Sunday, October 13, 2013

They're Gone. A whole Generation


American Culture

Since I moved to Nevada, I've been haunted by the ghosts of Sinatra, Martin, Davis Jr. and of course Elvis.  Somewhere in Vegas I'm sure Wayne Newton is still entertaining.  But there was a whole generation of beautiful Music that got kicked to the curb by "Race" Music/Rock and Roll. 
As a Musician, I could sit and watch Jimmy Stewart play "Glenn Miller" in the Glenn Miller Story which starred some of our country's greatest Iconic musicians from Louis Armstrong to Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa.  Back in the 1930's our country was opening a new present called pop music.  Musicians were becoming popular.
As a Musician, I could stand and play Jimi Hendrix riffs all night long.  But in the back of my mind, I know none of it would have been possible had Glenn Miller not taken music into a "Popular" direction.  This would eventually lead to kids waiting for Elvis and Buddy Holly to ride into town. 
In the cities, Singers, Crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were fronting the big bands.  It was Sinatra that plowed the road for Elvis.  Elvis once said the singer he "admired" the most was Dean Martin.  This is not to be confused with the time he called Roy Orbison: "The greatest Singer in the World".  Elvis admired Dino's voice and his acting ability. (See the Elvis song: "Loving You")
But I was sadly disappointed this morning when I did the math and realized that the Bobby Soxers that loved the Rat Pack are now in nursing homes at best. I always considered those in their 70's as being the audience for Cultural American swing.  But if you do the math; those 70 year olds probably got high to the "Iron Butterfly".  Many Woodstockers are now in nursing homes. 
Perhaps Harry Connick Jr. and Brian Setzer are the only ones left to tell a wonderful story of dance halls and spinning mirror balls.  The Rat Pack is in heaven with Glenn Miller and Marilyn Monroe.


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