Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cliff Richard & the Artistic Ideals of the Jungle

One of the many things that have changed over the years is the tolerance of older people to young people's music - well mostly it has. Back in the 1950s older people, and that meant anyone over the age of about 35 struggled with the whole concept of Rock 'n' Roll. This is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica had to say in 1955. "The rowdy element was represented by 'Rock Around The Clock', theme song of the controversial film 'The Blackboard Jungle'. The rock 'n' roll school in general concentrated on a minimum of melodic line and a maximum of rhythmic noise, deliberately competing with the artistic ideals of the jungle itself".

Three years later The American Catholic Youth Center's newspaper - 'Contacts' - demanded of all God-fearing Catholics: "Smash the records you possess which present a pagan culture and a pagan concept of life. Check beforehand the records, which will be played at a house party or a school record dance. Switch your radio dial when you hear a suggestive song."

Even Mick Jagger's mother had something to say on it. "Michael had shown early skills at impersonations, and did Cliff and Elvis. I would watch my lovely boys sitting so neat and clean watching that dreadful Cliff Richard, that awful hair and that sexy dancing.”

1 comment:

ian russell said...

I heard Danny Baker say, when he was on the breakfast slot of the very newly formed BBC Radio 5 (AM only!), that his generation was the last generation that could shock their parents. He meant culturally, of course, and it has the whiff of plausibility about it.

Whatever happened to DB? He was the proto-Chris Evans but we don't wonder about that guy anymore.