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World Famous

It’s a boom that was ignited by 19 people meeting on a summer’s evening in a pub room in Islington, London in 1987, giving a name to a shared interest.

We should celebrate the amazing choice for listening it’s given us, along with the impetus to explore the cultures on which it flings open a door. Discussing the many mutually unintelligible cultures in his own country, the Ethiopian minister for culture once told me, “Music is the best way we have of getting to know each other”. ‘World music’ gives us all cross-cultural introductions. In our multi-racial society we should be able to hear more of it, and producers and editors in mainstream media should stop running scared, there’s so much to enjoy.

Happy Birthday!


Thos Brooman & Amanda Jones
Photo: Ian Anderson
Thos Brooman & Amanda Jones
Who was there at the historic 1987 meeting which invented ‘world music’? The minutes record them as Chris Popham, Ben Mandelson, Roger Armstrong and Ted Carroll from GlobeStyle/Ace; Jonathan Rudnick from Crammed US; Amanda Jones, Thos Brooman and Steve Hadrell from Womad; Charlie Gillett from Oval; Mark Kidel from Channel 4; Ian Anderson and Lisa Warburton from fRoots/Rogue Records; Anne Hunt, Mary Farquharson and Nick Gold from Arts Worldwide/World Circuit; Scott Lund and Iain Scott from Stern’s/Triple Earth; Joe Boyd from Hannibal and writer Chris Stapleton.

Two subsequent meetings also saw participation from Robert Urbanus from Stern’s, Mike Chadwick from Revolver distribution, Mark Stratford from New Routes distribution, John Martin from 11th Hour/Crossing The Border; Gordon Potts and Simon Coe from Virgin Retail; Andrea Lawrence from Cooking Vinyl; Jumbo Vanrenen and Trevor Herman from Earthworks, Nick Carnac from Carnacdisque; Doug Veitch, Owen & Phil from Disc’Afrique, Lucy Duran from the National Sound Archive, and writers Philip Sweeney, Chris Hawkins and Klaus Frederking. But it’s the first night bunch who you can blame for ‘World Music’ as the box that now exists.

Minutes and Press Releases

fRom fRoots 289, July 2007


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