In 1957, Rock ‘n Roll was in its infancy, and, to be honest (with 20/20 hindsight) it often showed. Still, as a pre-teen, I positively loved it.
Frank Sinatra, a teen idol of the 40’s, having been somewhat smothered by the Rock ‘n Roll phenomenon back then didn’t think much of the “new music.” He shared his feelings on the subject in 1957 in a magazine called Western World:
My only deep sorrow is the unrelenting insistence of recording and motion picture companies upon purveying the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear and naturally I’m referring to the bulk of rock ‘n’ roll.
It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people. It smells phony and false. It is sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd – in plain fact – dirty lyrics, it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.
Pretty heavy stuff, no?
Fact is, back then I disliked Frank Sinatra’s music about as much as he apparently disliked Rock ‘n Roll. I thought he represented music for old farts – the stuff my parents liked. He was, to use the then-popular term, a “square.” (Yes, I’m old enough to remember when people used to say that.)
Of course, in time, Rock ‘n Roll matured, and Frank Sinatra paid attention:
In time, I matured as well, and much as dry wine is an acquired taste, so it is with Frank Sinatra. These days I find myself dumbstruck by his talent, and I marvel at his mastery of song.
Then again, maybe it’s just because I have reached Old Fartdome status.
Linked by Doug Ross. Thanks!