Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Simpler Times

In January I went to Geneva where I heard Sam Cooke's Wonderful World playing in one of the cafes we visited.  Makes perfect sense, right?: an iconic American oldie in one of the world's more international and modern cities.  Oddly, that simple tune had the power to transform the atmosphere of the scene.  What was at first a cool, hip, monochrome coffee bar suddenly transformed in my mind to a 50's diner.  The stools at the bar changed from brown suede to red leather, the servers' uniforms from black to white, and the world suddenly got simpler.  I wasn't thinking about the heavy topics we had been discussing two minutes earlier, I was thinking about penny candy stores, slingshots, and kids covered in dirt.  I am sure the 50's were not as I picture them.  They have been frozen that way by movies and literature which have created a consensus definition for the decade.  But there is something about the music of that time that I absolutely love.  Maybe it's the tentative optimism of a nation looking to heal from the pain of the war?  There's just something so sadly sweet about it.  

In that vein, here are some oldies that I love (also, if I had lived then I would have been in the background singing "wah wah wah waaahhhh," "doooo op," and "bop bop ooooooh")

Roger Miller - It's hard to describe the extent to which Roger Miller lyrics permeated my childhood.  My dad never claimed to have any original material - and frequently owns up to that fact.  Yet, years and years later, I still find the original sources for phrases, words, or ideas that I always associate with my pop.  I just have to shake my head and smile when these things crop up.  Oh, Dadderdie.

The Stand By Me soundtrack was one of my stand-by records (see what I did there?) until I melted it - a fate that too much of my vinyl succumbed to.  I love love love it though!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Buddy Holly - Everyday

Come Go With Me - The Del-Vikings - Try to not sing.  Just try it!  Two notes: the guy with the deep voice rocks my socks off and the sax solo was one of my favorite parts of this whole soundtrack and still makes me very happy :)

Lollipop - The Chordettes

and of course Stand By Me - Ben E. King