Thinking about the wide variety of groups and solo artists who performed on American Bandstand led me to remember the first records I ever bought. Do you remember your first purchases? Mine were 45’s, argh! (At least they weren’t 78’s.) And they were: “Do You Believe in Magic,” by the Lovin Spoonful; “The In Crowd,” Ramsey Lewis Trio; and “Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown,” the Rolling Stones. I don’t remember what the B sides were.
Now, that’s an eclectic selection, is it not? Pop/soft rock, jazz and serious rock ‘n roll. If you looked at my iPod today you’d find pretty much the same mix, but with a large playlist of roots and old country music, another of indie rock, and a nice selection of Brazilian sambas and Carnival music, a liking inspired by a trip to Rio in the early ’90s.
Times and tastes change, but what these all have in common is melody and a beat. I’ve always liked singer-songwriters, too. Ah, the moody albums of college days! But for every Joanie Mitchell I listened to, I also played the Allman Brothers’ “Eat a Peach.” (OK, I confess, my first album was “The Monkees,” from my brother as a Christmas present. I wanted it badly.)
Now I listen to WFUV, Roots and Rock Radio (Fordham University public station) as I drive to work, and get my dose of Lyle Lovett and the Alabama Shakes early in the morning. And a couple of weeks ago I got to see Nora Jones at the Music Hall in Tarrytown. I am far from the cutting edge in musical taste. But a good song still gives a lot of pleasure. And a good pop song still bores into my brain. “Moves Like Jagger,” anyone?