The day the music died
Dear Editor:I was watching the Tony Bennett special the other night, and on one of the many commercials that interrupted the show, I decided to surf a few stations. I came across one of the many prolific music award shows just as Jay-Z was beginning his number. I wish I could tell you what song he sang. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a clue. And then I realized that there are a lot of things that I don’t have a clue about anymore.Everybody says that the terrorists hijacked Islam. No question, that’s a concern but isn’t anybody concerned about the folks that have hijacked our music? For a minute, I considered that maybe I had finally reached the age where anything loud was obnoxious, but then I remembered catching Dennis DeYoung from the ’60s band Styx on TV about a month ago and turning the volume up to never heard before decibels in my house. So, I turned back and caught the end of Jay-Z’s performance, and decided I was right. Jay-Z and musical talent are strangers. The only time that they are ever together in the same building is if he’s there watching someone genuinely good ply their craft; even his girlfriend, for example.I switched back and heard Bennett sing his classic, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” as he closed his show and marveled that he had been sharing his talents with us for 50-plus years. Had I really become such a relic? Was I merely caught up in nostalgia? Then I remembered that Elton John and Christine Aguilera had just sung memorable duets with him on his special and then went on to extol his greatness. So, maybe my musical tastes haven’t totally atrophied.I’m really not that picky. There are just a few things I insist on. I have to be able to understand the lyrics. I am not interested in songs about body parts, ammunition or social diseases. I’m big on harmony and not so big on production. If you need a lot of back-up and studio tricks to hide the feature singer’s abilities, then you know they probably don’t have any. That’s my short list. Did I mention that Tony Bennett sang his closing number a cappella?Rod McClainAspen
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