Jimmy Wales helped create Wikipedia, the interactive online encyclopedia founded in 2001. Users write and edit Wikipedia entries themselves; the site also has a dedicated corps of editors. Often there are “edit wars” over entries — some, including the one headlined “2006 Lebanon War,” have been edited and then re-edited thousands of times — and Wikipedia’s accuracy has been questioned by some professors and colleges, who forbid students to use it. But Wikipedia, with versions in 250 languages, is one of the top 10 sites on the Internet. ALSO, for many veteran AfroPop performers, the end of the LP era meant their back catalogs suddenly unavailable. And for many of those musicians, there’s no prospect of a CD being produced locally. So it’s good news, according to music critic Milo Miles, that the music of one performer who made a splash in the West — Nigerian juju superstar King Sunny Ade — is being smartly preserved in the digital age. Miles reviews three new collections: Gems From the Classic Years and The Best of the Classic Years, both on the Shanachie label, and King of Juju, from Wrasse.
THE WORLD CAFE
World Cafe host David Dye welcomes legendary producer Joe Boyd. Boyd was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He first became involved in music promoting blues artists while a student at Harvard University, and in 1964 made his first visit to Britain, returning the following year to establish an overseas office of Elektra Records. He was eventually to settle in London. He became best-known for his work with British folk and folk rock artists, including the Incredible String Band, Martin Carthy, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson. Some of these were produced by his own production company, Witchseason. He also co-founded London’s UFO Club and worked with UFO regulars Pink Floyd (producing their first single Arnold Layne) and the Soft Machine. Boyd returned to the States in the 1970s, assembling footage for the eponymous film documentary on Jimi Hendrix (1973) and producing records by Maria Muldaur and Kate and Anna McGarrigle among others. He went on to found his own Hannibal label (now a part of Rykodisc) which released records by the likes of Richard Thompson and various discs of so-called world music. Boyd also produced R.E.M.’s third album Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), and records by Billy Bragg and 10,000 Maniacs. Boyd has written a book about the music of the 1960s called “White Bicycles,” published in May 2006 by Serpents Tail Press in the UK. [Via Wikipedia]