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June 24, 2011

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Joel Lewis

Fascinating article. It appears that 50s rock is danger of being marginalized as it is no longer played on most "oldie" stations and the generation that listened to it is now starting to hit 70. Even Graceland is concerned that most of the people coming to visit Elvis's palace are mostly elderly and that often the young people they see are there escorting their parents and grandparents. Where jazz fans are quite used to mono recordings & even the 20s era 78s of Louis Armstrong, rock fans do sometimes have trouble listening to muisc made in an era of low-hi (especially 50s rock which was often made on the cheap).

Find it fascinating that Holly lived in NYC (I think the Village) in his last year, make him one of the few solo rockers based not only in NYC, but in East Coast. Because of his extreme youth at his death, his remains rock's great "what if" figures as he seemed to have the writing chops for an extended career.

Dave James

I have mixed feelings about this kind of thing. On one hand, they probably get the style and substance of Holly's music in front of listeners who might otherwise remain unaware of it. On the other, I can't shake the feeling that there's something exploitative and borderline unseemly afoot here. All things considered, I'd prefer that legacies be left to the artists who created them.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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