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Ballad Days - When pop songs had tunes

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Ballad Days - When pop songs had tunes

Postby chabrenas » Sat 16 Aug 2003 19:21 GMT

Sometimes I feel sorry for recent generations. Can you imagine a teenage boy & girl sitting in the Station Cafe waiting for the last bus home, with Guns & Roses on the jukebox?

I guess the brats have all got cars with CD players now, but what can they play on them? Luckily for me, teenage romance came just after Dickie Valentine's off-key crooning of 'A Blossom Fell', and coincided with a bunch of Frankie Laine songs - High Noon, Water, Wild Goose, and (optimistic thoughts) 'Those Eyes Are the Eyes of a Woman in Love'. Even in my late teens, we had Freddie & The Dreamers singing 'You Were Made For Me' and the song that made Jimmy Young famous: Unchained Melody.

Anyone else care to reminisce about the background music to their teenage romances? Maybe some of the younger folk can explain how they managed, with such a poor selection to choose from....
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Postby Mike » Sat 16 Aug 2003 19:43 GMT

Don MacLean's American Pie (the original all eight or nine minutes of it) was playing quietly on the crappy mono system in my Dad's Morris 1300, which I had begged and grovelled to borrow. I was "entertaining" the girlfriend of the moment, when her ex, presumably in a fit of pique, rammed us side-on with his Dad's shiny new Hillman Avenger.

We all had a bit of explaining to do.

Guess that was the day the music died - neither of us saw her again.

Like Buddy Holly said to St Peter "It's just not Cricket"

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Postby chabrenas » Sun 17 Aug 2003 18:45 GMT

Brilliant, Mike! You couldn't possibly have made that up....

I'll have a wee glen Ord

I'll have a virtual one with you. I've never seen it in this hemisphere....
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ballad days

Postby Carrington » Tue 3 Feb 2004 20:09 GMT

I used to love the Everley Brothers and my friend Vera and I used to moon over boys whilst listening to them.....then there was "singing the blues" - can't remember the name of that singer now....A few years later there was Carol King songs "will you still love me tomorrow" etc. Oh, the days of words you could relate to!!! :lol:
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Postby SSue » Tue 3 Feb 2004 22:38 GMT

My first teenage passion was the Big O, and I stuck with him until his death, and still play his music now. Crying, The Great Pretender, It's Over, In Dreams, he had a song for every occasion in my life, and a unique voice too.

I was also an Everly Brothers, Jim Reeves, Charley Pride, Bee Gees, Beatles, and later Neil Diamond, and John Denver fan. Music was always a huge part of my life, and I still have every record I ever bought, and still play them occasionally. I'm now an Enya, Daniel O'Donnell, Eagles and Fureys fan.

You shouldn't have got me started....... :lol:

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Postby Kay » Tue 9 Aug 2005 21:50 GMT

>bump<

Just found this in the archives and thought it might be worth moving here. We didn't have a music board then, and Ruggie had a previous life as Chabrenas. :D
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Postby Mojan » Wed 10 Aug 2005 11:22 GMT

I remember when I was about 16 or 17 and used to go to the local disco, a really nice bloke asked me for the last dance (which was 'Jimmy Ruffian singing "What becomes of the Broken Hearted, a great number for the last smooch....I mean dance! :oops: )
When it was time to go home, he walked me to the bus stop and we arranged to meet the following Saturday night (a whole week away!! :roll: ).

All week I longer for Saturday and the song that was played on the trannie quite a lot then was the Loving Spoonful with "What a Date for a Daydream"....remember that one?

I thought this was going to be the Big Romance - unfortunately he never turned up the following week.

Those Were The Days My Friend - as Mary Hopkins used to say!!
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Postby ruggie » Wed 10 Aug 2005 11:24 GMT

"singing the blues"

Tommy Steele. I still find myself singing(?) that song from time to time. I remember a shipmate of his, during his days as a Union Castle Steward, muttering about that young feller and "His bloody guitar".
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Postby ruggie » Wed 10 Aug 2005 11:45 GMT

The Great Pretender

O-o-oh yes! I remember that one very well. We all practised singing falsetto in those days...

Then, of course, there were the blues-based songs for those days of disappointment - or just enjoyment of a different kind of emotion. Singing the Blues has already been mentioned, but there were others at a classier level, such as Learning the Blues (Sinatra, whom a classical singer friend once described as having the greatest baritone voice ever heard).
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Postby quine » Fri 12 Aug 2005 04:08 GMT

Those were the days my friends! I love the big O, Sinatra, Rod Stewart's "Maggie" and a very distant but sweet memory of Frank Ifield singing "I'll Remember you" and I still do remember the boyfriend of the moment!!
You know they were real music and real words not the B***** crap the kids today listen to. What will they have to remember, not a lot!!
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Postby Graeme » Fri 12 Aug 2005 04:38 GMT

I have to disagree with you Quine et al; I listen to new rock music and the lyrics are catchy, the messages pithy. Granted it is different to what has gone before, but then it all is isn't it. My parents weren't keen on the Beatles, definitely not happy with Queen, Led Zeplin or even the Stones, but now they are considered classics. How many people out there can't remember the lyrics of Stairway to Heaven? Probably not many. Same goes for Ferry across the Mersey by Freddie and the Dreamers. I think in a few years time we'll be saying the same thing again about the new music except we'll be saying remember Three Doors Down, Moist (a great Vancouver band) Coldplay, Sum 41, etc. It's not crooning, but it is music, if you spend the time to listen to it carefully and your appreciation for it will grow.
By the way, I still love classics, opera, rock and even some pop, the only stuff I dislike is Rap (a form of hate music?) and country and western (souped up folk music).
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Postby Dave » Fri 12 Aug 2005 09:36 GMT

Graeme wrote:...Same goes for Ferry across the Mersey by Freddie and the Dreamers...


...Gerry and the Pacemakers. Freddie and the Dreamers did "You Were Made For Me", complete with skipping dance during the verses. :lol:

I'm inclined to agree with you, Graeme - at least to the extent that there's always been a certain amount of dross ("When... will I... will I be fa-mous" - remember them?) around. The better songs, or tunes, endure. And you still hear the odd ballad around - it's just that the tunes tend to be more complex these days.

"Singing The Blues"? I preferred the Guy Mitchell version myself...
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Postby ruggie » Fri 12 Aug 2005 12:04 GMT

I preferred the Guy Mitchell version myself

Me too. But I don't think it sold as many copies.

Different subject: suggestive lyrics.

Everyone knows what modern lyrics mean, and accepts the explicit or thinly-veiled references to sex, drugs, etc. - but I always wonder about really old lyrics which were sung heartily by everyone and their parents. One that comes to mind is the WW II favorite 'Roll Me Over (lay me down and do it again)'... Maybe, in its day, the only possible reference was to a bit of innocent huggin' 'n kissin'? After all, the airmen to whom it refers were all in their teens and early twenties and from a culture that was very innocent and restrained by modern standards.
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Postby Graeme » Fri 12 Aug 2005 14:30 GMT

Graeme wrote:
...Same goes for Ferry across the Mersey by Freddie and the Dreamers...


...Gerry and the Pacemakers. Freddie and the Dreamers did "You Were Made For Me", complete with skipping dance during the verses


OOOOps :oops: I was so before my time I forgot who did what-I still remember the words though. :oops:

I think modern music has more of a social comment which isn't so easy to listen to, whereas the older stuff tends to be about love, good times, white christmases, standing on the corner etc. Perhaps that's why it is popular as it reminds people of the good old days which in reality weren't really that good.
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Postby ruggie » Fri 12 Aug 2005 17:44 GMT

Freddy and the Dreamers was a long time before Queen. That marionette-like dance routine worried me at the time - I wasn't sure whether they were playing for a teenybopper audience, or demonstrating that they were a bunch of queers. Liked the song and the arrangement, though.

I enjoyed Don Maclean, although I didn't understand all the lyrics. I only discovered what American Pie was really about a year or so ago...

Because most pop music was played on poor systems, I never really learned the lyrics of many songs unless I bought the sheet music. I was surprised to see rough language and expressions of hate in some of the smooth-sounding songs of Simon & Garfunkel.

Later, angry songs had angry accompaniment (e.g. Guns 'n Roses). I reckon rap is only the same kind of thing done live by the DJ, which whips up stronger reactions. I don't expect to get sentimental about either at any time in the future.
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