70s Soul: So, I'm home last night, feeling a bit under the weather, channel surfing and I come across my local PBS station doing one of its money-grabs. Of course for your money you get some sort of gift (in addition to commercial-free programming, that is). The gift they're hawking (and using Jerry Blavat to do it I might add) is a DVD of 70s soul crooners who were all gathered together in Atlantic City for final hurrah. Each act did 1-3 of their top hits to a crowd of boomers.
You had artists like George McCrae ("Rock Your Baby"), and The Stylistics ("You Make me Feel Brand New"), The Manhattans ("shining Star" - of course the group was from New Jersey!), and Sister Sledge. Now, this music has never been high on my must-listen list, but as I watched the now-aged performers re-living the good old days, and looking out at the audience getting down in their own funky way, I was immediately cheered. You could just see everyone harkening back 30 years to those days in the clubs or at parties, when they were dancing to the cutting-edge sound that was coming out of Philly, London, and NYC.
That music had none of the ironic, bitterness that we cherish today. No one was mad at their parents, no one had a drug problem (well, in the song anyway). These were songs about love, about freedom, and most importantly, about dancing - which no one does anymore (just look at any MTV event - it's all about preening and grimacing).
I was certainly born too late to have been part of that crowd, but just for a moment, I wish I was with them.