campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College Hosts Music Producer Steve Buckingham's Presentation on How R&B and Rock Tore Down Segregation

NEW LONDON, N.H., Feb. 1, 2011 - Colby-Sawyer College will host music historian and contemporary music producer Steve Buckingham's presentation of “How Rhythm & Blues and Rock n' Roll Tore Down the Walls of Segregation.” Buckingham, whose career spans more than 30 years and 10 genres, will offer a presentation based on the college course he developed and currently teaches at the University of Richmond and Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.

The presentation will take place in Wheeler Hall at Ware Campus Center on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee, and the public is invited to attend. Admission is free.

Buckingham draws on his extensive experience in the music industry and looks at how music by artists such as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and James Brown helped to unite the diverse population of the United States in the mid-20th century.

Buckingham's successful career has been based on diversity; his hit-making talent has consistently created award-winning albums across the charts. His collaborations with singers, songwriters and musicians has yielded 27 Top Ten singles on 11 different music charts, including country, pop, adult contemporary, dance and rhythm and blues. As a producer, Buckingham has worked with artists the likes of Bela Fleck, Sinead O'Connor, Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens), Martina McBride, Dolly Parton and countless others.

Through his work with contemporary musicians, Buckingham has earned four Grammy Awards, 11 Platinum albums and 19 Gold albums. In addition to his success across the charts, Buckingham has also lent his expertise to the music production for six motion pictures and two CBS television specials.

Buckingham began his impressive career playing Rhythm and Blues, the genre examined in “How Rhythm & Blues and Rock n' Roll Tore Down the Walls of Segregation.” In high school and college, Buckingham played guitar behind legendary artists like The Drifters, Jackie Wilson and The Impressions.

Following this period, Buckingham moved into a position as a studio musician in Atlanta and Los Angeles, where he had the opportunity to play on hundreds of albums. During his time as a studio musician, Buckingham was able to watch countless producers work in the studio, observing and learning from their styles. In 1978, Bill Lowery offered Buckingham an opportunity to produce. The very first track Buckingham recorded, “I Love the Nightlife” by Alicia Bridges, became a worldwide hit, was nominated for a Grammy and certified Gold.

For other upcoming events at Colby-Sawyer, visit

-Jessica McLavey '10

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000