Skip to comments.Will classic rock last for all eternity?
Posted on 04/15/2003 4:46:52 PM PDT by mikeb704
Eva Narcissus Boyd was buried in North Carolina earlier this week. The name may not be familiar, but her music certainly is.
Under the name "Little Eva," she recorded "The Locomotion." The song was a giant hit in 1962.
Forty years is a very long time, even if Baby Boomers recall the era as though it were last week. I thought of Little Eva a few of months ago while driving. Her hit was playing on the radio and I wondered how many times Id heard it over the decades. Surely hundreds of times. Maybe even thousands.
I began conjecturing if "The Locomotion" will still be listened to in yet another 40 years. Given how pervasive 60s music is today, I think theres a possibility of that happening.
Its not just on oldies stations. Turn on the TV and chances are youll hear 60s music in commercials.
Donovan, the Sunshine Superman, sings "Colours" in a Kohls commercial. A Gap ad uses his "Mellow Yellow." The same company features another commercial with The Troggs "Love Is All Around." What, you thought "Wild Thing" was their only groovy ditty?
Admittedly, some of the music in TV ads emanated from one hit wonders. Flowers.com runs a spot with "Concrete and Clay," a 1965 hit for the legendary Unit Four + Two. GMCs Yukon included "Our Day Will Come." The first song released by Ruby and the Romantics, it was also the only one for which the group is remembered. Old Navy used "California Sun," a hit by the Rivieras. The band made the Golden State sound like heaven, which was quite an accomplishment for some Indiana boys whod never personally been out there ahavin fun in that warm California sun.
Its surprising to me that, given their sheer number and popularity, more Beatles tunes arent incorporated in advertising. Possibly its because of legal impediments. Michael Jackson has owned the rights to over 200 Beatles songs. Of course, Michael is always busy with either not getting plastic surgery or being named in multimillion-dollar lawsuits, so perhaps he just hasnt had the time necessary to exploit his ownership.
Another consideration is that some Boomers consider Beatles music sacrosanct. These folks feel disgust with whats perceived as tawdry commercialization of their heroes works. They must have not paid much attention when the group cranked out barkers like "Dig A Pony" just to fill up an album.
The mid-80s marked the first use of a Beatles song in an ad. Lincoln-Mercury had a sound-alike group singing "Help." A couple of years later, Nike featured "Revolution" performed by the Beatles and the company credited it with increased sales. Apple Records sued Nike, but until the case was settled kept employing it.
In the late 90s, Nortel Networks licensed "Come Together" for a new marketing campaign. H&R Block latched on to "Taxman" for commercials last year. Around the same time, an Allstate Insurance ad included "When Im 64." Julian Lennon performed the tune, which added a nice touch of irony I thought.
Car companies especially look back to the golden age of rock. Steppenwolf does a heavily mixed version of "Magic Carpet Ride" for Dodge Viper. "Unchained Melody" was a 60s hit for the Righteous Brothers and Mercedes Benz incorporated it in a commercial last year. The Kinks "You Really Got Me" has been used in other ads for Mercedes Benz.
A song Ive heard in several commercials is the great "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers. Its pitched beer, cars, and even an investment company.
One advertisement highlights "Its A Beautiful Morning," a hit for the Young Rascals. The product being sold is Vioxx, an arthritis pill purchased by many Boomers, possibly even the not so young anymore Rascals.
When most of my generation finally leave this vale of tears if they ever do maybe then the 60s music will fade away. But what will take its place? The Insane Clown Posse, Eminem, Twisted Sister?
You know, The Locomotion keeps getting better with age.
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She was living in Kinston. That's like a holding pattern for death.
Paul McCartney should be classified next to Richard Rodgers because both of them knew how to craft a memorable tune and weren't ashamed of it. Will McCartney's songs last as long as Rodgers'? Probably.
A century from now, I could see people listening to classic rock the way we listen to preserved performances of classic jazz (Armstrong, Ellington, Reinhart & Grappelli). The Beatles and especially the Rolling Stones will have listeners long after the bodies of their members have turned to dust.
There are other classic acts out there, probably too many to mention. (I'm a member of the Moody Blues cult myself.) But lasting to the end of time? Puleeze!
Maybe if the 'Boomers one day, before they pass into the vale of tears, realize that their music lead to Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse, they'll reconsider statements like that.
Judging by the way the Strolling Bones look, they're already turning to dust.
As Sam Goldwyn said, include me out.
No, playing air guitar.
Well, there goes this summer's vacation plans.
"Woolah Boolah...Woolah Boolah...Woolah Boolah...watch it now, watch it..."
No, but some Allman brothers seems appropriate. Think "Stormy Monday".