Sunday, December 23, 2018

Feeling sorry for the young

Sometimes an oldster can feel sorry for the young. Playing music here on a Sunday from my very own 'olden days' collection. And I go way back, yes that far even!

Frank Sinatra
 What I am thinking about is our music of then, compared to the young who are listening today to whatever that is. Sure I hear it, on the street, on TV and radio. A car pulls up beside me at a light and I get the thumping, so loud I wonder if that guy crashed his own car he would be aware of it? Other times I can't hear it because it is in those earbuds as she crosses the street obliviously avoiding that bus. Or I try for a ballad but the girl's voice is so shallow she doesn't have command of a complete octave!

I am not saying there is nothing for their future, but I do say it is so thin as to become tiring at a late age. Where is the staying power? What will the young have when they do get old?

And one does tend to review one's life as Autumn turns toward Winter. And at those times you remember Spring with a sigh and perhaps a voice and a lingering melody.

The idea is that I have a virtual treasure trove of music I can enjoy which brings me memories that seem always right for whenever that time was. Sure my music had messages, but they were more about love and hope and boy loses girl and boy gets girl back than death and torture. And wasn't Love a Many Splendored Thing with Four Aces up your sleeve?

Snoop Dog
And I ask myself that when those who are hearing the strident strains of complaint from Hip Hop and RAP and chants of the discontented get to a later age, will they want to hear again about those growling indignations? Will they still want artists of their day talking about killing cops? Or will the women who make it into their future want to gather the grandchildren to hear again about the twerking bitch riding her man's pleasure pole while flying high?
Or about weed and heroin and meth being the way to go from Snoop et al? Or Eminem and Drake complaining about how bad 2018 was while banking millions? Or Jay Z and Kanye dominating for now but irrelevant tomorrow because their fortunes went out of style? Will they want to replay this year of delirium in 2058?
I know the argument that bitching could change the world, but is this so-called music just perpetuating the bitch instead of instigating a change?

Duke Ellington

Rosemary Clooney
Meanwhile I put on a range of music from my golden days; I grew up with Big Bands, Glen Miller being In The Mood, The always classy Duke Ellington taking his A Train, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra got under my skin. And Woody Herman and the Benny Goodman Orchestra with the hypnotic Gene Krupa beat.
And Peggy Lee wasn't all there was and Rosemary Clooney had me dancing on a string and some Johnny Ray Cry and Moonglow and Fats Domino and that ain't no shame! And Sammy Davis Jr. belting them out of the park. And Jo Stafford dreaming us along the Nile, and what girl in my youth didn't want to put her head on Paul Anka's shoulder?

Buddy Guy
Even when Elvis roused so many because he gyrated and Rock 'n Roll was so evil and threatening, I listen to Presley now and think he is just cool and mellow like Brazil 66. And even Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis with his foot on the piano and Bill Hailey rocking around the clock just raise a smile at their innocent energy! Wasn't it fun to the beat of Louis Prima with Keely Smith and their chemistry together casting their spell of their Old Black Magic? And then Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd and the Doors and Mamas and Papas and the Beatles. And we are left with all those wonderful Lennon - McCartney lyrics! And Grateful Dead rhythms and even Bob Dylan's insightful writings will keep you thinking forever! And Neil Diamond's true songs.
Al Hirt

And all that jazz! Scott Joplin and Ragtime to Al Hirt and Louis Armstrong's All Stars from dixieland to a Wonderful World, and Stan Getz, and Coleman Hawkins and Billie Holiday still echoing through time with Ella Fitzgerald. Lionel Hampton sending out great vibes. And BB King and Buddy Guy and Ray Charles in Georgia and Etta James and Koko Taylor Wang Dangin' and Doodlin'! What treasures to rehear!

Reba McEntire
And who can ignore Willie Nelson and Crazy? Or with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristopherson and the Highwaymen? The straight forward lyrics of country will last a lot longer than a grunt about unfair society. Even Hank Williams and Marty Robbins in West Texas and Gene Autry Back in the Saddle Again, or Blue Rodeo and Reba and Garth and Charlie Daniels who kicked the Devils ass!

The list seems endless, doesn't it?


The point is, of course, now when I look back, I can still just enjoy the musical artists from my childhood and beyond. The music stays with you long after the black cloud or bad year has blown by. To enrich and mellow with the patina of something which ages gracefully and is as valued as Grandma's memory. And I am just as entertained with it today as I was when I first heard those harmonies in my very own olden days.
Bill Hailey


I do feel sorry for those who can't, great music is golden days, and one can take refuge there.



Youth is so wasted on the young.