I watched a really good thing on the telly last night, you may have seen it yourself (no it wasn’t echo beach – although I did watch that as well), it was Stuart Maconie presenting the first in a series of programmes in which he will, with the aid of some notable names from the music biz, attempt to determine which was the best decade for pop music. It is called ‘Pop Music on Trial’ and last night we were treated to Joe Brown, CP Lee and Pete Wylie talking about the 50’s. For Lee and Brown (who nearly had to change his name to Elmer Twitch and the Fiddlers) this was a nostalgia trip, less so for Wylie and Maconie.
They were all very interesting and some of Joe Brown’s reminiscences were both entertaining and informative.
I had largely forgotten about the 50’s. I am an Elvis fan but I haven’t listened to anything else from that decade in ages. What a mistake that was!! My Grandfathers Clock by the Mudlarks would be going on my iPod (if I had one) and I shall be scouring YouTube for Alma Colgan footage. Seriously the video of Eddie Cochraine doing C’Mon Everybody was brilliant. He was only 21 when he died and they reckoned he would have been bigger than Elvis as he not only had the voice, the looks and moves, he could also write his own material and he was a producer of some note.
Now I am sure that you are all reading this thinking, ‘yeah yeah, that’s all very well but what’s it got to do with BCLC’?
Well the 50’s were something of a landmark decade for pop music and for kids of a certain age. Prior to this people just did what their parents did, they listened to the music their parents listened to and went into the same occupations. Except that here was the chance for some of them to not do that. Here was a chance for people to do something different, something their parents didn’t understand. And some kids did and suddenly the whole world opened up new possibilites and new opportunities. It was like the shackles of post war austerity no longer applied to them and they could live their lives to their own agenda.
And, some kids didn’t. Some kids carried on toeing the party line, doing stuff the way it had always been done. Of course there was no place for the unruly kids in church, here was a bastion of doing things they way they had ‘always’ been done, and, I’m sure some hope(d), would always be done. So at a stroke all the people who wanted to change stuff went off and did something else leaving behind the less adventurous types to keep up the good work.
And so it has gone on through the decades. When you look at how monumental the changes in pop music have been since those days an how little, fundamentally, has changed in our churches, the contrast is quite staggering.
Until now – C’mon Everybody…..