27 September 2005

the capris - "there's a moon out tonight" (from there's a moon out tonight: the very best of the capris, available for purchase here.)

in brief : songs my father taught me.

speaking of family members singing ...

no, my father wasn't in the capris, but one of my earliest memories related to music is hearing him sing along to "there's a moon out tonight." when i was a kid, we'd drive up to vermont for ski vacations; to pass the time, my parents had bought some time-life series on ... doo-wop? romantic music? 50's songs (even though "moon" didn't hit the charts until the early 60's)? anyway, my father would sing along to just about every tune. he would always amuse--or flabbergast--by singing a song lyric related to any topic we might bring up. it's the kind of encyclopedic knowledge of pop--both pre-war and post-war--that was not lost on his son, though i must admit that my parents' enjoyment of certain artists stood as massive obstacles to my growing appreciation of said artists. (luckily, both my parents, though more or less of the baby boom generation, had given up on pop when the beatles hit--for my father, before that, w/ elvis.)

nothing ever impeded my enjoyment of doo-wop, happily, my father's enthusiasm for the music only aided my own. i suppose i can understand his kick against modern rock. the world has changed so that one can't imagine five guys, white guys at least, standing on street corners singing and still being considered real street toughs instead of backstreet boys. my father clung to an era when having a mic, instead of a guitar, in one's hand was a measure of masculinity.

for me, what was saddest about 101.1 cbs-fm changing formats from oldies to the "jack" format was the closing of "the doo-wop shop." the station proper was "modernizing," in a sense, adding a lot of 80's music to its playlist while dropping most anything from the 50's, but don k. reed's program was a stalwart to the end, the only place on the commercial dial where one could hear the silhouettes, the five satins, the penguins, the crests, the jive five, the skyliners, the moonglows, the cadillacs, the teenagers, the marcels, the zodiacs, the del vikings, the flamingos, the capris--in other words, the original definite articles.

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