Whatever Happened To… Whatever Happened To?

"Question mark in Esbjerg" by alexanderdrachmann is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

All good things must come to an end and, while we’ve had some great fun with this series and, I hope, reminded you of a lot of artists that might not have come to mind for some time (and, maybe, even introduced you to some names you hadn’t known before), it’s time to call it a day. At least, for now.

Whatever Happened To… is taking an extended break and won’t return in 2022; but we will be back sometime in the future to jog memories again and remind you of artists that you hadn’t thought of for a while. That’s always been the aim of this feature series; to remind readers of some of the artists that, for one reason or another, might have dropped below the radar for many.

The series started back in July of 2019, under the title of “Forgotten Artists” and ran for 20 months before we rebranded it, in March of 2021, as “Whatever Happened To…” as we felt this was more in keeping with the way the readers saw these artists – they weren’t forgotten but many wondered what had happened to them. In total, we have featured almost 60 different artists throughout the series, ranging from bands like Eggs Over Easy and The Cactus Brothers through to solo artists such as Maria Muldaur and Kevin Brown. We started with Leon Russell and ended with 16 Horsepower and covered an awful lot of ground in between. We featured The Delevantes, who had gone their separate ways after their second album, and this year saw them return, after 23 years, with their third album and one of the recordings of the year. We featured The Duhks, one of our most popular articles and, as a result, were able to bring you an interview with Leonard Podolak after he contacted us to update us on Duhk related activity. In fact, the series helped to encourage interviews from a few artists and, we hope, increase communication with you, our readers. These articles certainly drew a lot of comments; often to give us additional snippets of in-depth information, in the way that only the real fans of an artist can.

It has been a real pleasure to curate this series and to write many of the articles included, but it has been a team effort from the start, that has seen many of our writing team participating and contributing some great articles that have helped the series run for so long. It really wouldn’t have been sustainable without the input of a number of other Americana UK writers and we hope that has also helped to keep it fresh, interesting, and diverse throughout its run.

Because Americana is the combination of American roots music it has a lot of history to draw on and we’ve tried to strike a balance in the series between some of the more “vintage” artists, with the likes of Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band and Leon Russell, alongside more recent artists that are still going strong in their regional markets or who blazed bright as a unit before going on to other things either as individuals or with other bands. I hope we, in general, got the balance right and kept the series as interesting as we could for as long as we could. That’s really why we’re bringing it to a close at this time. We need to think about how we might develop the series in the future and what artists we haven’t included that might be ready for a re-visit. As always, we welcome your thoughts and input if you have suggestions for when the series does return.

All that remains to say is keep re-visiting the dustier corners of your record collections – you never know what forgotten treasures might be lurking there.

About Rick Bayles 354 Articles
Now living the life of a political émigré in rural France and dreaming of the day I'll be able to sing those Cajun lyrics with an authentic accent!
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