[Dixielandjazz] Beebe's kids, young folks, & Charlie

Charlie Hooks charliehooks@earthlink.net
Tue, 06 Aug 2002 20:40:25 -0500

on 8/6/02 5:17 PM, Nancy Giffin at nancyink@ulink.net wrote:

> Hope I'm making myself clear and not offending my respected
> elders. (If so, I do humbly apologize.)
> Love and hugs,

Nancy, you're always clear and anyone ever offended by one of your posts is
a Grinch to begin with.  So there!

What you say about the tunes kids first kissed to is directly to the point
regarding both generations.  Between my mother's generation and my own there
was a difference in tunes but not in the KIND of music: I may have (and did)
think Kate Smith a mush mouthed bother, but "When the Moon Comes Over the
Mountain" was not a different KIND of thing from "My Devotion" (my own
first-kiss song).  Neither my mother nor I was insulted by the other's

    Not so now.  Because television changed "music" into a visual medium
that children could and did play (read Beatles, read Monkeys, etc.), and
because of electronic instruments and high decibels, the music that took
hold in the sixties meant to, and did, insult us older people.  Kids love to
shock their parents, and beginning in 1965 the entire media cooperated to do
just that.   It was great fun, I suppose, and was abetted by corporate
greed, DJs and record companies.  We (I was 36 in 1965) "older" people were
asked to admire sounds unbelievably unmusical, and when we could not do so,
we were marginalized.

    "Well, wasn't it the same back in your day, when your music shoved out
your parents' music?"

    No, it was not.  Not even remotely similar.  The great cultural shift
that had begun underneath the 50s overtuned everything, starting in'65.  The
divide between those of us born and nurtured before WWII and those of you
born afterward is so vast as to have become two different worlds. We can
meet, but only with considered effort.

    You are correct that no one should insult the music of another.
Unfortunately, I believe the music itself does a lot of insulting.  We have
to work fairly hard at not getting angry when basic life experiences that we
hold dear are dismissed as somehow now marginal.  It's all very well to
realize that those who hold Bach to be too old fashioned to be interesting
are apt to hold OKOM too old fashioned.  I can justify ignoring such folks.
But ignoring them is no fun!  I want us all to come out and play!

    You write, "As a younger person on this list, I've seen a lot of insults
thrown at my generation with glee and disdain."  I'm sure you have, indeed.
I assume you have also noticed the reverse action and realize that younger
folk are always a lot noisier than their elders.  Their attention spans are
shorter.  Their judgements are quicker and made, necessarily, with less
experience.  The gleeful disdain shown by young people toward their elders
is mind-boggling until one gets used to it.

    I live among these younger people.  My wife of 22 years is only 48,
younger than my eldest son.  A classical flutist, she loves the Beatles.
She enjoys rock music. Her brother, who is like a son to me at age 50, likes
Elvis and Dylan and all the unmentionables (I feel that).  So I have learned
to keep my mouth shut and my face straight.  Well, almost.

    I think that this chasm can be resolved a bit through OKOM, a music that
can span these generations, though it will never be "the music they listened
to in their youth and on the night of their first dance, their first kiss."
It wasn't for us oldfarts, either.  But we will all be gone soon now, and
after us there will be only folk who grew up with screaming electric
instruments, people who can relate to it.  The music will be no longer be
insulting between generations because the WWII generation will no longer

    I fully expect OKOM to continue: enough younger folk are now involved
that a gene pool can flourish and be fruitful.  As Beebe is fond of saying,
"thank God for recordings!"

Charlie (the blabbermouth)