If a person reflects on ‘50’s music, most will gravitate to stars like Frankie Avalon, The Big Bopper, The Platters, or Bobby Darin. But it was Elvis who often tops the list, which is noted by the single use of his first name. Of course, no one can forget Dick Clark and the American Bandstand show, that charted the rise and fall of all the popular songs of the era. These were feel good, dancing songs, sad ballads or tender love songs.
The 60’s brought in pop, ---even “bubblegum rock”-- as the rock and roll sounds of the 50's continued. It was a time of rebellion in the United States, and around the world as the Viet Nam war drug on. The Beatles and Rolling Stones emerged and rocked our world! Music was changing. Lyrics voiced opinions of what was happening in our world, but on the flip side, there were those who sang songs without any heavy message like the Beach Boys and The Monkees.
During the 70’s, hard rock, and heavy metal took the front seat of the music world, which veered me into the direction of Country music, with a touch of Southern Rock and an even gentler touch of what was known as “soft rock.” Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap, Loretta Lynn, George Jones and Tammy Wynette became the staple of my musical interest. Later it was Alan Jackson and Vince Gill among others. The lyrics told stories I could sing along with, while the melody delighted my ears.
Along with country music, my other favorites included classical music which is great study and writing music, or even Christmas songs, which are my favorite any time of year! These are the sounds which drew me into their world, keeping me spellbound and entertained for hours.
Music continued to change as hard rock and heavy metal surged upward to become more and more dark with lyrics that chilled to the bone. Changes continued even in the Country world, to where “Country” as we knew it in the ‘70’s is nearly unrecognizable in our music today. The “stars” keep changing as they desire to stay “fresh” and “new,” changing the dynamics in every genre.
Despite the various musical revolutions, clearly, music is still important, even when we don’t agree with the changes. It defines us; our attitudes, perspective on our lives and the people who fill our world. It molds our opinions, while we are entertained by the sounds that work around the lyrics. My favorite now, is Southern Gospel. It is here I find inspiration, determination and courage to do things right, and deal with a world lost in the desire for more money and material goods with an economic crash that is sure to happen.
I still enjoy classical, the '50's, occasional '60s, and a few '70's songs, as I have grown into the woman I have become. Music makes a difference. No doubt, I've missed a genre or two of music of which I wasn't enamored, or just not as familiar. As you reflect on your personal preferences, have they changed from when you were young? How are they different from those of your children? Do you believe music changes our perspective of how we see the world? Share your thoughts.