Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fly Me To The Moon

I was born in the Sixties. You might have heard that there was a musical revolution going on at the time, but there was also a second one, slightly less ground-breaking, that occurred around the same time. (Technically it started earlier, but was going strong during this period.)

Yes, there was a revolution in schlock.

By saying "it started earlier," please understand that Muzak Holdings, LLC was started in 1934. But although they are related, they aren't the focus of this little rant.

Frank Sinatra first got big as a teen idol in the Forties, but then had a career resurgence in the Fifties when he refocused his music to appeal to an older audience.

Unfortunately, because he was popular, a lot of people with significantly less talent felt that they should try to sound just like him. And they put out albums and appeared on TV shows, and the result was a style of "music" that culminated in Michael Buble: the "crooner," a.k.a., "lounge lizard."

There are certain songs that I can't listen to any more. They are indelibly associated in my mind with slicked-back singers in cheap tuxedos (possibly in pastel colors, possibly not), looking either earnest or with big cheese-eating grins, belting out certain "old standards," as if they had been possessed by the spirit of Old Blue Eyes himself.

That being said, there are some musicians who should have been more successful than they were. Who should have become household names, instead of just a legend among musicians. His name is Paul Gilbert, and he was featured in Guitar Player magazine at the age of 15. And he managed, in just a throwaway performance, to perform the only version of "Fly Me To The Moon" that I've been able to listen to, by choice, in years.

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