24 August 2003
They don't write 'em like that anymore
Jay Solo was going through the playground of his mind when he started picking up bits of "moldy, perhaps obscenely mellow" background music, which is of couse a subject near and dear to my heart, especially since he worked in a reference to "My Cup Runneth Over", a song from the musical I Do! I Do! that became an enormous hit for Ed Ames in 1967, a year otherwise given over to second-generation Britrock and psychedelia.
Your average oldies station has already decided that catering to the buffs isn't as profitable as recycling the same 400 or so songs, so there are a lot of tunes from my past (and possibly yours) that are seldom heard anymore. Some of them have been killed off by the evil that is political correctness: Ray Stevens couldn't get "Ahab the Arab" released into today's world order, and contemporary women presumably would find Ginny Arnell's "Dumb Head" ("I'm a stupid little girl") insufficiently empowering. But a lot of great records have disappeared simply because no one cares to fish them out of the vault.
Consider the case of Linda Scott, who charted a dozen records (including some she wrote, highly unusual in the pre-Beatles era), but who today is treated as a one-hit wonder. It was a great hit the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein standard, "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star", redone as a bouncy pop tune but you're lucky to hear even that on Oldies 98 Point 6. Scott's followup, the self-penned "Don't Bet Money Honey", as pointed as anything Alanis Morissette ever did, made the Top Ten, but is virtually unknown today.
I could go on, and at some point I probably will, but you get the general idea.