What old popular music is still popular?

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  1. allpurposeguru profile image74
    allpurposeguruposted 14 years ago

    I just posted in another topic that Stephen Foster's music remained popular a century after he died. That's because until after World War II, popular music was marketed to adults, not adolescents.

    Someone, asked about Irving Berlin's place in American music, replied that "He has no place in American music. He is American music." I can remember eagerly anticipating his last musical, "Mr. President" (1962, I think).

    I'm 61 now, and I've been wondering: does anyone much younger than I am know or care about any kind of pop music that's older than rock? Does anyone younger than about 50 truly appreciate the music of their parents' or grandparents' generation?

    I'm really curious and hope lots of people will find this question interesting.

    1. rebekahELLE profile image87
      rebekahELLEposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      great music never dies, in some form, it's still here.
      the great classics, Beethoven, Bach, Handel
      swing is popular with dance
      the oldies like Kenny Vance, doo wop, romantic ballads are coming back, actually never died, it is pop music today like Justin Timberlake, etc.
      you may like my recent Kenny Vance hub if you like oldies.

      nice to see you here. write about what you know and love. smile

      1. Paradise7 profile image69
        Paradise7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with RebekaElle, the great music never dies...Sting covered this great old Edith Piaf tune, "My Funny Valentine".  A real torch song.  He put his own touch on it, Sting did, but in a weird way, he's got the voice for it.

    2. theageofcake profile image60
      theageofcakeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I like finding the unusual or progressive stuff of 20th century recorded music.  Sometimes that brings me pretty far back. 

      I have one recording that I believe is from 1902 called The Last Castrato.  For those unfamiliar with this strange breed, castrati were young men castrated before sexual maturity to maintain their soprano vocal range.  It was fairly common in the 18th century, dwindled by the early 1800s, and was prohibited by the Catholic Church in 1878.  The guy in this recording was in his 40s and his voice is beginning to deteriorate, but its still very much arrested at a pre-pubescent register.  Its fascinating, eerie stuff.

      And the recording quality improves it, in the same way that it improves 30's rhythm and blues and folk tracks.  The fuzz and compromised integrity of old recordings acts as an additional musical voice.  For that reason I love listening to artists like Leadbelly and Robert Johnson.

      Everything nowadays sounds too clean - even "low quality" home recording studios sound far more pristine than anything predating the 1950s.  Whats more, people were once focused on how to record a sound.  Now its all after effects, so instead of manipulating your physical surroundings for the preferred resonance, you're manipulating digitized pre-recorded audio tracks.  I like both techniques, but at times I really long for the old way.

    3. apricot profile image66
      apricotposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Don't get me onto this topic! 
      What I mean is, I'm so happy someone has said this - if I were a plant then the oldies for me would be my fertiliser.   Not that I'm likening it to compost - for me it's food for the soul.  Ah!  And Irving Berlin!  Funnily enough I've just been listening to his songs sung by Ella Fitzgerald, and who's the other one Jerome Kern?  I suppose it has a kind of mystique as it's from an era gone by. And Cole Porter - I just never tire of it.  Of course, every kind of music gives you something but for me a lot of music today just gives you a quick fix, like a bar of chocolate does.  The old stuff, that's the brown bread.

    4. Drew Breezzy profile image61
      Drew Breezzyposted 14 years agoin reply to this





    5. jostapha profile image60
      jostaphaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well I'm in my 20s and probabaly at least half of what I listen to pre dates rock.  I love much of the depression era blues and jazz that has thankfully been reissued in recent years.  I especially love Skip James whose music will always be timeless.  Others include Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks.  Then there is Gypsy Jazz and Swing - Stephane Grapelli and Django Reinhardt.  And Bluegrass - I think that dates back to the 30s - Bill Monroe and the Grand Ol' Opry?

  2. Paradise7 profile image69
    Paradise7posted 14 years ago

    There's a strange thing going on in some of the dance clubs in our city.  Swing is back.  I hear Glen Miller, the big band sound sometimes, and all the swing dancers get up and dance.  I like that one, what is it?  In the Mood?  Is that right?

    There's also a deep affection in my heart for some real old time blues.  You don't hear that anywhere, though, not in the clubs, not on the radio.  You have to order it specially.

    My big bad old favorite is Mississipi John Hurt.  Best blues man, ever, for my money.

  3. zadrobi profile image61
    zadrobiposted 14 years ago

    I myself love oldies--Sinatra being of my favorites. I'm not sure how far back you are wanting to take this... but the Baroque period with Bach, Handel and the like are about as far back as I go for music...

  4. zadrobi profile image61
    zadrobiposted 14 years ago

    If swing came back to the clubs I would actually go.

    1. Paradise7 profile image69
      Paradise7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I love watching the dancers.  I might take lessons; it doesn't look too hard, and it looks beautiful with everyone doing the steps.  The music is great--very mellow but with a great bounce to it.  It makes you want to dance.

  5. tony0724 profile image60
    tony0724posted 14 years ago

    People even the ounger generation are actually enthralled with The Monkees though they were not a real band ! I myself love the Big Band Era stuff  ! Glenn Miller , Tommy Dorsey , Hoagy Carmichael and on and on . I just think It Is fabulous music .And yes I can jitterbug !

  6. R P Chapman profile image61
    R P Chapmanposted 14 years ago

    Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Guthrie, and several Gershwin songs are all on my ipod and I've a fair old trek to 50 just yet smile

  7. camlo profile image85
    camloposted 14 years ago

    I just found a BB King song - Stormy Blues - with Billie Holiday on vocals. It is so smooth. I can't stop playing it.

    And I was amazed to hear that Vera Lynn was recently #1 in the British charts.

    1. Paradise7 profile image69
      Paradise7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I love Billie Holliday, too.  She did a song once, I'll never get it out of my mind, called "Strange Fruit". 

      You who else I think is so great?  BB King.  Him, too.  One of the best blues guys.  I love his music, still.

      1. camlo profile image85
        camloposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Take a look on YouTube - you can see Billie perform 'Strange Fruit'. It's really moving.

        1. Paradise7 profile image69
          Paradise7posted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks.  I will.

  8. wrenfrost56 profile image56
    wrenfrost56posted 14 years ago

    Oh I agree, I love all that old music and I think the rat pack is still as cool as it ever was.

  9. Colebabie profile image61
    Colebabieposted 14 years ago

    My dad loves The Who, Led Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Me too smile

    My mom loves George Benson, Bob Seger and Billy Joel. Me too smile

    My grandma loves Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Me too smile

  10. allpurposeguru profile image74
    allpurposeguruposted 14 years ago

    Thanks for all these responses. Keep them coming! Not that I'm trying to limit what anyone writes on this thread, but what I have in mind is specifically American popular music.

    Not much before Stephen Foster has been of much interest in the past century, but he makes a good beginning place. Popular music became big business with Tin Pan Alley. Some of you have mentioned blues artists of that era.

    I am really glad for evidence that interest in older popular music still transcends generational lines.

    How many of you enjoy Foster? George M. Cohan? Victor Herbert? Harry von Tilzer? Ethelbert Nevin? Charles K. Harris? Carrie Jacobs-Bond? Hmmm. How many have even heard of most of them? They were all very successful song writers before Irving Berlin published anything. Maybe I should list some song titles"

    After the Ball
    The Band Played On
    A Bird in a Gilded Cage
    Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway
    The Fountain in the Park
    Give My Regards to Broadway
    Gypsie Love Song
    Hello! Ma Baby
    I Love You Truly
    In My Merry Oldsmobile
    In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
    Meet Me in St. Louis
    My Gal Sal
    My Wild Irish Rose
    Sweet Adeline
    Sweet Rosy O'Grady
    You're a Grand Old Flag

    (Composers and titles selected from Favorite Songs of the Nineties (Dover, 1973)).

    1. theageofcake profile image60
      theageofcakeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Whoops - I didn't realize til after I posted that the music I was mentioning was not really "pop," nor American.  At least the castrati, anyway.

  11. Dame Scribe profile image57
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    Uhmm....opera big_smile

    1. profile image0
      mtsi1098posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Phantom of the Opera...good play, movie and soundtrack

  12. sannyasinman profile image59
    sannyasinmanposted 14 years ago

    My son is 15 and he knows the words to most of the Beatles songs by heart - from his own initiative.

  13. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 14 years ago

    I love the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Glenn Miller. Billie Holiday is a favorite of mine too. I don't really go back further than the 40s in my interests smile

    I wrote a couple of hubs about Gershwin and Porter.

  14. profile image0
    shazwellynposted 14 years ago

    What about Mozart...Beethoven.. still going strong and all pre rock! x

  15. Shinkicker profile image55
    Shinkickerposted 14 years ago

    I'm open-minded. I love Heavy Rock but I will unashamedly enjoy music by Irving Berlin and George Gershwin.

  16. bukan profile image60
    bukanposted 14 years ago

    The A. R. Rahman and the Gulzar, from the Indian point of view they are old but goldest i had ever seen.

  17. DaniellaWood profile image73
    DaniellaWoodposted 13 years ago

    Queen songs! "Don't stop me now" often comes on as the end-of-the-night song tongue People sing "Weeee are the champions!" when they win a race or game.
    And all Michael Jackson music, of course. "...'Cos this is THRILLERRR"! big_smile


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