Hi! Just gathering on the corner the other night with a few friends on all sorts of subjects when our taste in music came up…boy, did that lead to a fun discussion!
But, let’s start by going back a few years, if that’s all right with you…
There was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, to name a couple, that were the hit on the radio and seen every-so-often on variety shows on TV. My mom loved it! Sinatra wooing all the ladies, Dean with his “That’s Amore” and the ever-so-smooth Perry, who gave up being a barber to croon on his weekly show. Of course, there was also Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, with her “Fever”, and my dad’s favorite, Teresa Brewer! Now, that was music!! You could understand the lyrics and sing along!
But wait! Now there’s Elvis! Along with Chuck Berry (R.I.P.) and Little Richard, they were causing a ruckus across the nation!! Where’s Sinatra? Martin and the rest? We don’t hear them on the radio anymore! What is all that noise? The Ed Sullivan Show is now headlining this new sound! But, is this music or what? Gyrating and shaking all about! What is all that jumping around on this show from Philadelphia called American Bandstand? Mom or dad yells out, “Turn the volume down! You’re going to go deaf.”
Don’t get too used to this as now we have the Beatles and Rolling Stones! “Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds” and “Get Off of My Cloud”? Jefferson Airplane with their, “…one pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small.” The Eagles are singing on the road to Hotel California, “…the smell of colitas in the air” Mom asks,”What are they singing about?” “Nothing, Mom!!” Our radios are tuned on to Casey Kasem and America’s top 40 every Saturday to hear what’s hot!
The peace and love gatherings in San Francisco and the East Village in N.Y.C. are the places to be. Kumbaya, everyone! (Note: I worked for American Express in 69 & 70 smack dab in the East Village near Washington Square, so I saw it all!)
As we move on, skipping the Bee Gee’s great Disco era, it is me who now is asking, “what the hell are they saying?” Sorry, but, after surviving my kid’s teenage years with Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, George Michael’s, ” I Want your Sex”, Prince’s (too many to pick one), today the airways are filled with, what I call (c)rap. I don’t understand a word that is coming out of their mouths! Apparently, my daughter and granddaughters understand the lyrics and the girls seem to know TOO much of what they are saying! All I can say now is “You call that music??” ” And for god’s sake, turn down the volume on those earbuds! You’re going to go deaf!”
For me, I was a huge Johnny Mathis fan! Slow, romantic, dancing cheek to cheek (while squeezing in a bit) music. Turning the lights low and listening to “Chances Are” was the ticket that usually “broke the ice”! I grew up in the Rock and Roll era buying all the vinyl I could afford. From Dion and the Belmonts forward through the many changes of genre created, much of my spare change was used to purchase an album or a 45rpm! I still have some that are 50 yrs old and in great playing condition.
This is getting long but, have you noticed all the commercials on TV that are using a lot of the “oldies but goodies” songs? Let me ask, have you been to a wedding where the first dance for the couple is a RAP song? Or, where “I will Survive”, “Play that Funky Music” or ” W.M.C.A.” is NOT played? Do the kids of today know how to dance something slow, where you actually hold on and snuggle up to your dance partner?
And my last question is, what do YOU call music?
Gotta Go! I am heading for the vinyl to listen to music I can understand and dance to!
Take care and see you later on “The Over 50 Corner”!
PS: I apologize to Mom for not mentioning The Lawrence Welk Show! Yeah, right!