Swinging 60: Music Week celebrates six decades at the heart of the biz

Swinging 60: Music Week celebrates six decades at the heart of the biz

My own Music Week moment arrived in April 1997. My appointment as editor of a different weekly music publication was covered by the many trade papers around in those days, but Music Week was the big one, as I knew it would be read by everyone in the business of music. And it was – the phone rang all week with people who’d seen the news in these pages. I’m just glad they didn’t include a photo.

Over 20 years later, many of those other trade mags have fallen by the wayside, but Music Week – I’m glad to report – remains in the rudest of health. That it does so is, of course, down to our symbiotic relationship to the industry we cover which, not entirely coincidentally, also finds itself in something of a new golden age.

Looking back at that 1997 issue, many of the names featured have left the industry, while others continue to thrive. Lucian Grainge – not yet a Sir – had just taken over at Polydor, while Gary Barlow was trying to forge a solo career – proof that, in the music biz, some things will always work out better than others.

The Music Week players have changed as well, but putting together this week's epic 60th anniversary issue has – as well as, somewhat ironically, taking years off our lives – brought home what a privileged position it is to see behind the curtain and witness the workings of an industry that hasn’t stood still for a moment, through good and not-so-good times, since we launched in 1959.

Music Week remains in rude health, and that's down to our symbiotic relationship to the industry we cover

Nor has the magazine. Competitors come and go, but Music Week has resisted the allure of clickbaity online sensationalism or copy-approved puff pieces. Whether in print, online, in our newsletters or at our events, we pride ourselves on telling you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear. And that’s why it’s humbling to see so many of the biz’s biggest names, past and present, talk in this week's issue about what Music Week means to them.

Things may have been very different in 1959, but one thing remains the same. The original 1959 editor’s letter said: “The paper is as lively and interesting as the people in the particular trade it sets out to serve”.

Which should make our latest edition, available now, the liveliest and most interesting issue ever. Enjoy, and here’s to the next 60 years…

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