I visited the Milt Hinton gallery near Baruch, and it seemed very interesting. I am a musician myself, so seeing old photographs of music developing over time was very appealing to me. Hinton played with other famous musicians during his time such as Aretha Franklin. He performed in many huge concerts including Chicago’s world fair. Many of the pictures were taken at recording studios. A recording studio is a musician’s favorite place to be, because it is the place where all your ideas, projects and hard work come together and gain credibility as well as legitimacy. It is an awesome place to be, and is basically the only place for musicians to prove themselves rather than shows. His pictures within the studios portrayed a number of different musicians, being both Caucasian and African-American. This was very interesting to witness in comparison with his other work, which showed evident segregation of races during his time. Civil rights was still a problem, but music crossed all boundaries and allowed for people of all different races to work together and make magic happen.
Hinton’s life was very long and full of history. One of his photographs showed him paying for a very famous artist, who hosted a huge show in the United States. In the blurb on the side, Hinton noted that he had played for a 100-year remembrance show for the same conductor he played with 60 years earlier. This shocked me greatly and made me wonder how old Hinton really was. I found out he died at the age of 90 in 2000. He was highly respected for his work and production of music over his long years. He was one of the many African-Americans to break the color boundary in the form of music, but one of the few to keep first-hand accounts and photographs of the entire journey. Some his photographs were taken to be humorous, often making fun of the segregation in America. Hinton and his friends would stand in front of doorways that read: “COLOR ENTRANCE”, point at it, and smile for the camera. This type of humor illuminated Hinton’s well-being, laid-back attitude and joyous perception on life.
A lot of Hinton’s pictures were also photographs of his influences. He took a lot of snapshots of people he worked with, no matter what color their skin was. He traveled around the world, performing for anybody that would listen. He first started in small nightclubs and cafes. People around eventually realized his true talent and he then began being hired for bigger shows, contributions to producing and mixing, songwriting for movies and studio sessions. Everyone in the music business is closely related because of its small size. He therefore had many opportunities to play and work with all different kinds of musicians and was introduced to many different types of genres, which aided his own musicianship. Hinton was an originator and extremely important shaper of American culture, both music and racial interaction. He has influenced many and will continue to do so as his legacy lives on in the hearts of all types of musicians.
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