Above is a poll shown on the CBS Sunday Morning TV Show 3-29-15. A question that has been asked before, or in different ways, such as ‘What Is Your Favorite Decade?’.
Two problems arise when trying to get accurate results from such a poll:
1) Most people tend to remember the more recent decades and younger folks, if allowed or who snuck in the poll, know little about the 1950s or 1960s except by what they’ve been told by a sometimes biased media.
2) Polls don’t necessarily account for key variables, such as that a person should really have had to live during all decades to accurately answer the question.
So, as a result of these often unaccounted variables, you will normally see results slanted favorably toward more recent times, as we see above.
Nonetheless, it’s intersting to see that the longest ago decade, the 1950s, polls higher than the more recent 1960s and 1970s.
People gave the 1950s higher ratings for the relative peace during the period and the advent of the new rock and roll music. The 1980s and 1990s were favored for generally good economic times. The 1960s and 1970s weren’t without their positive callings, too, including the prosperous, ‘happy days’ of the early 60s Kennedy Era.
Nothing like a classic car. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. I actually feel better just riding in my ’63 Chrysler Imperial. It has PERSONALITY and ‘Big Carhuna’ is smiling again (he really is) after two years in disrepair.’ Some like the New Car Smell. Not us… What about you?
Car styles reflect the times… Just looking at the front alone… the shining chrome,and ,yes, those smiling, floating eyes… On style alone, which would you choose,old or new? (You can’t really appreciate the overall look of the ‘Carhuna’ from this straight on shot)…
Get Off of That Telephone – Brown makes an anti-driving with cell phone pitch; you can even hear the police sirens and other sounds of the road…
Junior Brown’s ‘contraption’ is actually on a stand. He plays the top neck as if he were holding a guitar and easily jumps back and forth with the bottom steel neck, which he plays ‘overhand’ . He has to lean down and over to be able to play both, which must be a bit hard on the backbone.. but Brown does a helluva amazing job at it…
JUNIOR BROWN DOES IT ALL – UNIQUE ENTERTAINER CAN’T BE CATEGORIZED
Imagine an artist who can play surf guitar with the best, steel guitar like the country kings – and most any other guitar styling while singing along in the appropriate style . It takes a special DOUBLE GUITAR that only JUNIOR BROWN plays as well as his unique, one-off voice, contortionist body and personality . Brown makes for one of the great live entertainers on the circuit today . His 10 minute long ‘surf medley’ may be the single most dynamic live ‘show tune’ among any current entertainers going . We caught Brown March 24, 2015 at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage. Catch him when he comes to your area. you won’t be disappointed.
from Freight and Salvage:
The music of Junior Brown combines the soul of country and the spirit of rock and roll. The crooner with the deep, dry voice invented his own instrument, the guit-steel, a double-necked contraption that combines the best of electric guitar and lap steel. But it wouldn’t matter what he played if he didn’t play with such passion and drive. You hear echoes of other guitar greats, from Ernest Tubb to to Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughn, but the sound is all Junior, country and bluesy and funny too – which may be why Junior was tabbed to write the theme song for the new TV show, Better Call Saul. Junior has a way of singing that sounds dead serious and yet entirely aware of the humor of any situation.
Born in Cottonwood, Arizona, Junior discovered a guitar in his grandparents’ attic and started a career that took him to the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, three Grammy nominations, a Country Music Association Award, and a Bluegrass Music Association Award, not to mention collaborations with Ralph Stanley, Hank Thompson, George Jones, The Beach Boys, and Stone Temple Pilots. His movie credits include Me Myself and Irene, Trespass, and The Dukes of Hazzard. His TV credits include X Files, Austin City Limits, multiple appearances on Saturday Night Live, and even a cameo in SpongeBob SquarePants. He’s a one-of-a-kind performer who laid it all on the line at the Freight!
They were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. They also played so many of the hits you know and love from the ’50s and the ’60s, from artists like the Beach Boys, The Monkees, Cher, The Carpenters, Sam Cooke and many, many more. The Wrecking Crew was their name, and their story has yet to be told. Until now. With a documentary, a soundtrack and a book, The Wrecking Crew will finally receive the acclaim they deserve, even if, as executive producer Danny Tedesco says, they felt just fine with their place away from the spotlight.
How is it that such a talented group working on some of the most well-known projects in music history has gone under the radar for so long?
When these folks were recording in the ‘50s and early ’60s, the business of Rock and Roll was really at its infancy. As much as we always think of music as art, when there is money involved, it’s a business first. It doesn’t mean that the music wasn’t some of the greatest songs recorded, but it means to get some of these recordings down, they needed session musicians. Most of the time, it wasn’t any deep, dark conspiracy. It was just the way it worked. When the business starts to change in the ’70s, everyone is concentrating about what is going on at that moment in time. So we moved on.
As a society that is inundated with information in all mediums, we forget what happened six months ago. Try to think what happened 50 years ago. But I think we naturally want to discover something in the past that we didn’t know about.
You’ve screened the film at multiple festivals. What’s been the most common response from audiences or critics?
I’ve screened this film around the world with so many different audiences. People assume I must be tired of screening the film. Not at all. I’m at the point of watching the audience reaction. I realized we speak of the British invasion, but the American invasion was much bigger and longer. I’ve seen this film in Spain, Israel, England, Germany and everyone knows the music. That is the main common denominator.
But they’re blown away by the diversity of the music. They also realize these musicians are like anyone else. They were not the stars, but they were treated like stars by the stars. They worked for a living like any one else. They put their kids through school, put food on the table like any other parent.
When and how did the vision for a film on The Wrecking Crew first come together?
I always thought about doing this film abuut my father and his friends. But reality of it came together in 1996, when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him a year to live. I was fearful that if I didn’t jump on this, my biggest regret in life would be I didn’t jump on this. So I started filming my father, drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye, and saxophonist Plas Johnson at a round table. That was in 1996. It took 18 years to be able to clear all the rights of music to be able to release the film.
When was it obvious that a soundtrack would also be a part of the overall package?
The soundtrack was always part of the plan from day one. It seemed so obvious. But after 18 years, distributors don’t care about soundtracks, which was crazy. This is the first time that the songs on this compilation will feature songs they recorded. The hardest part was figuring out what to cut. We had a list of over 250 songs.
If it wasn’t for Pledge music and our producers of the soundtrack we wouldn’t have the chance to do it. Ninety-nine percent of every screening over the years, people would ask about a soundtrack album. Now we can say, ‘Yes, we have a soundtrack album.’
For those who were a part of the Crew, was there ever a sense of unfairness not receiving the notoriety or fame?
Never. They loved with what they did and got paid very well. They were stars within the music community. When they asked my father if he should have been paid more if he added that extra piece to a song, his response was, ‘I made hundreds of hits, but I made thousands of bombs. I never gave anyone their $25.00 back. I treated it like a business.’
Can you tell us about the book that is also available?
Ken Sharp did an amazing job over the few years interviewing many of the Crew, artists, and engineers. He put together a coffee table book with the help of Mark London, which is 280 pages and 12”x 12″, the size of of an LP. It’s gorgeous. The photos, design and the interview will go down as a must have for anyone that wants to know about that scene in L.A. during the Wrecking Crew years.
We go from the classic Scopotone (first ever video?) above (1962) to a recent appearance (2012) on the Mike Huckabee show where Neil Sedaka showcases his latest project, cover versions of his early hits with lyrics changed for kids (eg ‘Waking Up is Hard to Do, Lunch Will Keep Us Together,’ etc.) Hear ‘Lunch will Keep Us together’ along with the original, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.’ Here Neil’s funny story about growing up wanting to be a rock and roll singer and what he did with his 45s.
We’ve seen Sedaka dozens of times over the years and it is one of the few events we still look forward to – when Sedaka comes to town. Catch him if he comes to your area. In the meantime check out his website, http://neilsedaka.com/ Last year Sedaka was in town, when Dad was still with us and a couple generations enjoyed him and his protege doing a concert of Neil Sedaka songs! (Sorry we don’t remember the name of the protege).