Sunday, September 25, 2011

Leave Well Enough Alone

Back in the heydays of Top 40 radio, you’d hear a wide variety of music styles. It wasn’t all Beatles, or even all rock & roll for that matter. Older crooners, like Frank Sinatra, or younger crooners, like Tom Jones, often cracked the Top 10 on the charts. Not to mention gooey bubble gum songs and the like. In the 1960s and into the 70s there seemed to be room for instruments to also reach the Top 40. My pet peeve back then was with the music industry turning a successful Top 40 instrumental into a vocal by the bolting on of cheesy, often force-fitted lyrics. I think this happened to Love is Blue and many others, including a couple of my favorites, these two gems from 1963:

Cast Your Fate to the Wind by a pre-Charlie Brown specials, Vince Guaraldi and Washington Square by the Village Stompers (billed as a folk song because of its era, but actually they were a Dixieland style group). No matter, both were superior in their original instrumental versions.

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