Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Superior Minstrels of Old

In 1968, though not yet a teenager, I was just beginning to discover that there was more to music than my parents' collection, which, as I've mentioned before, ran to Rolf Harris, Val Doonican, a lot of classical music and - - er - - that's it, really.

And suddenly, music was great. But I didn't have my own radio, or record player, or any means of listening to it. So I just heard odd snatches at friends' houses and never knew much about it really. The Communist was deeply disapproving of what he always called "pop music". He was born in 1923 so might have been held to be young enough to notice the likes of, say, Elvis Presley - - but he didn't.

It wasn't that he liked classical music and that other people liked "pop music". It was simply that "pop music" didn't enter his frame of reference - it simply wasn't music: it didn't exist in his world.

Which made it quite hard for me ever, ever to listen to it in the house because the Communist would come in and say "What's this rubbish on the radio?" and switch it off, not out of any vindictiveness or unpleasantness, just because he knew that nobody could possibly want to listen to it.

Well, I came across this list of the top 100 hits of 1968. And, oh, wow, no wonder I wanted to listen to them. There are lots of songs in there that I still love today.

Of course, to the Communist, this lot were the Devils Incarnate - - whenever he remembered who they were - -

There are many songs in that list that have stood the test of time.

But here's a song from the same year that really hasn't - -

Great suit, Cliff. Ah - - poor old Cliff. He's an easy target and I'm not going to mock him very much, because I loved him when I was five and saw him in Summer Holiday. (And thanks to The Other Side of Paris, the blog where I first found this video).

I wonder, out of the "pop music" of today, is there so much that will still be played in forty years' time? Was the late Sixties the golden era that I remember it as being? Or was the music of that time only golden to me because I had so little access to it that it was forbidden fruit, and therefore more tempting?

Perhaps mature people (she said carefully) have always thought this. They were probably saying it in mediaeval times. "Those modern minstrels - they're nowhere near as good as the ones we had when I was young."


Blogger Dumdad said...

Dear old Cliff!

That 1968 list is awesome as are the years 1969-1976ish.

5:53 pm  

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