Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

Them Changes …

November 14, 2010

Recent events have spurred some updates, upgrades and new additions at BaltimoreJam.org. Here’s the rundown:

VENUES

We were contacted recently by Markela Mihalos, daughter of Hollywood Park and Club Venus owner, George Mihalos. Mark has a collection of photos and autographs that her dad collected over the years, from most of the musicians and other performers who worked at Club Venus. It’s a pretty interesting compilation of history that fits B’Jam like a glove. She is generously contributing these images for addition to the website … they are in the process of being scanned.

In preparation for this new material we created a new section for the site headed “Venues.” This has been a missing piece in the Baltimore music puzzle for a long time. Without the places to play the music and musicians would have remained in a collection of basements and garages scattered around the Baltimore area. We show our recognition of this fact every time we hold a Jam, from the old Alcazar Ballroom, to Overlea hall, to Bobby B’s Palace on Turkey Point Road that we all remember as a club called Hoffman’s. Please check out this new section at http://www.baltimorejam.org/Venues and help us fill in the blanks with photos, stories, and the places you remember.

MUSIC

We have added a flash music player to the site to make it easier to post and play music on the website. There is a collection of sample music in this new player now on the Home Page, and a column of links to bands that already have music available on the right side of the Bands Page. As time goes by this player will be incorporated throughout the site, and new music will be added. If you have digitized music to share, send it along.

J101 VIDEO

Don and John Armstrong of Hocus Focus Productions in Baltimore produced a nice video of the very first reunion Jam held at the Alcazar in 2001. VHS tapes were made available to all the musicians who attended. Now, with the digitizing help of Don Barto Sr. of Soundriven of Baltimore and Washington, DC, this video is available on YouTube in 3 parts, and we have the links embedded at the website. Part 1 is posted temporarily on the Home Page, and all 3 links will remain available on the J101 Page.

We hope you enjoy this new material and find it interesting enough to bring you to the website often. Your comments are always welcome, as are any additions of music, photos and information. Ours is an all-volunteer effort. The wheels of progress may turn slowly, but they never stop turning.

VOSA

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Cruisin’ Along

May 27, 2010

Not much going on, so I thought I’d just write a short post to say so. I continue to enjoy what can only be described as the fellowship of our little musical Baltimore family. I find myself having email conversations with people who were totally lost to me just 10 years ago. Some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life, gone for 30 or 40 years, are back in my life—and that is a good thing.

If you’re a Facebook user you’ll definitely want to plug into the Baltimore Bands Group that Don Barto set up. It has quickly garnered some 146 members and some interesting photos and discussions. If you’ve enjoyed this blog and the BaltimoreJam.org website you will definitely want to check out what’s going on over on Facebook.

The revamp of the photo galleries at BaltimoreJam.org is finally complete. The basic idea of a page of thumbnails linked to larger images is the same, but it is now a lot  more clean and brisk, and you can allow the automatic slide show to run if you want to browse through all the pics without repeated clicking. It had been awhile since I had browsed through the photos of past Jams myself, and it was great fun to revisit those people and events as I reworked the photo galleries. I couldn’t help but notice the number of people who were present at the first Jam whose names now appear on the In Memory list. It’s sad to lose someone, and on the other hand it’s good to have met them, and jammed with them, before they checked out. As always, if you find something misnamed or malfunctioning anywhere on the website please let me know. Correcting bad information and fixing broken things are always top priorities.

A final word about the bands page at BaltimoreJam.org. Our goal isn’t to catalog every band that ever played in Baltimore … for that you just need to buy Joe Vaccarino’s great book, Baltimore Sounds. What we do on the website is present information about bands that is provided to us. This comes primarily from people who have participated in our Jam sessions, but it can come from anywhere. Any time someone sends me a photo or other info about a band I post it on that band’s page, and if we don’t already have a page for that band we create one. All it takes to be included is to send me your stuff. In case you wondered, now you know.

Every time I send out an informational email I always get a bunch of great replies of thanks and encouragement for what we’re doing. To all of those people I say a heartfelt thanks. I’ve always made a point of fending off any accusations of altruism by making the point that this is a selfish endeavor. I did it for my own benefit of catching up with people I once shared a band stand with (do you hear me Treffinger?… Invernizzi?). It worked great  … it just got a little out of hand.

Revamp On …

April 25, 2010

With the help of Sam Towers, we are identifying and correcting bad links on the revamped website, mostly associated with the photo galleries. This would be a good time to revisit the photos and browse through the easier navigation, or just let them scroll in a slide show. So far the Miscellaneous photos and J101 photos are done. Check it out …

baltimoreJam.org Revamp

March 18, 2010

I’d like to take just a minute to flash your attention to the baltimoreJam.org website, which has just undergone a restructuring (no jobs were lost) and face-lift. Everything that was there before is still there, but it’s better organized and easier to navigate. Check it out.

If you have information on a band you’d like to submit, use the contact form on the website, or comment here.