We have had quite a few singers over the years who have been popular enough to have made their mark for the ages. Some good and, well, some not so good.
When I was a kid, I remember listening to music on the radio. Back then the radio was about the size of a small refrigerator. They were usually in a wooden cabinet that had been handcrafted and polished. The dial would glow like something not of this earth.
It was a modern piece of equipment and we would all sit around it to listen to music in the evenings.
One of the first singers that I can remember was Frank Sinatra. He was a young guy then and I can remember my Mom and my Aunt Helen gushing about how very sexy his voice was. Yeeccch!
His songs were okay but he didn't do much for me at that age. I was in my sub-teens, well around five or six.
The next singer that I can remember that made any impression on me was Pat Boone. It seemed that he was always on he radio.
He was easy to listen to but again, not much there for a young boy to get excited about. (Me being the young boy).
Then. THEN came Elvis Presley. Now there was an exciting performer! I remember my Mom and my Aunt Helen listening to a 45 rpm record of "Love Me Tender" on an old record player. The kind that closed up like a small suitcase, with a carry handle and everything! The i-Pod of the 50s!
Mom and Aunt Helen would play it over and over and giggle and swoon like a couple of young girls... wait. They WERE a couple of young girls!
My Dad and Uncle Ted would grumble and grab their guns and walk out the door. "Let's go kill something" they'd say. I think they might have been a bit jealous of Elvis - or disgusted - or both.
As I grew a bit and made it to my teens, television was more common and about 70% of the homes in America had one. Families that had two were wealthy. They were not cheap items to buy!
These were black and white pictures only. At that time there were only 3 networks to be found: ABC, NBC and CBS. So you could watch anything you wanted, as long as it was on one of those three channels.
There were a lot of programs that featured singers and bands. American Bandstand and the Ed Sullivan Show were the favorites.
One of the most innovative groups of that time were Sonny and Cher. You remember Cher?
Sonny became a US Representative before his early demise and Cher became (and still is) a Diva with a capital D.
Fast forward to the seventies. There was a child singer named Michael Jackson who was quite the rage. He later grew up to become the so-called "King of Pop" and an alleged pedophile.
As he grew up and was sitting on more money than God, he decided that he wanted to look like a white Dianna Ross.
So, just to prove that money CAN buy happiness... He became a white man. It was quite a transformation, you have to admit. One has to wonder if he would have had the success he did if he had stayed black. I think he would have but I also believe that there was something not quite right in Mike's head. I think that I'm not the only one who believes this.
Female singers were also popular pop icons. If you're thinking sexy, trashy and young, then you have to be thinking Britney Spears.
She had wonderfully wholesome hits like "Oops, I Did It Again" and "Do It to Me One More Time"
After Michael Jackson's success it became apparent that different, eccentric and strange would make you a hit.
Suddenly it seemed that actual talent took second place to image. Enter Madonna.
Madonna seemed to have no boundaries when it came to live performances.
She'd wear outfits featuring cone-shaped busts and on occasion, she'd wear her underwear on the outside of her costume.
This was quite sensational and believed to be just a performance stunt until pre-teen girls were going to school wearing similar outfits. The girls were sent home to change and Madonna eventually started to tone it down a bit.
The next performer to try and capitalize on Madonna's technique was Lady Gaga.
Where this person came up with that name is beyond me. If you ask me it should be Lady Gag-Me.
Gaga seems to be in a never-ending effort to become more and more outlandish in her costumes or in finding more ways to wear less and less during her performances.
Not surprising to anyone is her complete lack of singing ability.
Singing, or in her case, shouting out words in time to the music with the occasional shriek or two is what passes for talent these days.
What or who will we see next? Your guess is as good as mine. I hope that the pendulum starts to swing back the other way and we begin to hear people with true singing ability back on the radio.
The Geezer sometimes wishes that performers like Lady Gaga would limit their performances to the radio only.
Looking at her makes my eyes bleed.
Have a good one!