The Very First Sampler Introduced In 1967? On 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'?! Plus Some Kids Dancing In The '80s!

History's first synth-duo?
Sampling is as commonplace in today's popular music as guitars, bass and drums were in last century's recorded output, but it wasn't until the mid-80's that audio samplers were readily available to musicians. Granted, the Fairlight CMI - employed by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Led Zep's John Paul Jones, and Thomas Dolby - came with a hefty $20,000 price tag, putting it out-of-reach for 99% of the music community.

Yet it was gadget-geek/electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack who introduced his unique sound-sampling invention on, of all shows, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in 1967. The highlight of the performance, without question, is the sight of Miss Nelson and her kids rocking out to a loop of the Rolling Stones' "Citadel" while Mr. Rogers stand absolutely dumbfounded by the technology demonstrated by Haack.

If Rogers or Haack were alive today, both would no doubt be spellbound by the sampling capabilities of today's digital recording platforms or devices like the MPC Touch or Elektron Octatrack, which, quite frankly, resemble credit card swipers.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but whatever company is currently hard at work bringing the next space-age sampler to market would be best served to take some stylistic cues from Mr. Haarck's, who still managed to make a suitcase, silverware tray, and salad bowl look cooler than anything I've ever seen Kanye West play.

Interesting side note: Haack would collaborate with rap pioneer Russell Simmons on a song called "Party Machine" in 1982, for which we were able to track down this wonderfully cheesy official video of said song complete with footage of white kids in varying degrees of self-consciousness dancing on somebody's deck party.

Does it get any better than that? We would surmise that it does not.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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