Music Night, Sept. 30, 2011 — Happy Birthday, Frankie

I haven’t done a birthday celebration on music night for months. This one is for Frankie Lymon, who wrote one of doo-wop’s definitive songs at age 13 and died from a heroin overdose at 25. The song begins about halfway through this video clip but the glimpse into 1950s music and television in the first half is worth watching.

98 thoughts on “Music Night, Sept. 30, 2011 — Happy Birthday, Frankie

  1. Frankie Laine just doesn’t look like the voice that recorded Rawhide, does he?
    In case you didn’t get Laine’s joke.
    Laine: Well, don’t complain lad. You’ve only had two rough years. I go all the way back to Bridey Murphy.

    • Frankie Laine sang the theme song to the movie “Blazing Saddles.” When it appeared to some that Frankie was putting a lot of passion into it, they asked director Mel Brooks if they should tell him the movie was a comedy. Frankie didn’t seem to know this, but Mel said to not tell him because he was doing such a great job. And that’s why the theme to one of the funniest movies and western spoofs ever made had such a stirring theme song – the singer thought the song was for a real western movie.

  2. I think the 50’s was the last decade of true Americana in music. It had to deal with Rock, C&W, Big Band, Balladeers and all with just the beginning of radio promotion, agents and salesmanship. If I were to pick a decade of fairly honest and real American music, I’d take the 50’s. The 60’s brought in international, the 70’s media focus, the 80’s bands for sale and everything beyond that is catch as catch can.

    It isn’t a town.

  3. Crap – I thought I had a really good song to dedicate to Chris Christie….. real obscure reference like, but you’d think about it a bit and go ‘Oh yeah…..’

    I thought briefly about the ‘Hokey Pokey’…

    Instead I’ll go with this one (sorry can’t find one without a leading ad that sounds good):

    Barenakedladies – Brian Wilson

    • Somewhere on that Joe Satriani thread is a comment:

      “Around about x:xx, Joe flashes a grin which says: ‘We know I’m the most badass in the room here, why don’t we all enjoy that together shall we?’ – LMAO.

      Reading some of the comments on these Youtubes can be very funny:

      ’79 people are *not* Surfing With the Alien – WTF?’ and so on πŸ™‚

  4. Odd thing. I can relate to music from the 50’s even though I was only 6 when I left the decade. I love the 60’s but again, I was 16 at the end. The 70’s, about the weakest decade for music, second only to the 80’s should be my home ground but only marginally.

    I have to admire the Zoosters and Critters who have managed to maintain interest in groups past the early 80’s. Myself, I have a weakness for ballads which leads me to Country. Not much for flash and such, I listen to the words.

    • When I was pre school age, the radio came on when mom got up in the morning, and played until the tv channels went live in the afternoon. I’m pretty sure that’s why I like the 50s music.
      I find a little to like from each decade, but it’s not usually the stuff everybody else likes. I tend to get worn out on what played the most when it was popular, long before it left the Dj’s playlists.

  5. The bane of music has not been the death of garage bands, it is the birth of boom boxes. Since around 1990 American music has been inundated with children with decent voices. No real talent with lyrics, no real ability to perform on stage beyond bump and grind and the groups and bands that actually have talent are buried behind the Disney kids and the media favorites.

    Again, the C&W group is ahead of the pop. Sad thing is, the cutesy crap is getting them too these days.

  6. As I have said, I lean to balladeers. People who tell a tale. I figure there are many on the pop music side who can do it and have done it but frankly I haven’t heard them. I hate to sound old fogey but I can’t hear and relate to a lot of popular music. I sometimes wish I could.

    This was one of the last songs I heard that I could hear the message. This is a song that reached me.

  7. Hooda— what do you think of the Eagles? I don’t necessarily mean the stuff on the radio, but Don Henley is a damn fine poet.

  8. I remember, years ago, I was in downtown Chicago, looking for this rib joint I had heard about. Ran into a few fellows who had some questions for me and my friend. After a bit of talk they decided we should head down to a place called Millers, if I recall correctly.

    Never did have any trouble in any city.

  9. ok, I have to do this one. Back in the old days when I was in the Navy I was truly something of a redneck. Mostly because it was the only music I could hear. One of those idiots was CW McCall. His only song that hit the charts was Convoy. Since I was off in the Med and had nothing to do with America I actually bought his cassette. And laughed my ass off. This one was one of the reasons.

  10. I’m late to the party and I’m in the mood for something Phishy. Phish is a bit of an acquired taste but, since they steal from everybody, one can just move on to the next song, and the next, until you find one you like. I was on a bus that had to wait for about 15 minutes for a slow freight train to pass and this song has been running through my mind since.

      • If any kind of music is Satanic, that god dude is deaf. And if dancing to music is evil, god doesn’t exist. God made music, If God doesn’t like music, why did God make it?

        • San-tanic. SAN! tanic. Time for a funny story.

          An old friend of mine is a guitar player who was “born again” and started putting way too much emphasis on satanic influences and such. One night he showed up a bit late for a jam session and, while he was setting up, the rest of the band started playing “Sympathy for the Devil”. He got tuned up and started trading licks with the other guitar player and they were really rocking. No one was singing until it got to the “Woo-Hoo” part and they just kept going for about a half-hour. Everyone was having a fantastic time and they kept trading licks and we were all singing “Woo-Hoo”. Over, and over, and over…

          We finally got to the big finish and everyone actually stopped at the same time, which is a minor miracle once a band starts improvising, and we all started congratulating each other on our inspired jam when he asked; “what the heck is the name of that song?” The rest of us all looked at each other and then we told him “Sympathy for the Devil”. Well? The poor guy, literally, turned white and went silent for about another half-hour.

          It was quite a project for us to convince him that we weren’t evil or trying to corrupt him but, eventually, we all laughed it off with no harm to our friendships. Still; I will see that frightened look on his face until I slip this mortal coil. It was one of the highlights of my life.

  11. One of the wonders of Music Night at the Zoo is the diversity of our collective upbringings, and the music we found to express our emotional vestments. Rock on Zoosters!

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