Jul 9, 2015
I'm a big fan of Marc Myer's top notch blog JazzWax. He writes clearly and eloquently, and often covers topics other sites completely ignore, and his work always leaves a reader ready to run to his record collection and check out something he hasn't heard in years. Or find something new.
Today's column commemorates the 60th anniversary of the day Bill Haley & the Comets hit Number One on the Billboard Charts with "Rock Around the Clock." In a thought provoking essay, Myers tells the story of that record's second release as a feature of the Hollywood film The Blackboard Jungle, and how teenagers and adults changed their view of one another in its wake.
Jazz was a casualty of that film and indeed, of rock and roll. One telling scene in the movie involved delinquent teenagers smashing a "square" teacher's valued jazz record collection. Myers writes:
In that one scene of sacrilege, teens were taught that jazz was a joke and the music of detached, condescending adults—an unfortunate and ignorant lesson that rock musicians still feel guilty about today.
Check out the entire column today, and be sure to peruse the site for more great reading (and listening). You'll agree he was the deserved winner of the Jazz Jounalists of America Blog of the Year last month.