By Dennis Morgan, Publisher
Those oldies but goodies. They’ve stood the test of time.
On Saturday night in Albion, the sounds of yesteryear once again filled the room.
The occasion? The annual Boone County Health Center Foundation Gala. It was a night of fine food, fine spirits, good music and great people, all to benefit the Certified Wound Care Team.
As much as anything, the night was about the music. Performing was Streetside, a 1950-60s acapella group. They performed music made of simple melodies about better times and places. Songs from the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, even Johnny Cash and his “Ring of Fire” sounded unique acapella. Just words and a melody entertained more than 200 persons on a night when the stars shined on and off the stage.
As I listened to those songs, I thought these were the songs my parents listened to, songs I heard as a youngster. These were the songs that were playing on the jukeboxes in the honkytonks, at the soda shops.
These songs oozed nostalgia. Many of those sitting in the audience dressed like characters out of the movie “Grease”, even though most weren’t even born yet when the tunes were featured on jukeboxes or played on the radio.
Yet, isn’t it ironic how these songs STILL resonate. The same can’t be said for much of the music of the last 20 years. It’s a different world today. Nothing is made to last forever, if something quits working it’s cheaper to buy new than repair. In my opinion, that’s what much of the music of the last 20-30 years has been like. Nothing really memorable, it lasts for alittle while then is replaced by something new, and the cycle continues on and on.
Lastly, I feel sorry for anyone under the age of 30, I really do. What songs will they hear decades from now, from today, which they will remember with memories of good times had? Is there anything from Rap, from Hip-Hop, from Country that anyone will perform for the audience to reminisce? Where are the classic songs?
Then, again, do kids out of school today listen to music like we did in the 60s, 70s or even 80s? Honestly, who are today’s bands who you look forward to their next song, next album?
Where’s the next Eagles, the next Silver Bullet Band, the next Heartbreakers, the next ZZ Top, the next Led Zeppelin…? Go ahead, stop reading for awhile and start searching Sirius, etc. Okay, I’ll give you Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Metallica, even Nirvana made some noise before Kurt Cobain decided it was better to leave this world for someplace else. Who else you got? Green Day? Big & Rich? Let’s get serious! There more to music than rage, long hair, a cowboy hat or fancy lights that flicker with each chord change.
There was a time when your favorite band would put out a couple of albums a year. There was a time when the Beatles released three albums a year and the music was consistently better than everybody except the Stones or The Who. You knew the names of everyone in the band. Their music made them legends, the way they played guitar licks, beat the skins or blew the saxophone (Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band) took you to a better place. Not anymore. Those days are gone and they’re not coming back. Great bands are a thing of the past. Heroes rise and fall on the pop and country charts, but very few last more than a few years (remember the Dixie Chicks?).
Today it’s all about individuals with a backup band of interchangeable parts. Who’s playing bass? Who’s playing keyboards? Who cares!
So, when you’re working the fields or feeding the livestock, thinking how you’re going to pay off student loans, wondering if what you learned in college will pay off now or ever in the future, who are you listening to? You, yes you, would be better off thinking about how to serve your community with deeds more so than words, while humming some electronic noise coming from an iPhone.
It seems to me that people go to multi-day music festivals or head to Sturgis for everything else (I’ve seen the pictures), the music is secondary, at best. That’s all right, my generation had Woodstock (good), Altamont (bad) and LiveAid (a joke). We had the music, and most importantly, the bands!
Go ahead, scoff if you will. The generation who owns businesses and understands you won’t ever get ahead working just 40 hours a week, does so to a soundtrack that keeps getting better with time.
And the beat goes on!