Found under the Christmas tree, "Elvis' Christmas Album" on snow white vinyl?
By Phill Marder
'Tis the season to be jolly.
Faithful readers of this blog - and I've been told there are two or three - know this will be an easy task for yours truly, one who is almost always jolly as opposed to being an old, crabby complainer.
Hope you're not reading this while eating.
But back to the topic at hand. Believe it or not, no gripes this week. No rants about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and who should be in and who shouldn't. No conspiracy theories centered around Atlantic Records, Jann Wenner, Ahmet Ertegun etc. Not even a misgiving about "Goldmine's" changed format, which I happen to prefer. Much easier to handle and just as easy to read. Plus, the articles have been more to my liking in recent issues, a trend I hope runs true for most readers.
Don't worry, though. The venting will continue next year.
Meanwhile, for my Christmas present, here's hoping those responsible for who gets inducted into the Hall of Fame will give more consideration to those already championed by this blog - Jack Scott, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Dionne Warwick, Chubby Checker, Bob Jovi, Donovan, Donna Summer, America, Cher, Chicago, The Guess Who, Hall & Oates, Jeff Lynne, Kiss, Mary Wells, The Miracles, The Marvelettes and Neil Sedaka - and all those I'll be writing about in 2011 (can't reveal who yet 'cause I don't want to spoil the suspense).
For a second Christmas present (can't help it, I'm greedy), I'd like readers who have joined this blog in midstream to consider the following, written in this blog's first entry which is still available for your perusal:
"Remember, this is a space for opinions, mine and yours...I do promise you won't read 'so and so should be inducted because they're awesome, dude.' If I'm making a suggestion, I'll back it up with, hopefully, some logic. And I promise not to use the word influence as a qualification, as in he should be inducted because he's been an influence on everyone who ever lived, including my dog. Everyone is influenced good or bad by everything they encounter."
This opinion was seconded in the recent interview with Barbara Orbison, who, when asked about Roy's influences, replied, "he'd say, 'I guess everything influenced me.'" Anything ok with Roy Orbison is ok with me.
And for a third Christmas present for myself (I don't mind asking for this one because I'll never get it), I wish the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame would adopt criteria suitable to an organization regarding itself as a Hall of Fame. A Hall of Fame should be for the famous, those who have gained worldwide reknown in their chosen field, not those who are personal favorites of a small clique of nominators and virtually unknown to the masses.
For my New Year's resolution, I promise to be tolerable of all musical tastes. Remember, though there is no definition of Rock & Roll, I can tell you for sure it started in the 50s as music kids liked. I think that's the best definition one can come up with. Critics seem obligated to put everything into categories, but when all is said and done...and written...Rock & Roll still is music kids like.
Of course, since it's been around so long, there now are kids of all ages. Kids in the 50s liked everything from Elvis to Paul Anka, from Connie Francis to Perez Prado. In the 60s, kids loved the British groups, but also Motown and a lot of American groups. In the 70s and 80s, kids liked Peter Frampton but a lot of them also liked Donna Summer and Abba. And so on.
Today, a lot of kids like Rap. Many others like Green Day, the Killers and other more traditional groups. They also like Taylor Swift and Norah Jones. And one day, they'll all be eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And there will be some screaming, "what do they have to do with Rock & Roll?"
Conway Twitty through the Black Eyed Peas ... it's still Rock & Roll to me.
So I'm going to put on "Little Saint Nick" by the Beachboys, "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" by Elvis, "The Christmas Song" by Nat "King" Cole, "My Only Wish (This Year)" by Britney Spears, "My Grown Up Christmas List," by Kelly Clarkson and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Josh Groban, grab a Coke and welcome not only Santa but 2011 as well.
Actually, my wife's dragging me to the ballet New Year's Eve, but I'm trying to remain jolly. So don't feel bad for me. Especially you collectors. I just found a copy of "Elvis' Christmas Album" on white vinyl under the Christmas tree. I wonder how rare this is. The greatest Christmas album ever made ... on pure white vinyl?!
Ooops, never mind. It's just egg nog I spilled on it last Christmas...sorry.
May you all have a wonderful, musical holiday season and a 2011 full of fun reading and lots of other great stuff.