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Requiem For A Rust Belt City



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Between the 1920s and 1960s, the city of Youngstown was an important industrial hub that featured the massive furnaces and foundries of Republic Steel and U.S. Steel. But, Youngstown never became economically diversified, as did larger industrial cities like Chicago, or nearby Pittsburgh, Akron, or Cleveland. Consequently, when economic changes forced the closure of plants throughout the 1970s, Youngstown was left with few substantial economic alternatives. The 1969 merger between the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company and the New Orleans-based Lykes Corporation was a turning point in the demise of the local "Steel Valley" The merger and subsequent takeover of Youngstown Sheet and Tube burdened the community's primary steel producer with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and placed control of the company outside of the Mahoning Valley. The September 19, 1977, announcement of the closure of a large portion of Youngstown Sheet and Tube, an event still remembered by many Youngstowners as "Black Monday", is widely regarded as the death knell of the old area steel industry. This was followed by the withdrawal of U.S. Steel in 1979 and 1980, and the bankruptcy of Republic Steel in the mid-1980s. In the wake of the steel plant shutdowns, the community lost an estimated 40,000 manufacturing jobs, 400 satellite businesses, $414 million in personal income, and from 33 to 75 percent of the school tax revenues.The Youngstown area has yet to fully recover from the loss of jobs in the steel sector
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Song Stats
Hits: 2612
Comments: 18
Fans: 5
Plays: 30
Downloads: 98
Votes: 3
Uploaded: May 13, 2008 - 08:38:22 PM
Last Updated: May 13, 2008 - 08:48:33 PM Last Played: Jun 01, 2019 - 02:56:39 PM
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dajama said 4059 days ago (May 13th, 2008)
Are those population numbers for Youngstown? That's a scary decline. This is a very powerful track. The use of percussion in particular, gives great resonance to the backstory you relate. I like the "choral voice" sound, and the guitar is terrific - nice distorted sound. This has an epic feel, with outstanding production values as ever. Nicely done. Peace.
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announcer said 4059 days ago (May 13th, 2008)
the percussion
is really what inspired me to write the song. It had a good industrial feel to it. Thanks for the visit. Yup ... figures are for population in Y town. Sad decline.
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
lengold said 4059 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
Great subject matter
for a song Bill. Love those 'industrial' samples and the choirs, I think you have captures the essence of the subject perfectly. Great listen.

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announcer said 4059 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
Len, Thanks
I tried to make the piece sound not totally like a funeral dirge but be a little uplifting celebrating the history of the area. The Steel Valley that ran for dozens of miles through this area supplied the world with its products for nearly a century. It is not just this area that has suffered with the loss of manufacturing jobs and a large part of spine of America has been removed with the loss of these great industries.
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
Ibstrat said 4058 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
should be doing movie soundtracks-extremely well done.
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announcer said 4058 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
Funny you should mention that. I fell asleep last night with my ear buds in while listening to some of my tunes. I dreamt that they were using my music in a movie. I wondered if I was going to be paid for the use. Then later in the same dream, I was eating ice cream and another of my tunes came on the Muzak system in the Baskin Robbins store. I started to get mad cause these people were stealing my tunes. Then I woke up.

Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
Vic Holman said 4058 days ago (May 14th, 2008)
Heavy Metal
Bill, I like the industrial beats in juxtapostion to the rest of the composition at the beginning. The second part has a touch of early Iron Butterfly. Cool. The third section comes out smooth and shiny as polished chrome. NICE.
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announcer said 4058 days ago (May 15th, 2008)
Thanks for the close listen
I also liked the different textures that were in this song. I wanted to convey a feeling of the area in the song. It was a tough working town with tough immigrants who took pride in the fact that their product was made into products all over the world. On the other hand it is the home of the premier American art museums in the world, The Butler and one of the most interesting and beautiful parks in the world, Mill Creek Park. Both of these were built in better times. It is also the former home of more than 30 office holders who are now living in prison, and a homicide rate that is a true shame. Today some of the growing industries are telephone call centers (both pull and push clients) and some software companies are doing well.

The first time I came here 40 years ago, I thought I had arrived in hell. Bad smells, giant furnaces that burned hot 24-7 and the air was orange.

Now I know what hell looks like when more of the people in the world have been good and gone to heaven instead. :)
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
Moviz said 4057 days ago (May 15th, 2008)
appropriate sounds you've used here and a great song as a background to a documentary or film about the things you wrote above. Sounds like an industrial symphony.... great stuff as always, M
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announcer said 4055 days ago (May 17th, 2008)
Background for a doc?
I actually had a piece of music that I wrote used as a background for a documentary about Youngstown. It was a student project by one of my best students and it really came out nice. Maybe I just need another good student to produce another documentary.:)
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
echoroom said 4056 days ago (May 17th, 2008)
This sounds like cities marching - very innovative and grand scale. i cant think of anything quite like this - steely and lovely.
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said 4040 days ago (June 1st, 2008)
for me, I grew up in Canto Ohio & lost my fingers in a factory punch press with sounds very similar to the ones you are using. I left many years ago & Happy I did. Great MIX!,,,, thanks for the DL

announcer said 4040 days ago (June 2nd, 2008)
I worked in the Canton Radio market for some time (Alliance actually). Glad I worked in radio instead of one of the plants there. In the middle of the night, I would be lulled to sleep by the multi-ton presses of Transue and Williams hammering away. They used to call it the lullaby of money, but it always said to me "aren't you glad you went to college".

Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
said 4040 days ago (June 1st, 2008)
announcer said 4040 days ago (June 2nd, 2008)
Considering what you told me happened to you in Canton, it is understandable why you might miss some letters on a keyboard occasionally :)
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
VicDiesel said 4040 days ago (June 2nd, 2008)
Socialist realism
There are old russian compositions singing the praises of steel mills (Mosolov?). Yours is a fitting mirror image, singing their demise. Great piece.

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announcer said 4040 days ago (June 2nd, 2008)
Demise did have a upside
A small consolation of the exit of the steel business is that you can now see the town and breath the air!

Thanks for the visit.
Check out my latest song called Blood Moon
gregd said 4002 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Industrial Industrial
The story and the music go really well together. Nice composition and attention to history. You capture a bittersweet nostalgia throughout the piece.

My only wish is to hear more low-end in the drums, across the board.
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Name: Bill Brophy
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I was the Show Runner for Homework Express. This was a twice weekly show aimed at middle school students who needed help with their math homework. We were nominated for 3 emmy awards for the show but it was cancelled due to lack of funding. H... [see more]

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