George Knight College of Musical Knowledge: Lecture Notes

George Knight Lecture Notes
Graphics by Kevin Shin

By Megan Doherty, Staff Writer

You may have heard an installment or two of our on-air segment, the George Knight College of Musical Knowledge. Now, it has expanded into a virtual seminar series! You can join George's hour-long lecture on the music topic of his choice on the last Thursday of every month. 

During last week's seminar on March 25th, George dove into the psychology of family bands. The lecture covered bands made up of siblings, twins, large families, and extended families. He spilled dirt on dysfunctional bands, revealed his top 5 most groundbreaking groups, and shared stories of his family's musical experiences together. If you missed the lecture, feel free to catch up with my notes!



Over the course of about 30 minutes, George whipped through several family bands, giving bios, fun facts, and anecdotes of each one. For instance, he taught us that Paul McCartney called Karen Carpenter from the Carpenters the best female voice in the world. And Paul knows a thing or two about music.

George talked about other WERS favorites like HAIM, The National, INXS, and Tegan and Sara. He divulged that the sisters in HAIM started off playing music with their parents. Growing up, they began their live performance career as small children playing in bars. 

In the section about dysfunctional family bands, George brought up Creedence Clearwater Revival. Brothers John and Tom Fogerty made up half of that band. About 20 years after the rock group split, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. However, John Fogerty refused to play with his former bandmates at the ceremony. 

If you were waiting to hear what family band George believes is in the top five most groundbreaking groups, it's Sly and the Family Stone. "The band was a groundbreaking band for a few different reasons, including the fact that they were a multi-gender, multi-racial band," said George. "Very influential band."



After George's lesson, everyone got the chance to learn more about each other and share their experiences playing music with family. Ashley Peterson, our Associate Director of Development, kicked off the show and tell segment. She talked about how before the pandemic, she and her fiancé, who's a musician, had a jam group with friends. She put up photos of them playing together. 

George went next. He revealed that his family always takes videos of them singing "Happy Birthday" to send to relatives on their birthdays. He even showed a photo of everyone playing together! Growing up, George played guitar with his dad on banjo. He brought a picture of them on stage together to show the group. 

Morning show listeners in the seminar shared their family and music stories next. The group was filled with fellow musicians. For example, Greg played a guitar he got from Facebook Marketplace. He joked that as of now he only knows enough chords to make a "really bad Pixies song." Larry also plays guitar, and even had a band in college. He also mentioned that his dad used to pull out his accordion at parties, and everyone would sing along. While John plays the drums, his dad favored the piano. The keyboard in his childhood home was underneath his bedroom, so he'd always hear his dad playing. Alex and Jeff had similar experiences with music. They both grew up in musical families, but joke that the talent skipped a generation. 


Join us on April 29th for the next George Knight College of Musical Knowledge seminar! More details will come soon, so watch this space!

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