...And That's My OpinionŠ
By Sandy Goldman
The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon (RPCC)
The Top 100 Plus 2
There it was-right there at number 54. The greatest song of them all-the Bee Gees and "Staying Alive." Can anyone forget John Travolta struttin' the multi-colored midway, lights flashing on his ice cream white suit? His right arm high in the air, one foot forward, hips at different angles, body about to move forward.
It's my all time favorite and a treasured piece of memory from a treasured time of life. But here's the interesting thing there were 99 others, spanning the last four decades, and we danced, rocked, sang (in a fashion) cried and dreamed, loved and partied and drank to most of them. I must admit to a certain amount of antagonism to the early Beatles but as time grew on so did they. I'm sure it was generational. Carol's Mom, a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, thought that Glen Miller was trash and that "Mairzy doates (Mares eat Oats) was utter nonsense and that Spike Jones should be put in jail. But there I was through the years, watching Beatle movies and humming (I do that a little better than singing) "Yesterday," and "Hey, Jude" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
We really didn't know what Jerry Lee Lewis meant when he belted out "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On." But whatever it was we wanted some. When the Beach Boys proclaimed "California Girls", to be the best, either we challenged the proposition or we went to California FOR the proposition.
We snuggled on the dance floor to Patsy Cline and "Crazy" and Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman."
If you wanted to move your feet in a fast rhythm, there was Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes," Chubby Checkers and "The Twist," Richie Vaughn's "La Bamba; " Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog," "All Shook Up," and "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets. The rock in that roll was one of the ingredients that started Rock and Roll. But breathes there a body past 40 years old that does not remember Buddy Holly and The Crickets and "That'll Be The Day," the beginning of it all, along with anything by Chuck Berry or Little Richard.
Do any of you out there remember? high school daze....french fries at 4P.M...beer parties on Friday night...parking in secluded spots on quiet streets and the radio and the phonograph. Then came college days and burning the midnight oil ...Friday gatherings at the local pub...weekend parties but always the radio and the jukebox and the latest tunes. Next came marriage, parenthood, jobs and earning a living but always the radio and the juke box and now we added 8 track tapes. Then came teen shows and chaperone duties...football games...carnivals...Las Vegas nights ...parades...Halloween nights at the Elks club and the radio, the juke box, live music and now we had the C.D player. One New Years Eve and then the next and the next but always the music and the songs filed away forever in the memory bank of the mind.
If there were a Rogers Park Top 100 list would it start with the Stephen Sondheim-Julie Styne "Everything's Coming Up Roses (everything's gotta' be bright lights and lollipops...)?" Or would it be the plaintive Charles Strouse - Martin Charnin ballad from Annie, "Tomorrow (The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun!)"
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...And that's my opinion.
And I'm Sandy Goldman
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