War Memorial Gary Trouton

Notes from a newcomer

July 2005

Marion muses on the changing world of music

Mulling over the unwelcome fact that we are now approaching the age of 60 (some mistake, surely?), a friend of mine reflected: "I think we are very lucky to have lived through a time when the music was brilliant."

She meant pop music, of course - even we are not old enough to remember Mozart or Beethoven. My earliest music memories are listening to Two-Way Family Favourites every Sunday lunchtime in the 1950s. Requests from service men and their folks back home ranged from Love And Marriage sung by Frank Sinatra to cute novelty numbers such as How Much Is That Doggie In The Window - by our very own Lita Roza.

Then - wham, bang - on to this sedate scene burst Bill Haley and his Comets who shot to fame with Rock Around The Clock and pop music never looked back. Bill was a bit too tubby and long in the tooth to be a real rock-and-roll star but very soon along came Elvis the Pelvis and teenage girls everywhere quickly caught on to what rock and roll was all about.

The starchy old BBC would have nothing to do with this raunchy new sound from the other side of the Atlantic so, in the early days, teenagers had to tune in to Radio Luxemburg. I remember sitting in the dark (Radio Luxemburg was only on air in the evenings) listening to Fats Domino singing On Blueberry Hill. It was wonderful stuff.

The next seismic shock to hit the music scene came early in the1960s when four irreverent Liverpudlians surprised themselves and everyone else by achieving the unthinkable - for the first time, British pop music was the best in the world. Millions of words have been written about the Beatles but none of them quite captures the mad magic of living through that era when so much talent flowered all at once. Hard on the heels of the Beatles came The Rolling Stones, The Animals and the Spencer Davis group.

These days I make little attempt to keep up with pop music, being a firm believer that it is the exclusive property of the under thirties. Where's the excitement in music your parents like? To my ears, it all sounds pretty much the same.

But I can't help reflecting, as I potter round my garden while local groups Dumpster Pop and Dead Leg are giving it their all at the pub barbecue, which this was exactly how the Beatles started. As music-mad youngsters, John Lennon and his friends played at any Liverpool venue that would have them, whether it was a church fete or a village hall hop.

Perhaps all it needs is another Brian Epstein to stroll in and put our village on the musical map. Could The Bluebell be the next Cavern Club - the place where the Stoke Ferry sound was first heard? Perhaps I should I drop my trowel and rush round to get the lads' autographs while I can.

Marion Clarke

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