The Free Music Store was a live public weekly concert organized by Eric Salzman, former Music Director of WBAI-FM. Starting in March 1969, the concerts were held at WBAI's studios, a deconsecrated church on East 62nd Street. The church's excellent acoustics and eclectic schedule of musical acts - including folk singers, chamber musicians, electronic composers, Brazilian percussionists, and poets, among many others - packed the house week after week. The Free Music Store heralded the ragtime revival of the 1970s with its annual "Ragtime Reunion" concerts beginning in 1970. The Free Music Store also created a new kind of concert experience in NYC, one that broke the mold of museum and music-hall concerts by boasting free admission (suggested audience donations helped keep the series going), refreshments and floor seating, all of which were novel for the time. Pacifica Radio Archives proudly presents all of the Free Music Store recordings available from our vaults, now digitized and accessible thanks to a generous 2013 grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.
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This project is supported in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation.
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