History / Inspiration
Oakland has always had a rhythm all its own. During the Great Depression, blues musicians invented the town's trademark sound: a slow, mournful beat with basic 1-4-5 blues changes. Then an influx of Texans moved to the East Bay, and the pace picked up to a faster, livelier shuffle. The Town's own Bob Geddins was the first black man to own a music empire that included studios, labels and its own record plant. Sailors and railroad men would cash their paychecks and head straight to the blues clubs that lined 7th Street, where Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and BB King all performed.
That Oakland sound kept changing, with Larry Graham, MC Hammer, and Tower of Power all introduced the world to a different Oakland beat. Since then, Oakland hasn't just influenced the music that people listen to — it's changed the way people listen to music. It's home to Pandora, the internet radio giant that invented the "Music Genome Project" a way of mapping over 400 attributes in an individual song.