I’ve got some awesome memories to songs that were considered old before I was even born, and that feels weird to say. But it’s honestly 100% true. Let me explain.
In the past six months I’ve grown quite fond of oldies, specifically music from Rock & Roll’s first decade. That’s right; I’ve gotten hooked on Sirius/XM’s 50’s on 5 station.
Because I had a ton of time on my hands, I spent it was family, specifically a cousin. She frequently had her young kids in the car, which meant that we had to listen to something that wouldn’t corrupt their young impressionable minds. 50’s music it was!
Originally there was a novelty to it. Being Gen Xers, we found it extremely cute as how chaste their song were. Honestly it was almost refreshing. But that novelty wore off rather quickly and that’s when the revelations began.
One of the first revelations was two-fold. First that the Beach Boys was called “Barbara Ann” and not “Baba-ann” or even “Bob Iran.” Also, it’s not even their song; it’s a cover! I cannot stress enough to you how much our minds were blown.
Seriously. We talked about it for days.
Then we sort of became minor experts on 50’s music. You see, the thing about 50’s on 5 is that the dip into the 60’s quite often, hence the clarification “the first decade of Rock & Roll.” They stop short of the British Invasion.
But we got to the point where we could distinguish a 50’s song from a 60’s song. Yeah, we were nice.
Some of our other revelations;
Bobby Vee is a huge whiner.
Bobby Darin was incredibly talented and had quite a few awesome songs. He also seemed to provide a bridge between the 40’s crooners like Sinatra and the more teen-centric music of the late 50’s.
Gene McDaniels is possibly our favorite discovery from the channel. “Tower of Strength” is a great song, with “Point of No Return” coming in a close second.
Gene Pitney, Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka are incredible talents.
“The Day The Music Died” robbed the world of Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. I think Buddy Holly had a bright future ahead of him, but personally I’m more interested in what Ritchie Valens would have done. But we both agreed that Big Bopper was not a big loss at all.
Something else that blew us away; when we discovered that The Wallflower (aka “Roll with Me, Henry”) was an answer record to “Work with Me, Annie.”
The variety of unique instruments that got solos in 50’s songs, like xylophones and kazoos. It was a very weird time.
The fact that Bill Haley’s entire life transpired between the visits of Haley’s Comet.
I could seriously go on, because music from that era is filled with interesting trivia and tidbits. Every time we turned on the radio we were literally exposed to something new.
I can’t really explain why I latched onto and became borderline obsessed with oldies. I mean there is that notion that I’m a fiend for music and that’s all I was really listening to at that time, but that’s just a shot in the dark.
If you have access to Sirius/XM, I highly recommend the 50’s on 5 channel. I imagine it’s probably better to listen to if you’ve got someone to bounce critiques off of, but I’m sure it works just fine on your own too. Give it a shot.