Old Fogey Decrepitude

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on May 26, 2011

This is a double repost from this time three years ago. It was a simpler time. America was struggling with a choice between BHO and JSM. Sarah Palin was taking care of a newborn baby. Radio whiner Herman Cain said that the MET TRICKS of the economy were good. The money meltdown did not take place until September. PG had moved Chamblee54 to wordpress in February of 2008, and was posting up a storm by late May.

PG and his neighbor DA went out to drink beer and shoot pool. The destination ,the Watering Hole, used to be a veterans of foreign wars. There was a TV repair store next door. When the county legalized bars, the VFW went somewhere else, and the Watering Hole was born. The TV repair store became the game room. You could see on the floor where the counter used to be.

This was a weeknight. One of the few other customers was a gentleman who was already past his limit. The drunk was fussing at the bartender about something when PG and DA walked in.

PG got lucky and hit a good shot on the pool table. He got a bit cocky and said And now for my next trick The drunk staggered into the game room, and lay down on an empty pool table. DA replied Is that your next trick?

Before long, it was time to go home. As PG and DA were leaving, the drunk was arguing with the bartender. He wanted to buy a twelve pack to take home with him. He won the argument, and started walking up Clairmont Road with his prize.

PG got a block or so away from the place, when he realized what was going on. He turned around, and saw the drunk sitting in front of a seven eleven store. He was sitting on the curb drinking a beer.

PG drove in front of him and stopped the car. DA got out, walked over to the curb, picked up the eleven pack, and walked over to the car with it. The drunk stood up and yelled obscenities as the car pulled off into the night.

There is a man known as XWinger. He sells Celtic music, promotes DimSum groups, and has a blog.

Once at his place I saw a link to a site that tells you what the Number One song was on that day. The arbiter of number oneness is Billboard Magazine .

The List goes back to 1892. On January 1, 1892, the #1 hit was “Drill, Ye Terriers, Drill” by George J. Gaskin. I imagine that before a certain date this would refer to sheet music, or maybe player piano thingies. Other big hits from the Gay Nineties include “The Fatal Wedding” (1894, George J. Gaskin), “Little Alabama Coon” (1895. Len Spencer) and ” A Hot Time in the Old Town”(1897, Dan Quinn).

When my daddy was born in 1916, the top hit was “M-O-T-H-E-R ( A Word that Means So Much to Me) by Henry Burr. When mother was born in 1922, the big hit was “Stumbling” by Paul Whiteman.

In October 1929, the stock market crashed to “Am I Blue” by Ethel Waters. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the big song was “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller. Mr. Miller joined the Army after the start of the War, and toured with a band to entertain troops. On December 15, 1944, his plane disappeared in France. The number one hit that day was “I’m Making Believe” by the Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald. The Ink Spots played at the Domino Lounge downtown when I was a kid. The shows were advertised on the radio, and people said “the Ink Spots have been around for a while”.

In 1954, this reporter was born. The number one hit that day was “Wanted” by Perry Como. Two years later, my brother was born to the sounds of “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley.

One way to track the hits through the years is to pick a date and follow it. It should be noted that Billboard is the essence of “commercial”. On my tenth birthday, the big sound was “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong. On the verge of the summer of Love, the big hit was “Something Stupid” by Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra. At no time in early May did the Beatles have a number one hit. This lack of hipness was  compensated in 1969 with “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the Fifth Dimension.

The seventies continued the commercial tradition with “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night. This was in 1971, the year they played a big show at Atlanta Stadium. The disco monster raised its glittering hand with “Night Fever”, by the Bee Gees in 1978.

As the eighties rolled in, I got a job and apartment, and music became less familiar. The first big May hit of the eighties was “Call Me” by Blondie. It was from a movie starring Richard Gere. The movie did not feature gerbils. The decayed decade was not a total loss, as 1983 had “Beat It” by Michael Jackson.

Moving into the nineties and oughts, my old fogey decrepitude is near total. Or is that the wasteland of pop music? By this time top 40 is all but extinct, am radio given over to all talk stations, and fm music so spread out that no one style of music is dominant. The number one hit on my birthday this year is “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.

Of course, the leaders of our country don’t always listen. On May 28, 1915, the biggest song was “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier” by the Peerless Quartet. And, in 1964 on this day, the number one hit was “Love Me Do” by the Beatles.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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