[Dixielandjazz] The Death of OKOM?

Brian Towers briantowers at msn.com
Sat Aug 2 19:37:53 PDT 2003

Dan Spink has put his finger right on it.   I personally do not want to see
OKOM as top of the pops, played continuously on the radio etc.  It would be
the kiss of death for it.

I was playing traditional jazz in the late 50's, early 60's in the UK.
Suddenly it became the pop music of the day - jazz tunes top of the hit
parade; hundreds of unworthy bands turning pro' ; gimmicks galore; funny
uniforms, a frantic effort to please all the people all of the time;  groups
jumping on the band wagon, blatent efforts to copy the most successful bands
such as Barber/Bilk and Ball etc. End result - garbage!
It was called the "trad' Boom"   Yuk!  Within six months or so the novelty
was over and the media/promoters were on to the next gimmick.  Traditional
jazz virtually vanished from the public eye and went underground again.

Our jazz can never appeal to the "head bangers" - just as classical music
can never appeal to the majority of folk.  OKOM has its smallish niche, as
Dan says. It will survive as such, in my humble opinion.   10% of each
succeeding generation will dig it and play it, way into the future.
I have nothing against beads etc and the primacy of the entertainment ethic
but let's not prostitute ourselves unduly, to capture the attention of the
masses. Leave the mass markets to the Rolling Stones etc.

Brian Towers

>...What exactly do you want it to be, or expect it to be if you had your
>fondest wish? Do you want it played continuously on the radio? Do you want
>the CDs to sell like rap? Do you want the big stars to be Dixieland
>instrumentalists? What? In all reality, no music stays around at the top of
>the charts for long, and who said that was the ultimate achievement
>Sorry,          Dan (piano fingers) Spink

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