|Sorry, Mike. Even my grandmother hated your song.
OK, Boomers ...
One thing that routinely disgusts me on Facebook are members of MY GENERATION, who routinely post lame memes and other much-shared screeds with the basic message, "Kids these days might think we're a bunch of doddering old farts now, but they're just jealous because back in the '60s we had the best music ..."
There are scores of variations on this theme. Sometimes it's used as an attack on "modern" sounds (i.e. anything made after 1976). Often there's a streak of self-righteousness, i.e. "Our music helped stop a war," etc. And sometimes it's just wistful nostalgia.
Whatever the motive, it's embarrassing to oldsters like me who did love a lot of the music of the JFK/LBJ/Nixon eras, but who also delight in discovering new sounds.
And here's the thing: for every group like The Beatles there were a dozen Gerry & The Pacemakers. For every Bob Dylan, there were a dozen Johnny Tillotsons. For every Sam the Sham, there were a dozen Englebert Humperdincks. And do on ...
So below, are five songs you can post in reply to the next softheaded, "our music was the best" Boomer meme that pollutes your Facebook feed.
Let's start with this gem:
One day when I was back in grade school I was riding with my grandmother in her car. The following song came on the radio and by the time Mike Clifford started whining his vocal part, my little hand darted to the radio to turn it off. My grandmother laughed. "You really don't like that song, do you," she said, clearly amused. "I HATE this song!" I replied. She laughed again, but at that moment, a music critic was born.
Hear for yourself ...
Here's one from a pint-sized proto-Michael Jackson (or at least a Frankie Lymon also-ran), 12-year-old Ronnie Goodson and his group The Hi-Lites, described by the experts at Wikipedia as, "a slow ballad sung from the point of view of a young boy expressing his wishes that he and his sweetheart would stay together."
So touching ...
This, the only big hit for Philadelphia singer Diane Renay, actually was produced by Bob Crewe, best known for his work with The Four Seasons, whose "Rag Doll," co-written and produced by Crewe, is probably my favorite single ever. It's hard to believe that Renay's naval-gazing dreck was released the same year as "Rag Doll." Renay attempted a follow-up hit with "Kiss Me Sailor." But that one didn't go anywhere, though reportedly it was popular with San Diego sex workers.
"But, Steve," you're probably saying, "These ones so far are all from the early '60s, before the musical revolution started by cool bands like The Beatles, The Stones and The Bob Dylans had fully taken root!"
That's true. But that so-called revolution couldn't halt the onslaught of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap:
And while this 1966 hit by a band called The Trade Winds was pure peak puke, on the upside, if it kept just one potential addict away from the drug culture, it was worth it:
I promise, I'll play none of these songs on Terrell's Sound World next Sunday.