My parents said it, and we said to ours some degree, and chances you’re saying it to yours. Saying what? When the “rappers” come on or whatever they’re called these days, using that monotone delivery laced with vulgarity, what do many of us from that ‘60s era say? “You call that music?”
There’s a good chance that gets followed by something like, “Any moron could do that.” Sound familiar? Just the other day while listening to a favorite musical program, a young vocalist supposedly hot right now did a number titled “Let It Go”. We sat back ready to hear the hit number from “Frozen.” Did we ever get a surprise!
Not only was it not from that amazing movie, it wasn’t even intelligible half the time, in spite of a mic crammed up against the vocalists mouth. I’m thinking of some of those “Acid Rock” groups for the ‘60s that I would have said the same thing about.
Sure I was a great fan of the Beatles, Beach Boys and The Bee Gees! There was also Mancini, Bacharach, Herb Alpert, Percy Faith, Perez Prado, and Paul Mauriat. My list could go on and on, because there were also the Musicals like West Side Story, Grease, and Saturday Night Fever.
Sure there were classics like Oklahoma, South Pacific, Zorba the Greek and Gone with The Wind. The Nutcracker Suite, Hansel and Gretel, Brigadoon and Fiddler on the Roof. So the questions comes, what has happened? Where is the music? I have the words but there is no melody.
So much shouting and yelling! Words that are full of hate and malice, anger and anything but music. The harmony of acapella. Were it not for groups like Pentatonix, acapella could have been on it’s way out. When the added beat box and other sound effects are added these groups like Straight No Chaser and Home Free have come into their own.
Harmony, sounds that can actually move you to do something beside undulate and twerk! Rhythm that creates the mood for the Argentine Tango, Flamenco, Samba, Quick Step, and the always exciting Waltz.
“Say It With Music.” It doesn’t even need words to make it moving. I know it’s not just me that thrills to certain sounds. How many years have we felt ourselves moved by the theme from The Magnificent Seven? Can you hear it? It’s already playing in your mind.
So many iconic sounds that don’t need the screamin’ and yellin’ or antagonistic and aggressive lyrics so prevalent today. I can’t speak for anyone but me, but “Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky can get me pumped! How about “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables that brought Susan Boyle her rise to fame?
Granted this is a new day with new sounds, but give me the likes of Neil Diamond, Il Divo, Celine Deon and “The Prayer” along with Andrea Bocelli. Josh Groban, Kenny G, Floyd Cramer, Glen Campbell, and my list could go on for a long while. Why even Jimmy Durante and Louis Armstrong, who did not have the best voices, are still those of a romantic era that I’m starting to think has passed us by.
Music makes the world go round, even today. I just wonder if it’s like so many other things. The industry has figured out what we want, and has created a pattern, that fits the general makeup of what consumers want. It’s no longer about DJ’s plugging tracks like the past. Rather it’s You Tube and someones 3 minutes of potential viral fame.
It is exciting to know that there are still song writers that want to be like Bob Seger, Lionel Ritchie, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. Those who want to be story tellers through music.
One of my favorite is Barbara Streisand. Her movie “Funny Girl” may be one of my favorites. She had many that followed and unlike some, they were great.
Where or When by Johnny Douglas is playing in the background. Next up is Tropical Paradise by James Last. That seems like a great note to call it a day.