with women
• The Doors' ascendancy as the most popular American band coincided with its label Elektra Records had been located in the same building where I've taught for the past 8 years
• The night that Jim Morrison was kidnapped by his publicist.
Separately, I argue in the New York State – American Association of University Professors newsletter that higher education should use the pandemic to correct the gross inequalities and exploitation that adjunct professors suffer.
•Here's something from the archives: a 1991 piece in The Humanist titled, What Happened to Sex on Cable TV?
2022 season so
This website is a good representation of the various writing I've done over the past several decades. By no means is it complete, and especially missing are the hundreds of articles I wrote as a staff editor for various now-defunct print and online publications or others that never digitized their pages and/or decommissioned servers.
Trained as a journalist, I use my analytical skills in everything I do by coupling critical thinking with a creative flair. As a wordsmith, I find interesting stories in what others might consider mundane. My B2B journalism background is particularly helpful to companies in need of online content creation, media strategy, public relations or marketing materials. I've worked as a senior copywriter at a digital advertising agency, and marketing consultant for clients in the U.S. and Europe.
My favorite quote is from Albert Einstein: "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." The great scientist was obviously being humble, but as a versatile jack of all trades, I can relate to the sentiment. After writing thousands of articles over nearly four decades, being curious about everything serves me well. I have a knack for breaking down jargon for lay audiences. Editors tell me nobody pitch the story ideas that I do. I took Apple Computer's ad campaign to heart: I think differently.
At several publishing companies, I managed editorial and production staffs and budgets, meeting deadlines for large Fortune 500 enterprises to entrepreneurial startups. I jumped on the Internet in the early 1990s and have since worked in new media, but remain fond of print media and analog technology, despite my iPhone and iPad never being far away.
As an entrepreneur, I published and edited for 25 years and 100 issues a quarterly newspaper about the popular British television series EastEnders. I turned over the reins of the Walford Gazette to a contributor in the spring of 2018. The publication resulted in two successful self-published books, Albert Square & Me and Walford State of Mind, and a prototype magazine called UK:Cue, celebrating the cultural exchange between Britain and America in film, theatre & television that was backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign.
As a college professor specializing in communication arts, my goal is to get media students to think like journalists, much in the way Professor Kingsfield’s objective in the 1970s law school drama The Paper Chase was to get them “think like lawyers.” I first taught on the college level in the mid-1980s, after which I concentrated on my magazine publishing career. I returned to the classroom in 2013 with the goal of improving my students' media literacy.
Obviously, the technology available in the digital age is far greater than it was in 1986. We now explore how photographs, text, graphics, and audio, as well as data visualization tools, bring to life compelling stories on computer screens and mobile devices. But the key – no matter what medium – remains vivid writing and coming up with a compelling story. For example, here is the latest issue of the Manhattan Globe, the student-edited publication that I advise:
It's also on the web at https://manhattanglobe.net
Current / Recent Academic Activities
• Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York Institute of Technology
2013-present Recipient of 2021 NYIT Presidential Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching. Faculty Scholar 2015-2020
• Adjunct instructor, Marywood University (Scranton, PA). Jan.-May '22
• Adjunct Instructor, Mercy College (NY) Sept. '21-Feb. '22.
•.Courses developed and taught include: English composition; JOUR 101; Narrative Storytelling; Digital Storytelling; Crisis Communications (graduate course); Advisor to award-winning student newspaper Manhattan Globe (https://manhattanglobe.net); Advertising Copywriting; Advanced Public Relations; Sports Writing & Reporting; Global Reporting; Social Media in Theory & Practice; Broadcast Reporting; and The Business of New Media
• Adjunct Instructor, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY),
• Adjunct Instructor, St. Joseph's College, Jan. 2016-Dec. 2018
• Co-Founded in 2017 B2B conference that celebrates the global rebirth of the record manufacturing industry.
•Conceive program theme, invite keynoters and other speakers, edit program guide, write marketing and website copy
• Ran four successful in-person events, two in Detroit, Los Angeles, Berlin (Germany), Nashville, and Frankfurt (Germany).
Contributor, Copper magazine; Goldmine magazine; Record Collector News; trackingangle.com; ORG Music
2010 - 2020
Pennsylvania State University
Graduated June 1986 with M.A. in Journalism
Awarded Graduate Assistantship for my year
Taught JOUR 101 and popular culture courses
Master's project on how MTV changed the record industry
Studied empirical research methodology
Graduated with B.A. in Communication Arts, Journalism
Minored in Sociology
Editor-in-chief, Hofstra Chronicle: awarded by Society of Collegiate Journalists the Best Weekly Newspaper in '79-'80 during my tenure
Who's Who Among American College & University Students, 1980
In 1983, completed continuing-education paralegal course in legal research at Hofstra School of Law