Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets, but I find I forget a lot more)
Personally I like the 25 years label. It makes it simple. What I hate is that we just can't have an oldies channel that will play it all with equal amounts given to all eras. I was born in 1957 and bought The Twist by Chubby Checker the first time he released it as well as others at the time. At the same time I loved much of the British Invasion stuff, Psychedelic, Soul and Funk, and whatever other top 40 goodies passed my ears. I'm a musician in a tribute band and believe me, that vast array of listening has served me well as a singer.
Regarding "Kokomo" and You Got It, it's a bit sad to me that those tunes get picked when so many others don't. Neither are the best by far of the artist's catalogs. It still amazes me that "Kokomo" made #1. But it's certainly worthy of airplay since it's a part of that generation's life, probably if not only because of Cocktail.
As far as The British Invasion being the death of Rock & Roll, rock came back to life with the British Invasion, IMO. After Buddy Holly, etc. died in the plane crash, rock became a wash in violins and giant choruses for background singers. Thank God for the Beatles. They brought back guitars and a much more prominent beat back to rock and roll, not to mention Paul and John's vocals.
OK I'll shut up.
Thanx for asking what we'd like to hear on the radio! One more "Suspicious Minds" and / or "Kentucky Rain" or even "You Were Always On My Mind" and it may be MP3 player and my own playlist all the way. In fact, I wish DJs would never play ANY "fat clown jumpsuit" Elvis songs ever again and go back to when he started ... pre-Army, pre-Priscilla, pre-Mama dying, pre-Col. Parker ruining his career whilst chasing the almighty dollar ... and get truck drivin' roots Elvis back on the air. Anything after Blue Hawaii was a different singer ... still good ... still great voice and delivery. But early Elvis had an original interpretive style and organic vibe and deserves to be heard and appreciated so younger listeners will "get" why we fell in love with him. Was there ever anything better than Elvis jiving "You're So Square" or emoting "Lonesome Cowboy"?
What is an Oldie? Most people would say, the answer depends on your age. If you were born in the 50's, the British Invasion is your oldies era. Born in the 60's? Disco is your oldies era. Etc. However, I disagree with this argument. To me, the oldies are the roots of rock and roll. That, my friends, started in the 50's and pre-Elvis ... maybe even a little earlier. The amalgamation of gospel, blues, country, bop and more, brought about Rock and Roll, a term, coined by Alan Freed. While Elvis was the dominant force in bringing this genre to the fore, Bill Haley and Chuck Berry also had a big part in its rise in popularity. But its genesis is in Doo Wop and blues. Early Doo Wop pioneers laid the foundation along with the blues singers. If you are not a doo wop aficionado, you would not be aware that there were many types of doo wop. A real doo wop fan can discern the west coast doo wop from the east coast doo wop ... the Pittsburgh sound from the New York sound, etc. Out of these roots sprung rock and roll. Yet this era has been shamelessly under represented by the supposed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A misnomer if there ever was one.
I propose that Oldies should always be considered the 50's to early 60's ... not because it's my age era, but because it is the foundation of the music we love. I believe any serious music lover should be exposed to this music in order to appreciate what followed. The Beatles have said many times that Chuck Berry was a big influence on them. Listen to the Beach Boys and tell me you don't hear any Chuck Berry riffs. I can tell you this much, when I turn on the radio to listen to Oldies, I don't want to hear Herman's Hermits singing Silhouettes, I want to hear the Rays singing the original. I don't want to hear Jackson Browne singing Stay, I want to hear Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs singing the original version. Don't misunderstand me, I like Jackson Browne and his version of Stay, but it doesn't have the raw grit of the original. So I would have to say that everyone wants to listen to the music of their early years. Those are your memories, but they are not necessarily the old roots of rock. That's the 50's to early 60's. The true oldies of rock and roll. They need to be honored and treasured.
Bob Hughes ... Maryland