- Letters to the Editor
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Congratulations to Mark Curran and radio station KRCT, RocketOldies106.com, that is based in Downey. ("Downey Gets Its Own Radio Station," 9/26/13)
We have had another program originating in Downey for some weeks now. It is on emixla.com at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday nights and is titled "Real Talk with Fr. John," who is the pastor of St. Raymond's Catholic Church.
Check it out, also.
It was interesting to read that Downey was getting its own radio station and that music would be featured. That is, until the line where it said it would be "oldies but goodies" from the 50's and 60's. For some of us that were part of or bordered on Tom Brokaw's greatest generation, the 50's and 60's marked the end of great music.
Les Paul was a great guitarist, but did he realize what he was starting when he plugged that damn thing into a wall socket and connected an amplifier? Today's bands have more electricians than musicians. TV didn't help. Appreciating music used to be strictly an auditory experience. Now it's visual. Great musical arrangers like Glenn Miller, Nelson Riddle or Don Costa couldn't find work today. They're replaced by a staff of choereographers. It used to be that the only reason for watching a band perform would be to study Tommy Dorsey on trombone to see if you could tell when he took a breath.
Digital music? That used to mean what you heard when fingers flew across the keys of a clarinet or saxophone. By the way, have you even seen a clarinet or saxophone in a band, except perhaps at the Hollywood Bowl? And vocalists? Mention the name Dinah Shore today and kids think you're talking about a giant reptile. But there was also Jo Stafford, Helen O'Connell, Lena Horne and many others. Peggy Lee never had to take her clothes off to sell a song. Of course it didn't hurt that she looked so good in them that she inspired the imaginations of a few million young men. Female vocalists on TV today seem to be vying to give new meaning to the term "boob tube."
And male vocalists. Guys who sang songs so that you could not only understand the words but allow your kids to repeat them. Perry Como, Andy Williams, the Eberle brothers, Buddy Clark, Steve Lawrence and a hsot of other great singers who had the misfortune of being contemporary with Frank Sinatra. The ageless Tony Bennett and Barry Manilow are simply reminders.
In the Big Band era, you got your kicks from the music, not from the chemicals being passed around the audience. That there's even an interest in the chemicals is a sing that the band isn't providing fulfillment.
Tom Brokaw labeled the generation that matured in the late 30's and early 40's "The Greatest Generation." At least they got rewarded by the greatest generation of popular music.
Published: Oct. 3, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 25