Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rock & Roll Never Forgets

This weekend, Bobby and I joined the Pughs and O’Learys for a musical trip down memory lane at the Norton’s Center for the Arts in Danville, Kentucky. We let the Coasters, Platters and Drifters sing us back several decades with classic songs from an era when you actually understood the words the singers were singing!

This was the music of my parent’s youth and, ironically, of mine as well. The Coasters began the concert. I can’t tell you how many times my Dad sang Yakety Yak to my sister and me:

Take out the papers and the trash, or you don't get no spendin' cash. If you don't scrub that kitchen floor, you ain't gonna rock and roll no more! Yakety yak (don't talk back)

I knew all the words to Poison Ivy, Charlie Brown, Searchin’ and many more of the Coasters’ hits. If I close my eyes, I can still hear Dad sing Along Came Jones.

In fact, tonight, I felt like Dad was there with me, singing right along. This was especially true when the second act, The Platters, took the stage. Always known as the “classy” group, they didn’t disappoint. The three men appeared in tuxedos escorting their female member who sashayed on to the stage in what looked to be a vintage gown very appropriate for the timeframe of the music.

The Platters were my Dad’s favorite 50/60s group and, in many ways, they’re mine as well. I never hear Only You without thinking of my Mom and Dad’s courtship – remembering the stories we begged Mom to tell over and over again.

Only you, can make all this change in me. For it's true, you are my destiny. When you hold my hand, I understand the magic that you do. You're my dreams come true my one and only you .

And the song that was #1 on the charts for over 20 weeks, the song I learned to slow dance to while standing on my Daddy’s feet, The Great Pretender:

Oh yes, I'm the great pretender. Just laughing and gay like a clown. I seem to be what I'm not; you see, I'm wearing my heart like a crown. Pretending that you're still around.

I felt the tears stinging my eyes, but understood afresh the term “bittersweet”, because they were just that – the bitter taste of loss and the sweetness of memory all rolled up into music set to 4/4 time.

Luckily there was still one group left to perform and when the Drifters took the stage, it was one big sing-a-long: When the sun beats down and melts the tar up on the roof and your shoes get so hot, you wish your tired feet were fireproof, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah, on a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be . . . Or if you’re having one of those days. . . When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just too much for me to face, I climb way up to the top of the stairs and all my cares just drift right into space, on the roof. . .

Of course, no concert is really complete without dancing in the aisles and the six of us did just that!! Paul & Judy, Brian & Judy and my hubby and I took to the aisles as the Drifters sang:

Oh, I know that the music's fine like sparkling wine go and have your fun. Laugh and sing, but while we're apart don't give your heart to anyone. Don't forget who's taking you home and in whose arms you're gonna be, so darlin', save the last dance for me.

The very last song? Oh you make me want to SHOUT! Lift my hands up and SHOUT. . .

What a great evening!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

You dancing in the aisle I can imagine, but Bobby Beatty?!?!?!