09 August 2010

Every style

My (re)new(ed) friend Rick posted this old slip of paper (from 1969) on his facebook page today. It was a weekly ritual for me, to read and know the Top 40. The radio station WHB, the rock and roll station in Kansas City, published the list each Friday and by Saturday morning I wanted/ had to know. Where would the Beatles be listed, or the Monkees, or Simon and Garfunkel or Steppenwolf, etc.

I remember one Saturday, during the 3+ hours Orthodox Jewish services at Kehilath Israel Synagogue, where I attended each week, leaving during the rabbi's sermon. Actually we ordinarily left during the sermon. And we had just enough time to walk over to The Landing, the nearby shopping center, to go to the Toon Shop (or whatever it was called)to retrieve the sacred Top 40 Survey. It was about 1964 or 1965. The Beatles #1 song, "She loves you" was the song whose lyrics were printed on the back of the survey.

On return to my family home in Prairie Village, I emptied my pockets and was reading the list at the family lunch. My father picked up the Survey and looked it over. Then he turned it over to read the poetry of the lyrics. If you can call it poetry.

She says she loves you
And you know that can't be bad.
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad. Ooh!

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad.

Hmmm, not exactly Keats or Burns or even Cummings. A little embarrassing without the melody and drums.

But the point of my memory today, and the point of posting thie blog is the 'every style' that is represented in this list.

Look at the styles and the singers in this Top 40. Tommy Roe and Elvis, Credence Clearwater Revival, and the Fifth Dimension. Glen Campbell, Steppenwolf, and Neil Diamond. Jay and the Americans, Beach Boys, the Zombies and Donovan. Cream, Classics IV, Aretha Franklin and Brenda Lee. The Cowsills and Hermans Hermits. Wow, what a wide, wide range of singers and genres and styles.

People ask me about the 60s. Especially I like to remember the music and the breadth of what people enjoyed. Nowadays some are into hiphop or into classical or country. But mostly only those styles. Back in my day, we liked a wide range. And that was the day.

The hippies musically were most noticed, worldwide, at Woodstock. For the list of who came, what they sang, who didn't make it, and who declined invitations, read this URL. Woodstock

What's clear from this Top 40 Survey and from that list is the same people who loved Hendrix also loved Joan Baez. We loved Joe Cocker, Grateful Dead and Sly and the Family Stone.

There was not a monolith of music. There was breadth. I think music was better as a result. I think we were better. Or am I just filled with braggadocios.

I think as a believer, and as a blended guy in so many ways. I grew up an Orthodox Jew. At 19 years old I found Y'shua as my Messiah. That blended a lot of my life. And I've been part of congregations in various cities in the USA and in Australia. That's been a blend of styles. Baptist, charismatic, independent, Anglican, Episcopal. New York City, Sydney, Bethesda/Potomac Maryland, Winnetka, Illinois, San Francisco. Blends.

God has been kind to me to show me the Body of Messiah. The Jewish apostle Paul wrote of the imagery in several places, recorded in the Bible. This one is clarifying. In Romans chapter 7 verse 4 "Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Messiah, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God." Somehow in our relationship with each other, we make Y'shua that much more known and we bear more fruit among people, live godlier lives. That's what 'every style' says to me today. We need one another, even as a finger or an arm cannot say 'I have no need of you' to the leg or the stomach. One body, many parts.

You might even need me. "yeah, yeah, yeah."


Richard said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure.

Onesimus said...

The Beatles "She Loves You"!
- the very first record I ever owned.

I was about 4 or 5 years old and wanted to be a Beatle when I grew up.

Roger Bourne said...

Yea, yea, yea --I can't say that I blended the broad mindedness as well as you, Bob. However, I like the verse, especially the words, "to die to the Law through the body of Messiah, that you might be joined to another,". What I like about it is the implied disjunction between detachment to that which is dead and attachment to that which is alive. I love the idea that we have gone from the dead letter of the law to the life giving spirit of Y'shua. That is the real spirit of eternity that is not bound to the futility of the sixties. I tell people that I am embarrassed to be associated with the sixties. For me it was a time of sowing a lot of wild seeds the whirlwind of which are still being reaped. If the sixties had been reconciliable to anything good, honest, noble and pure I think it would have made sense but it wasn't compatible, for me it was not blendable but conflictual, not glad but sad.

佳陳生 said...


Bob said...

@ Richard, you are welcome. @Onesimus, you still can be a Beatle, I'm sure. @Roger, the 60s were both futile and fervent, both sowing wild oats and spiritual craving. I'm glad we both were children of the 60s, although you are seriously older than me (hey, that 2+ months really will matter someday).
The blending of music was the effect of a wide view of what is right, and what is good. Nowadays some give a shrug or a hand of dismissal to the music of another genre. Back then, we were accepting. That acceptance was part of the welcome people gave the Jesus movement. Don't miss that, mate.

Roger Bourne said...

Bob wrote, "That acceptance was part of the welcome people gave the Jesus movement." I guess the Jesus movement in so far as my experience back then was concerned took the form of "The Cross and the Switchblade" apart from that there was not much else that filtered through to Australia. Davie was a big influence on me especially the 24th chapter of the book. If people in the US were open to the Gospel because of the broad mindedness of the blending of 60's brains, I'm not sure that was true here. Certainly the conversion and appearance of Barry McGuire influenced me back then and the book where Malcolm X had a vision of Jesus in the Moon in the Algiers but did he have much influence? I would really like you to tell us what the Jesus movement was for you Yankies because here in Australia it took more the form of reading testimonies and what came through in what was called the charismatic movement. Although we did hear about Arthur Blessit and his cross, though I did not ever see him. I could relate to Forest Gump but not to a box of chocolates. What were the defining characteristics of the Jesus movement except that some of us started using his name rather than his title.