Music and Generations

The interplay of politics and the media with music and culture
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Music and Generations

Post by John »

Music goes through generational changes like everything else.

The best music of the 1930s and 1940s was lyrical, romantic escapist
music. People needed that music to gain momentary respite from the
suffering of homelessness, starvation and war. After the war you had
the sweet "live, love, laugh and be happy" post-war love ballads,
followed by "rock 'n' roll" and the protest music of the Awakening era

As Gen-X music took hold in the late 1970s and 1980s, the protest
music morphed into counterculture "punk rock" music, with dark lyrics
mostly rejecting Boomer values, and often emphasizing themes of
violence, isolation, disillusionment and death.

Now the young Millennial generation is making itself felt more and
more, and we're starting to see a return to the beautiful romantic
ballads that cheer people up during times of crisis.

A sign of this return is the sudden popularity in the UK of World War
II songs from the "Soldier's Sweetheart," Vera Lynn. Recordings of
"We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover" are being heard

** Wartime entertainer Vera Lynn returns to pop music charts in UK
** ... 01#e090901


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Another Cup of Coffee

Post by John »

-- Another Cup of Coffee

I'm always on the lookout for music from the 1930s and 1940s that's
relevant to today.

"Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" is an Irving Berlin song from a
1932 Broadway show, "Face the Music," about formerly wealthy
Wall-streeters who are now poor and having lunch in an Automat (a
self-service restaurant that was popular in NYC for decades).
Just around the corner,
There's a rainbow in the sky,
So let's have another cup of coffee,
And let's have another piece of pie.

Trouble's just a bubble,
And the clouds will soon roll by,
So let's have another cup of coffee,
And let's have another piece of pie.

Let a smile be your umbrella,
For it's just an April shower,
Even John D. Rockefeller
Is looking for the silver lining!

Mr. Herbert Hoover
Says that now's the time to buy,
So let's have another cup of coffee,
And let's have another piece of pie!
Here's an MP3 of the Glenn Miller band singing the song a few years
later. Unfortunately, they changed some of the lyrics so that they
aren't as biting as the ones above. ... coffee.mp3


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Re: Music and Generations

Post by Foolworm »

Responding to the latest article, the attempt to shoehorn generational dynamics into a given subject is enticing. There is nothing to empathically show that there is any more reason to go with a generational dynamics solution than any of those given above.

Dance has been evolving away from ballroom styles to more expressive modes and styles since the end of WWII. The study seems to assume that the only style of acceptable dancing is ballroom.

The most obvious solution is to look at the data linearly: confidence increases with experience, even as physical capability decreases.

I would say that hip-hop dancers at 65 would look like fools and yet remain convinced their moves were the greatest, even as their less confident offspring laugh at their displays of physical prowess.

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by Felix34 »

I don't think we've had an opportunity to see what the Millennials can bring, we've only seen the crash and burn, slutty, get money fast" part of our generation. You know Lady Gaga, Brittney Spears, etc..

It takes time for good musicians to get noticed, it took Soundgarden, for example, nearly a decade to find mainstream success.

I think Alberta Cross is the first band to come along in nearly a decade an a half that has really interested me. I'm not sure if the musicians are Xers or Yers, but we're definitely starting to see a change in the music scene. It's also more organic than what we've seen so far, back to guitars, drums, pianos, etc..on a stage in front of an audience instead of this auto-tune monstrosity.

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by CactusBill16 »

I am pleasantly surprised to see that Vera Lynn is again popular in the UK. As an American born into the tail end of the baby boomer generation (1955) I have never really felt I fit into any particular category. I remember my childhood as being one of the happiest times and the music played then stuck with me. I place this music in the pre-rock 'n' roll to early rock 'n 'roll category. An example of early, loosely categorized rock 'n' roll would be early Elvis recordings: "Love Me Tender," "Good Luck Charm," etc. While enjoying much of the music from the '60's and early '70's, I never really got the '60's culture, because, although just a child, I really enjoyed the overall order and general calmness of the '50's way of life. Of course I was lucky to be born into what would be considered a middle to lower middle class family. I do believe the assassination of JFK was the turning point with the escalation of the Vietnam War, introduction of drugs, radicalization of politics, introduction of feminism and all that these things entailed. From then on and until this day I have felt cast adrift, not really belonging to any group. I didn't agree with what I saw unfolding and didn't really participate in the popular actions that were molding the future. In most cases I was on the opposite, unpopular side resisting these changes. I still am. But now, at least with the opening of the Internet age I see that although still in the minority, I am not alone and that this post is one example that I think confirms it. And, even though it is painful to see, I can say I was right in my stance and that the world is about to reap what it sowed during the post JFK assassination decades.

I have recently been ferreting out examples of music that was being played during my childhood and the rediscovery is very pleasurable. Listening to this music really helps calm my nerves and puts me in a better frame of mind. In my search I have also come across artists from that time period that I never knew of or perhaps heard examples of their work long ago and did not know their names. I have also noticed that many contemporary artists are beginning to put out their own versions of these wonderful songs and melodies (ex. Eric Clapton has released a good version of "The Autumn Leaves") and there are new artists such as Rene Olstead coming forward. I would be interested to know if any others have been following this path of rediscovery and what music artists they enjoy.

Here are just some of the names of music artists I enjoy. Many of their names may be well known, but how much of their work are you familiar with?

Peggy Lee
Perry Como
Doris Day
Rosemary Clooney
Alma Cogan
Julie London
Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Nat King Cole
Anne Shelton
Betty Hutton
The Andrew Sisters
The McGuire Sisters
Bobby Darin
Brenda Lee
Teresa Brewer
Matt Monro
Connie Francis
Deanna Durbin
Dick Haymes
Debbie Reynolds
Diana Dors
Dinah Shore
Dinah Washington
Ella Fitzgerald
Georgia Gibbs
Joni James
Helen Forrest
Jack Jones
Vic Damone
Henry Mancini
Johnny Mathis
Tony Bennett
Jaye P. Morgan
Jimmie Rodgers
Jo Stafford
Keely Smith
Kay Starr
Les Paul & Mary Ford
Margaret Whiting
Ray Charles
Shirley Bassey
Steve Lawrence
Vikki Carr

I would also include somewhat more contemporary artists such as Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Petula Clark, Andy Williams, Dionne Warwick, Herb Alpert &The Tijuana Brass, etc.

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by Marc »

Great thoughts and a great list of timeless musicians, CactusBill. Let me share what I recently wrote to someone else: "Indeed, most of the mainstream music today lacks beauty, melody, and quality. There's been a several-decades process of moving musical tastes away from wanting musical beauty to using music as a 'me-me-ism' product. The last 10–15 years' worth of stuff is particularly bad due to the rise of profit-obsessed moguls and shareholders; a feeling that 'everything's been already done'; technology that makes it easy to make bad music; and massive industry consolidation and an anti-regulatory ethos.

"Also, old-fashioned terrestrial radio still has a huge influence in what's musically popular; couple that with our hyper-materialism along with what I previously said, and hence, terrible music. Some sort of massive economic collapse may be what's needed to break the power of the music/media industry and the public's taste for the most insipid crap. However, maybe via movies and video games, and radio stations that play a 'modern melodic pop' format, we can begin re-booting beautiful music.

"Okay, one more thing....Yes, I know that there has been a huge changeover from physical-storage formats to digital downloads in the music industry. However, I really think that the overarching factor in the way that music has become today is industry greed and societal apathy. The industry uses piracy as a mostly internal excuse to push poor product to the public. Meanwhile, many industry actors do become quite rich today, when better product would have probably still made them plenty rich."

Just some food for thought there :) —Best regards, Marc

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by nesereanL »

I'm still a big fan of 90's music but our generation's music will always be my first choice if it comes to my regular music choice... :)

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by Justin »


In your earlier post you mentioned that as the Millennial Generation makes itself heard, that we are seeing a return to romantic ballads and happy feel-good music. What are some examples? I can certainly see this being the case in the teen pop community, but as far as overall popular music, what are some artists showing these trends?

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by hunterG7343 »

It is true that some of that romantic music has returned, but the one that is dragging masses is electronic music which is most popular gateway processing in the teen community.
On the other side, there are also a bunch of new rock genres which are popular today and it seems like no one is paying attention to 'older' kinds of music.

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Re: Music and Generations

Post by Sheldonc »

hmm true. but if there is one band that will never vanish from our memories, that would be Beatles.

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