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Knowing music/musicians from before your time

Old 09-26-19, 09:08 AM
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Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I'm curious about how people here feel about musicians and music from before your time and how you think attitudes may have changed. I was wondering about this because I came across a discussion in the TV forum about how contestants in a Jeopardy! College Tournament weren't able to identify Mick Jagger despite being given a written clue and being shown a photo of the singer.

That discussion reminded me of my screening of Spider-Man: Far From Home which was dominated by kids, teens, and people in their twenties. When the 'I love Led Zeppelin!' line came up I was one of two people in the whole auditorium who chuckled at it. Maybe some others didn't think the joke was funny, but it's more likely that most of the audience heard the song that started playing before the comment and just thought it was actually Zeppelin they were hearing.

When I was in high school, a lot of the kids knew at least a couple of songs by Jerry Lee Lewis or Chubby Checker even though those singers had stopped releasing new music well before my fellow high schoolers were born. And I can say with a fair amount of certainty, it wasn't like the majority of the school listened to oldies stations.

So a few questions for everyone: Do you recall your peers having a working knowledge of music from before they were born? Did you have much exposure to older music because of your parents, older siblings/relatives, or other people older than you? Did your teachers find excuses to play music from their generation in your classes/school functions? Do you regularly listen to 'oldies' now?

Just for a frame of reference, I was about six months old when Let It Be was released. If you don't feel like mentioning how old you are, that's fine, but it might be helpful given the subject matter.
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Old 09-26-19, 10:40 AM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I've been a fan of dead musicians since I started liking music. Good music will persist. I loved the Doors and Zeppelin as an 11 year old in the early 80s. Hendrix, Joplin and any number of bands or musicians that didn't record in my lifetime. I think there will always be fans for Elvis and the Beatles and other bands from those generations as well as Prince, Petty and Bowie

That being said there are tons of people that don't like "classic music" and will be drawn to other genres like Pop or other currnet bands and miss out on the older stuff unless its sampled by another band or something. Its hard for me to hear Sweet Home Alabama now that Kid Rock ruined the riff or Under Pressure without thinking of Vanilla Ice but even that sampling helps preserve the past.

What I find surprising is stuff I didn't like much contemporaneously like Michael Jackson, Culture Club or Wham being on the radio now and me listening to it. I hated Athena by the Who when it came out, 'worst song they did' and now that one is a classic that I like...

Edit to add my Dad was not a fan of music, and I remember arguing with him about good music and how he didn't get it at all which to me is still really sad. I got pissed when he dissed Bo Diddley and I as much told him Bo has more talent in his pinky than he had in his body. My Dad was a dick and deserved it in my defense... I got some exposure to my Mom and remember fondly Captain and Tenile from the car radio driving on errands as a kid. My slightly older sister liked Aerosmyth and the Doors and Zep but I ran with it quickly and she was only 2 years ahead of me.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:13 AM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

Really depends on the person. You'd be surprised. A lot of the kids are into music from way before their time. I do sports refereeing, and I see teenage kids wearing Descendents and Exploited T-shirts. I once dated a girl who was WAY too young for me (yes, it was great), I think like 25 years difference. We're hanging out one time and suddenly she just starts going on about the four distinct musical themes of Quadrophenia. So yeah, you never know.
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Old 09-26-19, 01:29 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

Related to this topic, I put this decal on my black suitcase last year to help me spot it easily when at baggage pickup and since then have used it for a small social experiment to see how old people have to be in order to recognize what it is.

So far, the oldest person to not recognize it was born in 1987. Everyone older than that recognize what it is almost immediately, while everyone younger than that (with just one exception) don't recognize it at all.

Test yourself - do you recognize it? And if so, how quickly?
Spoiler:




For those who don't recognize it...
Spoiler:

It's an abstraction of The Beatles "Abbey Road" album cover



Last edited by dhmac; 09-26-19 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:52 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
Related to this topic, I put this decal on my black suitcase last year to help me spot it easily when at baggage pickup and since then have used it for a small social experiment to see how old people have to be in order to recognize what it is.

So far, the oldest person to not recognize it was born in 1987. Everyone older than that recognize what it is almost immediately, while everyone younger than that (with just one exception) don't recognize it at all.

Test yourself - do you recognize it? And if so, how quickly?
Easy!
Spoiler:
It's Drake's tattoo!


I'm about the same age as the OP (born at the tail end of the Beatles). In high school and college there were many people I knew into the music of the 60's and 70's. Though in the 80's many of those artists were still active, and while their new material may not have been dominating the charts their tours were some of the biggest of the year. But people my age weren't really into music older than that.

It (among many other things) makes me feel old, but nowadays music of the late 60's is distant enough to today's teen as music from the 1930's would've been to me as a teenager.
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Old 09-26-19, 05:06 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I listen to 40's Junction on Sirius/XM all the time.

I love big band Jazz.
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Old 09-26-19, 05:39 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I have two sisters born 1945 and 1951. I came along in 1958. As a little kid in the 60s the local top 40 station was on all the time. My sisters had tons of 45s and several albums. American Bandstand, Shindig, Hullabaloo was watched every week. I was 6 when The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan and watched it. My parents were country western and it was always on when in the car. The old timers like Crosby, Sinatra, etc. were all over the tv given all the variety shows and specials. I couldn't escape the exposure.
I cam into my own around 1970/71. It started with 45s from AM radio. Then rock LPs.
It's seems I've always know all the hits from 1955 and up but can't recall why I seem to have always known them.
When CD came along I began exploring music from the 40s and 50s through box sets.
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Old 09-26-19, 05:39 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I love all kinds of 60's/70's classic rock, much to the dismay of my wife. Our circle of friends have music tastes all over the place, but the most common ones among us that we all enjoy are the 90's grunge acts.

EDIT: and Everclear's AM Radio just came up on shuffle on my phone.
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Old 09-26-19, 06:38 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I am 44 and listen to artist older than me. I don't care about the opinions of people younger than me so why would I want to hear music by them?

My tastes are mostly stuff like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. You know, the obscure artists.
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Old 09-27-19, 02:38 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

It’s anecdotal, but here’s my perspective and maybe you all have similar experiences.

I was born in 78. Growing up in the ‘80s there was a radio format called Golden Oldies. It was rock, r&b, and Motown from like 1950 to 1970. In Southern California the golden oldies formatted station was K-Earth 101. Every major radio market must have had an Oldies station right?

It was very popular with young kids. Like really young. I remember listening to it when I was like 8. When you’re not allowed to watch MTV and most of the radio feels clearly designed for older people, the Golden Oldies format felt familiar to young kids. Elvis and The Beach Boys were so ubiquitous, Johnny B Good was in Back to the Future, oldies were frequently in films and tv and commercials. Stand By Me came out and most of the songs seemed familiar.

So it just felt like the only comfortable thing on the radio.

Eventually as I grew I discovered newer things, but there was always a nostalgia craze. So in the ‘90s there was a big resurgence of Disco.

Which brings me to my other point.

There’s typically a 15-20 year retro nostalgia craze that occurs. When George Lucas made American Graffiti he licensed all those songs for next to nothing. They had almost no value in 1973. That movie kicked off a giant nostalgia craze. It was what the boomers grew up listening to. And even as they got older the boomers were still the biggest market sample. So growing up in the shadow of the boomer nostalgia you couldn’t ignore it. Is that Freedom Rock, man? Well turn it up man!!!

These days things are different.

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Old 09-27-19, 05:50 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

Probably the first musical artists I listened to from before I was born were the early rock and rollers like Elvis, Chuck Berry, or Buddy Holly. Now, since aside from some Mozart and Verdi, the only music I listen to is hard bop from the late 50s and 60s, I'd say 90% of the music I listen to is from before I was born. That might change one day but it's been that way for the past few years.
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Old 09-27-19, 07:08 PM
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Re: Knowing music/musicians from before your time

I think I know most of all the big names though I might not know all of their music but everybody should know who the Beatles, The Who, and the Rolling Stones are
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