Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rocking Out to Mammy

Yesterday was the fortieth anniversary of the release of "Stairway to Heaven." Just writing that makes me feel old. Having been born in 1962, I'm technically on the tail end of the boomer generation--arguably the first rock-n-roll generation. As we watch our idols age, some seem to pull it off better than others. The iconic Rolling Stones taunt dignity by refusing to age gracefully into elder bluesmen, Dylan has become an itinerant cranky uncle and Led Zepplin declined to reunite, permitting Robert Plant to reinvent himself into the guy who sings with Allison Krauss. My friend Jeff reminded me that, to put dates in perspective, forty years prior to 1962, Al Jolson's "My Mammy" was the hit record. Both my kids love Zeppelin and one still has the poster at right on his bedroom wall. I'm pretty sure we had no idea who Al Jolson was at that age and no one plastered their wall with Mammy posters. It's still hard to predict how rock music will age, but the odds it will never die are slightly up.

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