Reflections: Good And Bad, Then And Now

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    Jackie_Wilson

    It is always discouraging to encounter  people who make no effort to appreciate, or even listen to, any kind of new music. They say none of it is any good and imply that everything was great in the past.

    It wasn’t. There has been wonderful music and terrible music in every era.

    Society has changed much in recent decades and standards are generally lower. Mega-talents on the level of Jackie Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, etc., are few and far between today.

    I would have to say that my “super favorites” remain the Supremes, the Manhattan Transfer, the Beatles, Prince, Tina Turner,  Dinah Washington, Jeffrey Osborne, the Clara Ward Singers and other veterans.

    However, I am also very fond of Ne-Yo, the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Monica, Chris Daughtry, Fantasia, Christina Aguilera, Usher, John Legend, Chris Brown and others. I even like Eminem.

    “The current state of music is the same as it ever was,” wrote David Fricke, a senior writer for Rolling Stone magazine. “There is the good and the bad, and there’s plenty of the former, if you are willing to seek it out.”

    Looking at music through rose- colored glasses is counterproductive. The oldies and classics are special, worthy of our undying love, but that is no reason to refuse to open the door that leads to appreciation of other sounds and other artists.

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