Raised on the Radio

Because growing up on 70s television didn't kill me. It just made me who I am today.


Leave a comment

Baby Boomers Music

babyboomer

Baby Boomers are egotistical asses, especially when it comes to music!

 

I should know.  I’m a Baby Boomer.

 

You have to remember, most Baby Boomers have followed music from its early days.  Say, a Baby Boomer, born in 1954, will remember songs from the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly, to name just a few.  This was the foundation of Rock & Roll.  This is also our foundation from which we build.

 

We’ve been through the challenges of life throughout history. First, just listening to Rock in the early years put us in dangerous territory with the church. Supposedly, music that made you shake your hips and jump around was “Devil Music”. Yeah, you should have been there convincing your parents it wasn’t.

 

Jerry Lee Lewis (Whole Lotta Shakin’)

 

The Beatles also made it easy for us. Why? Because immediately, guys wanted to start wearing their hair long. The Hell with the “Burr” and “Flat-Top” haircuts, we wanted it to grow and grow long. You should have been there telling that to your high school basketball coach. Talk about setting yourself up for running gut drills after regular practice for the rest of the week. Why? Because we were going against the norm of the day. We were showing the adults that we didn’t have to follow the same rules they had. Times were changing and we were, too. Long hair showed what side we were on.

 

The Cowsills (Hair)

 

We were also there for the Civil Rights movement. We fought for all to be treated the same and have the same opportunities regardless of race or sex. Talk about putting yourself in the firing line! When I talk about protesting and marching in the late 60’s in Indiana, people say, “Well, that wasn’t much. The South was where the violence was at.” Then I kindly remind them that the national headquarters of the KKK was in Indiana. Yeah, the Midwest had its share of screwed up attitudes, too. It just wasn’t picked up by the news agencies as much.

 

Temptations (Ball of Confusion)

 

The Vietnam War hit everyone. However, it was the first war where the average age of a combat soldier was only 19 years old. Kids were being sent to kill an enemy under the guise of Communism needs to be stopped. It didn’t take long for us to see that it wasn’t communism as our primary enemy, but the politicians that were using the war to create a profitable economy for their constituents that owned war machine factories. Protest after protest, kids leaving the United States and living abroad, and the rich filling the pockets of Congressmen to keep their kids from going to an early death were facts of life for the youth of the day.

 

Country Joe & The Fish (I Think I’m Fixin To Die Rag)

 

As we expanded our attitudes, we sought means to expand our minds. Marijuana, although scorned for years by the white population as a drug that destroys all will to succeed, became a drug of choice, and one that got many a person years in jail. LSD (acid, Mr. Love Saves, etc.) joined the field as a leader in allowing one to see beyond. Different strengths and compounds had varying effects on those who indulged. Most of the time, we simply enjoyed the trip. Of course, various pharmaceuticals also become common as downers and speed helped us through the madness, or maybe, even added to the madness.

 

Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit)

 

Finally, ignoring our parents uptight feelings about sex, we made it happen. Free Sex meant that if you found someone you cared about, and they found you cool, too, there was no reason why you had to be married to get together and experience the beauty. Our parents knew this, but hid it because of the morality of the times. Oh, they had “affairs”, but they didn’t want everyone to know. Sex was a “dirty” topic that parents often only brought up too late. You learned about it from your friend’s fathers Playboy collection when they weren’t home. We wanted love, and sex was a part of that.

 

Mercy (Love Can Make You Happy)

 

Yeah, we were fighters. No matter what we wanted, it seemed society was against it in one way or another. But, we didn’t give up. We fought each battle and moved forward. Music was our partner. Regardless of the battle, it seemed as though there was a song that fit the time. We were unified, pacified, and verified by the music we listened to and believed in.

 

And now, we’re just like our parents were.

 

But, we’re still assholes with attitude!

Steppenwolf (Born To Be Wild)

 

About the Author:

Having grown up during the 50′s & 60′s, Rich was a personal witness to the confusion of the times. His love of music drew him into the conflicts of the day as he protested many of the atrocities in civil rights and an overseas war. Ironically, military service, during the final days of the Vietnam Conflict, ended a music career in a successful band. However, his love of music held true as he later chose a career as a radio announcer over law school. Here, along with being able to play the music he cherished, he interviewed many top music acts. This allowed him to gain much knowledge of the recording industry and the psyche of music artists in rock, jazz and R&B. Later, his love of performing transformed him into a career in stand-up comedy. Twenty years later, his love for music continues. Quote: “Being born in 1954, Rock ‘N Roll and I have grown up together. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!”

Keep up with him at That’s Life…Sometimes!


2 Comments

Cover Songs, Uncovered

cover songs

Have you ever heard a song that sounded so familiar you knew you’d heard it before, but it was now somehow different?

Yeah, it was probably a cover.

In the 1960’s, laws against taking a song and changing it to fit your style was common practice.  Chuck Berry and many more artists saw their classic tunes suddenly transformed into Pop Tunes performed by artists that just couldn’t meet the standards of the originals.  And, to make matters worse, there were no laws against doing it!  So, the original artist found himself listening to someone else performing their work, and reaping huge profits, without sharing a dime with the originals.

Doesn’t quite seem right, does it?

Recently, there have been accusations of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” taking from an older Marvin Gaye song.  And, Katy Perry’s “Roar” has been accused of stealing from Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave.”  Is this intentional “stealing”, or is it accidental copying by over zealous record producers?  You be the judge.

Now, I’m not including times when performers are actually honoring the original performers.  Tribute shows, such as the Beatles 50th Anniversary special, are immune from legal action.  If they weren’t, both Katy Perry’s version of “Yesterday” and Imagine Dragons rendition of “Revolution” would be cause for the performers to be incarcerated for pre-meditated butchery.  These were unfortunate in that in their attempt to honor, they demonstrated weaknesses of their own.

Still, there have been some worthy covers over the years.  Let’s look at some of them!

“The House of the Rising Sun” had originally been recorded in 1934, and had been covered many times by artists such as Roy Acuff, Woody Guthrie, Nina Simone, The Animals, and several others (including sadly, Dolly Parton).  Still, this version by the one hit wonder band, Frijid Pink, brings about a power to the song not demonstrated by others.

Frijid Pink  “House Of The Rising Sun”

 

Since I brought up the Beatles earlier, let’s talk about them a minute.  Many have attempted Beatles tunes.  In fact, Roberta Flack and others have even devoted full albums to their music.  None have ever done well on the charts as the Beatles are somewhat “untouchable” in the way they put it all together.  One man succeeded for many years in bridging this gap as he did the songs his way, instead of trying to duplicate.  His roaring acoustic guitar and rough vocal deliveries paved the way for success.  The man, Richie Havens.

Richie Havens  “Here Comes The Sun”

Marvin Gaye’s history is far and wide.  His ability to transform a song into a story that engulfed your senses and intensify your emotions is legendary.  Still, two performers have done songs by him and been very successful.  The first would be successful in whatever she tried.  Her voice is signature and her career one of the longest in music.  Here’s Gladys Knight & The Pips.

Gladys Knight & The Pips  “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Another artist completely surprised the listeners of the 80’s.  Orange and red hair, clothing combinations that snubbed the designers of the day, and a voice that sounded more like a New York nasal tone than a singing voice stunned the radio audiences of the day with this Marvin Gaye hit.  Here’s Cyndi Lauper.

Cyndi Lauper  “What’s Going On”

Now, for our last selection.  The question is, “Who’s the real original?”  Seems like David Crosby (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) had this boat in Florida. One weekend, Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane came by for a visit.  While there, Kantner, Crosby and Stephen Stills sat down and wrote the song “Wooden Ships.”  It was done by both groups on albums that came out at almost the same time.  So, who actually recorded it first?  We’ll leave that one for the lawyers to figure out.  Here’s the CSN version.

Crosby, Stills & Nash  “Wooden Ships”

So, until you hear your favorite song done by someone who needs to keep their hands off of it, enjoy the music!

Ciao!

About the Author:

Having grown up during the 50′s & 60′s, Rich Rumple was a personal witness to the confusion of the times. His love of music drew him into the conflicts of the day as he protested many of the atrocities in civil rights and an overseas war. Ironically, military service, during the final days of the Vietnam Conflict, ended a music career in a successful band. However, his love of music held true as he later chose a career as a radio announcer over law school. Here, along with being able to play the music he cherished, he interviewed many top music acts. This allowed him to gain much knowledge of the recording industry and the psyche of music artists in rock, jazz and R&B. Later, his love of performing transformed him into a career in stand-up comedy. Twenty years later, his love for music continues.
Quote: “Being born in 1954, Rock ‘N Roll and I have grown up together. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!”