Dan Kruse
Dan Kruse, who has given two popular lecture series on the history of rock ‘n’ roll music at Academy Village, will return on Wednesday (Nov. 7) with a documentary film about how a couple of high school kids started a record company in Tucson in the 1950s.

Kruse is KUAZ-FM’s afternoon announcer and local host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He produced, directed and edited the 33-minute film about the brief and improbable life of Zoom Records.

“The power of the Zoom Records story is the message it sends about the power of music to inspire people, to evoke their best creative and entrepreneurial instincts, to bring people together in a common, uplifting enterprise,” Kruse said. “It speaks volumes about the youth movement of the late 1950s.”

The film is part of his master’s thesis at the UA School of Music, where he’s completing a master’s in Musicology/Ethnomusicology this fall. He’s also submitting a research paper that reflects upon the Zoom Records story in the context of the late-1950s rock ‘n’ roll music scene – historically, technologically and musically.

Kruse got the idea for the Zoom Records film by chance, when he happened to mention to a UA School of Music colleague, Brian Moon, that he was searching for a topic for his master’s thesis and that he was considering producing a film for the thesis. Moon responded by introducing Kruse to the label’s founders, Burt Schneider and Ray Lindstrom.

“I found their story engaging and intriguing, not only as a tale of youthful entrepreneurship and personal empowerment, but also as a ‘microcosm’ of what the rock ‘n’ roll recording scene was all about here in Tucson and across the country,” Kruse said. “The more I learned about the Zoom Records story – the amazing speed with which it came into being, the remarkable way in which its founders connected with one of the most accomplished recording engineers in America, the wonderful manner in which it brought together the teenage peer group of which Burt and Ray were a part – the more I wanted to tell the story in the form of a film.”

At the time he met Schneider and Lindstrom, Kruse was teaching a course at the School of Music on the history of rock ‘n’ roll, and, having grown up in the 1950s with fond memories of the burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll scene of the day, the idea of creating a documentary on Zoom Records seemed a natural.

Prior the screening of the film, Kruse will present a 15-minute lecture contextualizing the Zoom Records story within the technological, cultural and artistic environment of the late 1950s.

His presentation will be held in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy, adjacent to the Community Center at Academy Village, an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Due to the popularity of Arizona Senior Academy events, non-members are encouraged to make reservations to insure priority seating.

Submitted by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer



A Slice of Rock ‘n’ Roll History: Nov. 2012
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