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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

LeBlond Audio Clip and Transcript

LeBlond Audio Clip

Interviewer: Leslie Friedman

FV: We were talking about sociology of the arts --

RL: Oh, about sociology of the arts, yeah.  But anyhow, I interviewed these educators, these practicing musicians, and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra struck me as a good place to start for that.

FV: I guess so.

RL: And I also talked to a whole bunch of arts management and art presenter types, all over the place, who were presenting music.  Well, this was in '64 where I was doing a lot of this interviewing and nailing down actual interviews and hard data about how these people work and operate, which nobody had ever gathered together before.  I don't know of anything like it in sociology; I mean, a lot of this stuff -- the auto industry, various professions, there's a sociology of medicine where the structures of hospitals and medical schools and everything else are examined ad nauseam.  But nobody ever looked at all this for musicians.  So I felt pretty good about doing some fairly original work.  Well, what was happening then was the dance boom was just cranking up.

FV: In the sixties.

RL: Yeah.  And a lot of people that I interviewed that presented music also were beginning to present dance, or to try to organize dance companies -- or support them, or whatever.  That was all just starting to happen.  And after I had gotten all of my interviewing done and the writing underway, a lot of people said to me, Richard, you've been picking our brains, now we want to pick yours.  You know, of all these organizational things that you're so interested in having to do with music, we've got to try to replicate a lot of that for dance now; that's just starting, and we want to start picking at you.  So in about '64, maybe it was '65, I'd have to dig back and see, one of the very first conferences of the AADC -- the Association of American Dance Companies -- was being organized at a big hotel on Seventh Avenue in New York, it used to be the Sheraton.  I don't know what it's called now; it's changed names several times.  Anyway, someone asked me to come and be on the program and give a talk.  And Lydia Joel, who just died, God bless her soul, and used to be the editor of Dance Magazine.  (Pre-BillComo-- he's dead, too.  We're really going back now.)  Anyway, she was an officer of the AADC -- and she got me on that program.  And I came and gave a talk about the organizational bases of dance companies and how they had to get tied into their communities and this, that and the other.  Well, they loved it!  And right away, a nominating committee came to me and asked me if I would let my name be put up for the Board of the AADC!  I was stunned; I couldn't believe it! Lydia came to me and said, would I write up my paper and she would publish it in Dance Magazine.

FV: Oh, terrific!

RL: She did publish it in Dance Magazine.

FV: I'll have to find that.

RL: And little figurines around the article:  decor by a young artist named Andy Warhol! Not yet as well known as he would come to be. Can you believe it?  I can't believe it!

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