My wife and I attended “The Ed Sullivan Show” revue at our local cultural centre last night. Some of the songs got me to thinking about how music shapes our earliest perceptions.
The Ed Sullivan Show
During my teens, I tried to watch this ‘really big shoe’ that was broadcast every Sunday night between the hours of 8 and 9 pm (prime time). According to Wikipedia: “The Ed Sullivan Show was an American TV variety show that ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in September 1971 by the CBS Sunday Night Movie, which ran only one season and was eventually replaced by other shows.”
For example, on my 14th birthday (February 9 1964), I watched the first show which featured The Beatles from my bedroom window.
But the Ed Sullivan revue that my wife and I attended last night featured some songs which I remembered very well (as you do when you get older) but never thought of in the context of my romantic expectations of life.
Lipstick on Your Collar
Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, December 12, 1938) is an American pop singer and the top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although her chart success waned in the second half of the 1960s, Francis remained a top concert draw. Despite several severe interruptions in her career, she is still active as a recording and performing artist. (Wikipedia)
The song Lipstick on Your Collar is a case in point. Here we have a girl who is singing about her boyfriend leaving her at the Hop for 30 minutes, only to return with a tell-tale sign that he’d been untrue to her in the meantime.
It’s My Party
Lesley Sue Gore (born Lesley Sue Goldstein; May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit “It’s My Party”, and followed it up with other hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry”, “You Don’t Own Me”, and “California Nights”. (Wikipedia)
Here’s another song with the girl’s fellow, Johnny, choosing to give his ring to another girl, Judy.
Clara Ann Fowler (November 8, 1927 – January 1, 2013), known by her professional name Patti Page, was an American singer of traditional pop music. She was the top-charting female vocalist and best-selling female artist of the 1950s, selling over 100 million records during a six decade long career. Page’s signature song, “TennesseeWaltz”, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the 20th century, and is recognized today as one of the official songs of the state of Tennessee. It spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard magazine’s Best-Sellers List in 1950. (Wikipedia)
I used to skate to this one as a young boy in Dunsford at the local arena. The theme of a man changing partners during a dance became the dominant concept during my formative years.
That last song was brought home to me this morning when I heard it on David Lowe’s afternoon programme on Serenade Radio in the UK. You may know him on Wikinut under his pseudonym Lewis Adler. Thanks for playing that one, David.
I know it’s no excuse, but I suspect that my ‘wandering’ in my younger years to be the result of the lessons I had learned through these three songs. If I was so affected in those days, I wonder what the children of today are learning from the music that makes up their listening schedules now.
Picture credits: The Ed Sullivan Show logo courtesy of http://www.edsullivan.com
Connie Francis 1961 courtesy of Wikipedia
Lesley Gore courtesy of http://www.stereogum.com
Patti Page courtesy of abcnews.go.com
Serenade Radio banner from http://www.serenade-radio.com