What the hell happened to our music?

I was born in 1951, which puts me right at the tail end of the baby boomers from World War II. My Mother & Sister taught me how to Rock & Roll.

I've done some broadcast work. A High School News show, a Midnight Madness talk show with host "The Edge Man"! My overall favorite time was with the "Flying Dutchman" at WTOB AM 1280 on the dial. It was a blast, myself and Linwood would go down to the station and hangout in the downstairs record store. We wore our school colors and just acted "cool".

Today do you truly know where your favorite radio show originates from? I bet you don't because it is not important to you, the whop, whop is. You see back in my day we had a say over what a radio station would broadcast. You could go down to the local malt shop play a song. The juke box recorded which songs were played the most. Be sure they loaded the songs everyone wanted to hear. You could leave a title and artist request or just leave a 45 for loading. See how easy it was to remove you from the actual voting of new music. First they put malt shops out of business when they put the local radio shows off the air and made mall rats out of you!! Then, music moved from the music stores to MTV. And from that point, the rest is history.

If you would be interested in what the 60's were all about, watch a movie titled Fail Safe.

During a class in college, I believe it was Political Science class, the instructor stated; "a 1000 years from now, archaeologist will dig up our music and wonder why the youth of today were so frightened and angry." You see, everyone of my generation felt like any day the bombs would start falling and the end of the world would be upon us. Our music reflected that feeling. From the staunch uptight years of the 50's when everyone was prim and proper to the 60'S where just about anything was OK as long as it didn't harm someone else.

I had just returned from over seas, my father had taken the family to an Island named Kwajalein. We spend almost two years over there. What an experience.

During my High School I played in a band known as The Star Dusters. It was a 18 piece orchestra, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, 5 saxes, drums (that be me), piano, stand up bass, gitar and singers. We played the local Moose Lodges, Elks and Eagles. You can imagine, we didn't make a lot of money, but for a group of young and eager musicians, it was a blast. We played mostly Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsy and all the other 1940 big band classics. We also had a combo that played some good old fashion Rock & Roll like..

by Bo Billings and the StartDusters

by the Ventures....

These were the days of Vietnam, Woordstock, free sex, drugs and ROCK & ROLL!!!!

This was a time of Great upheaval... Music was one of the few means of the youth of America maintaining their sanity. Music, everything from the 40s swing that got them through the second world war, to the AICD rock that got them through Viet Nam. As you listen to the Music below, remember, men were being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Casualties were extreme. Young men were burring their draft cards, going to prison, going to college to get a deferment, or having their rich family buy thier way out!!! This was often referred to as the poor mans war. Can't afford college or run to Canada, you served. Vietnam War Casualties.

58,300 KIA, 153,303 WIA, 1,641 MIA, 724-837 POW...

Then again, the Soviet Union was rattling it's saber with their nuclear tests. I remember hearing about battlefield tactical Nuclear weapons.

The whole thing was getting out of hand. It was the Music that maintained our connection with reality. There could be no greater horror, than that of serving in Vietnam, or in any other war...

My favorite all time band is:

Chicago Transit Authority or just plain Chicago

I present the top 5 anti-war songs to date:
# Track Artist Album Year
5 Metallica ...And Justice For All 1988
4 Country Joe and the Fish I Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die 1967
3 Barry McGuire Eve Of Destruction 1964
2 Edwin Starr War & Peace 1969
1 Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys 1969

I present the top 5 protest songs to date!
# Track Artist Album Year
5 Blood, Sweat and Tears Blood, Sweat and Tears 1968
4 Zombies Odessey and Oracle 1968
3 Dion DiMucci Sanctuary / Suite for Late Summer 1970
2 Peter, Paul and Mary The Wind 1963
1 Chicago Transit Authority Chicago Transit Authority 1969

I present my the top 5 songs making a statement about society!
# Track Artist Album Year
5 Sniper and Other Love Songs Harry Chapin 1972
4 Chicago Transit Authority Chicago Transit Authority 1969
3 Paul Revere & the Raiders 45 LP 1970
2 Paul Revere & the Raiders Midnight Ride 1963
1 John Lennon Imagine 1971

I present my the top 5 songs to trip by!
# Track Artist Album Year
5 Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 1972
4 Cream Disraeli Gears 1967
3 Under Consideration
2 Under Consideration
1 Under Consideration

I present my the top 5 Fun songs
# Track Artist Album Year
5 Under Consideration
4 Under Consideration
3 Under Consideration
2 Under Consideration
1 Under Consideration

If that doesn't do something to your soul your dead, life is over for you, I feel so sorry for you. I hear drums, gitars, Bass gitar, trumpet, sax, trumbone, piano, organ and vocals. There is a rythum and blues, Rock & Roll and soul all rolled up together and presented to you to introduce you to this band.

Now between Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears you had the orchastra sound along with a whole new generation of Music. Here's a youtube link that should help you understand what I'm talking about. Chicago and I would never forget about BS&T

Bands such as:

Chicago Transit Authority, Blood Sweet and Tears, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Buffalo Springfield, Bruce Springsteen, America, Fleetwood Mac, Grand Funk Railroad, Three Dog Night, J. Gilles Band, James Tailor, Marshall Tucker, Janis Joplin, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, B.B King, Santana, Joe Satriani

Were giving us a lighter side of Rock & Roll...

While bands such as:

Van Halen, Metallica, Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold, U2, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Jimmy Hendrics, Great White, Queen, Daughtry, Skid Row, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, The Who, Poison, Nirvana, Priestess, Kid Rock, Guns N Roses, Boston, Foreigner, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Kansas, Steppenwolf, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Def Leppard, the Eagles, Pantera, Deep Purple, The Doors, Run DMC, 3 Doors Down, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam

Were rocking the Heavy Metal world to the core.

I appologize if your favorite band is not listed, but I am getting old you know, if you really feel I should list it, drop me an E-Mail.

I rememeber going to what I believe was a local fair in Melbourne Fl., where I and my family lived back in the 80's. My daughter Margo came up to her mother and asked to buy her a T-Shirt from Guns & Roses. Well the logo was, how should I put this, quit explicit. My wife, Gaynell, said absolutly not, so we went to the T-Shirt stand and found this logo and this is the logo I think of whenever someone mentions Guns & Roses:

I like Guns & Roses a lot, especially:
Welcome To The Jungle
Sweet Child O' Mine
Knockin' On Heaven"s Door

Then there is Poison with songs like:
Ever rose Has it's Thorns
I want Action Tonight
Your Mama Don't Dance and Your Daddy Don't Rock & Roll
Something to Believe In
We're An American Band

I have to credit both of my kids, Margo & Scooter for providing me a path to never losing sight of the fact that I was once young and crazy. I will not say stupid, for that implies you can't learn anything, ignorant is the lack of knowledge, but crazy, now there is a word that fits what we do when we're young.

Where Did My Music Go???

Let me tell you my impression of what happened, we wus robbed!!

Somewhere along the line, some asshole realized how our Music was completly anti-establishment and the impack it was having on the youth of America. Our Music was about our time in history with all of our hopes, dreams and ambitions all revolved around our Music. I remember a political Science instructor talking about how archiologist would dig up our music and wonder why the youth of America were so angry. We knew for a fact, the bombs would start raining down on us just any day now!! So, just as they've done throughtout history, they commercialized, pasturized and homoginized our Music.

YES, they stole the music right along side of Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and So, MUCH MUCH MORE!!! The bands of Back in the day used for talking about a time in the past, usually when you are remembering nice things about that time: Back in the day, we had an apartment with a swimming pool. In the past. experimentsed with everything from the spoons to a Sitar. As in the Forties & Fifties, it was all about the vibration, rhytumn, Heart & Soul of our music. Our music symbolize the Peace, Love and celebration of Life.

Today, the music is a drum machine, microphone, someone else's song, someone else's tour bus, someone else's roadies, someone else's costume, and someone else's everything!!!

Remember, when the 'M' in 'MTV' stood for Music? I do to! MTV came on the air in 1981 and produced and broadcast the latest Music videos. Slowly MTV moved away from the Music of the people, to well marketed boy bands and very scantily clad young women. They shifted the emphases from the Music, to the entertainer.

So we went from the heart wrenching sounds of Joan Baez and Janis Joplin

To the ear wrenching sounds of Miley Cyrus



We went from the soulful sounds of Jim Croce, Bob Dylan Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Simon & Garfunkel.

To Boy Bands so well polished it blanded you!! We have entertainers that don't write and produce their music... NO NO NO ... Would it astound you to know that the high majority of hit sounds today are written by two men over seas.

All the popular music today sounds the same. Every song has a standard boilar plate that seems to go be the drum machine, equalizer, keyboard and and computer software. I've tried the software and it sucks the life right out of the music.

I'm a musician by fortune, a mechanic by trade and a Computer Sciencist by insanity. Believe it or not, they are linked. The concept of time and occelation. Music the tonal quality, mechanics the ignition timeing and Computer, well I'd just not .........

Now don't get me wrong, but the music of the late 80's, 90's and 2000's never peeked my interest. My Music had a great deal of, well, SEX, DRUGS and ROCK&ROLL!! Yet, I can't remember a time when my Music called for killing, rape and just plain anarchy. Yea, we called for the destruction of a system that was sending young, POOR men to war, prison or just plain poverty!

I am saddened by the great loss my children and grandchildren will suffer, never to feel the soul wrenching sounds of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Joan Baez! Bands that drove the beat right directly into your soul!! Santana, Beatles, Chicago Transit Authority, Blood Sweat & Tears or Led Zeppelin and so, so many more!! These bands turned out a couple of albums per year. There were hundreds of new songs every year. It was glorious and 'GLORIA`.

I have always wondered if I was becoming my father?? Why? Well, every Monday morning as my father started the car, the Radio would be on the local Rock & Roll station, WTOB or WAIR, and the Rock & Roll would Rock & Roll the car! He hated Rock & Roll and always turned it to the local squares station WSJS radio with a speech about how Rock & Roll was poisning our minds!! Even though I played in a 40s style Big Band he thought my brain would be ruined by Rock & Roll, seriously!!! If he only knew!!! Anyway, I digress, I have tried to enjoy the newer music and it just seems off. It just felt wrong!! It seems repeditive, with lack of texture and color, minimal instrumentation and ingenuity!!

I remember when RAP first came out. RAP or Hip Hop is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted was scorned by many as not being true music! I remember one person's definition was, a N.... spiting into a microhpone and calling it music. I know, it was pervasive throughout the South and much of the old guard. People like my father.

I knew I had heard of this form of music somewhere other than RAP or Hip Hop. I sat stright up in bed and remembered a history class as to how the poor of England were provided their news. It was with a strolling minstral that played a catchy tone while chanting the news. This gave me a whole new perspective on music!!

I feel vendicated. A research group in Spain analysised over 500,000 songs from the middle 50s through 2010 and they agree. I found a guy on Youtube that agress with me!! The TRUTH Why Modern Music Is Awful.

The study covered areas of the music that are important for the enjoyment of the music.

  1. Harmonic Complexity The musical pitch of a note is usually perceived as the lowest partial present (the fundamental frequency), which may be the one created by vibration over the full length of the string or air column, or a higher harmonic chosen by the player. The musical timbre of a steady tone from such an instrument is strongly affected by the relative strength of each harmonic.
  2. Timbral Diversity is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone.
  3. Loudness the dynamics of a piece is the variation in loudness between notes or phrases. Dynamics are indicated by specific musical notation, often in some detail. However, dynamics markings still require interpretation by the performer depending on the musical context: for instance a piano (quiet) marking in one part of a piece might have quite different objective loudness in another piece, or even a different section of the same piece. The execution of dynamics also extends beyond loudness to include changes in timbre and sometimes tempo rubato.

I looked at those definitions and said to myself, HUH?????

In laymans terms, that all breaks down to the full richness of each note as played by the musician!! The combinations of tonal quality to the ear. The pleasure factore as I call it. There are songs out there that reach deep into your soul and finds that aboriginal joy of the celebration of life. You catch yourself tapping your foot in time and maybe typing in rhythm to the beat. You can actually find your mind on a beach in some exotic island, a margarita n hand, swinding in the hammock under a tall palm tree, jimmy Hendricks in the background and for just those few moments you remember what life is all about.

Life is about discovery, exploration, self expression, interaction and your personal quest for LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!!!

You were never intended to work your entire lifetime!! You were never intended to be in servitude your entire lifetime!! You must get up off your knees and stop being a patsy for the MAN the Establishment the Deep State and anyone who wishs to extinguish the iternal flame of the human SPIRIT!!

You are a human being take your meger earnings and pay the bank for the absolute basic necessities of LIFE!!

So that's why they commercialized, pasturized and homoginized our Music. It spoke to the human spirit!!

Stop and Listen to the new Music, its dead, no soul, no embodiment of the human spirit and no bright future of tomorrow. We knew any day the bombs would come and we would all be dead or at least radiated and mutated. And the next time you start hearing the same music streaming as top trending, food mart overhead, the grocery store, your favorite clothing store, every permeation of your life and just about every train, plane and automobile has it on its player. You should know right away they are braiwashing you to like that song.

The Music died a slow painful death throughout this period.

Hey, can somone get this soapbox for me!!!

Crazy: adjective
senseless, impractical, totally unsound
Informal. intensely enthusiastic; passionately excited: crazy about baseball.
Informal. very enamored or infatuated (usually followed by about ): He was crazy about her.
Informal. intensely anxious or eager; impatient: I'm crazy to try those new skis.

Yep, this describes every young person I know, including me; Oh yea my age is 60ish, but with my kids, grandkids, adopted kids, friends and aquaintances I'm young... very young...

Of course; I do have to give Devon Romines, Grandson of my second wife Carol Manning Billings, for helping me remember to take time and smell the roses.. Watch anima..... and discuss current events with an open mind to thier crazy options... Slow down and enjoy the moment. And Chip, Yea Chip is one of those that I'm absolutely sure should be on some sort of drug, I just don't believe they've created that drug yet!?!?!?!?!?

Now you ask yourself, what does all this have to do with Rock & Roll, well if your asking that question, you never really learned to Rock & Roll; the freedom that it brings to the mind and spirt, and how it touches the absolute inner soul....

So sometime today, yes today, Stop and smell the roses and listen to some good old fashion Rock & Roll...

If you can't find any local Rock&Roll stations and all of the turn tables are broke.... No fear for the gator is here.

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