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Vintage music goes Top 40? : RadioPotato

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

Vintage music goes Top 40?


Though every decade is characterized by its unique musical styles, the 1940s were fighting one of the most epic wars in history. World War II was taking its toll on the people in the United States and abroad, but the performers continued to keep their upbeat styles to help America take their mind off of the news. They not only continued to make fun music, but many of them entertained the troops to help boost their morale.

Many artists like Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosy, and Billie Holiday were in great demand. That big band sound never seemed to go out of style. According to Wikipedia’s List of Best Charting US Music Artists, Perry Como has 98 US Top 100 songs with Frank Sinatra at 84 hits. The King, Elvis Presley holds the top spot at 150 Top 100 songs.

Is it all just nostalgia that keeps this music so popular?  Considering I was born in 1974 and have a deep love affair with this type of music, I would have to say no. 

If you listen to some of the coffeehouse radio stations today or watch Oprah once in a while, you’ll notice there is a big resurgence of this old-fashioned tried-and-true sound coming back in a BIG BAND kind of way. 

In 1989, Harry Connick, Jr.‘s music busted onto the big screen with a refreshingly new big band bang.  Director of When Harry Met Sally, Rob Reiner, asked this emerging musician out of New Orleans to provide the soundtrack for his new movie.  It was a huge success and Harry’s album went double-platinum and launched his career.

Michael Buble is the newest Grammy-winning darling to follow in Harry Connick, Jr’s footsteps.  Young, handsome, and with a flawless golden voice that will instantly melt a girl’s knickers, Michael Buble is the Frank Sinatra of our time.   In 2005, acclaimed songwriter, David Foster, was introduced to Michael and didn’t know how to market his kind of music. He challenged the Canadian musician to raise $500,000 to cover production costs and he would market him. Michael did and David followed through on his offer and POOF!  He’s a star.    

By the way, I’ve never seen Buble perform live but I’ve heard he’s mind-blowing on stage.  After a completely annoying scavenger hunt on his “Bungalow B” fanclub website to pay for club membership for pre-sale tickets (Where’s the Unlike button?), I finally got great seats and I can’t wait!  Not only that, but I also got tickets that very same weekend to see my next featured artist, Jamie Culum.

I remember back in 2004, I was religiously sunbathing by my pool reading People Magazine cover to cover.  This particular issue had a review on brand new then 24-year old British artist, Jamie Cullum (whom I never heard of).  4 out of 4 stars AND said he was a cross between Harry Connick, Jr. meets Billy Joel meets Norah Jones.  Sold! I bought Twentysomething immediately and it had permanent residence in every CD player I had for at least six months. Take note of the completely different twist Jamie puts on classic standards as well as more contemporary artists’ songs from Jeff Buckley,  Jimi Hendrix, Pharrell Williams, and Radiohead. Follow him on Twitter here.

Philadelphia-bred jazz musician Melody Gardot, a former model with no history of musical pursuit got into a horrible car accident that left her permanently disabled. Her inspiring and famous story of healing and writing music through music therapy, her recovery, and this life-changing accident put this captivating ingenue in the blinding spotlight.  There are no words to describe how gripping and beautiful her music is but this video of “Worrisome Heart” captures it.  She’ll be 25 years old in February and you can follow her poetic tweets and updates here. Here’s another video of “Baby I’m a Fool” off of her latest release, My One and Only Thrill.

Here are a few of incredible new artists that are bringing classic back to the mainstream:

Meaghan Smith “I Know” (Twitter: @meaghansmith)

CocoRosie – “By Your Side”

The incomparable, Madeleine Peyroux “Dance Me To the End Of Love”

I wouldn’t say that this music accompanies the magnitude of difficulty that it once did during World War II, even though our world today is just as complicated, if not even more. Music always tends to recycle itself.  If you listen to AltNation on XM/Sirius radio, it sounds like constant playlist of revised synthesized 80’s new wave.  I’m so glad to hear fresh new artists have a new spin on that classic sound that’s danced in our ears for many, many decades.  The other bonus from a residual income standpoint?  Christmas songs. Always in style and always used every season.  More, please!

About the author

Allison Hare wrote 138 articles on this blog.

A modern-day dame with a bionic ear for discovering emerging artists and a penchant for live shows. Admitted radio junkie



5 Responses to “Vintage music goes Top 40?”
  1. Amanda says:

    Has anyone ever seen Michael Buble or Jamie Cullum live? I love both artist, but think they put on such different shows. Michael’s pretentiousness and arrogance spill over when he performs, but I always seem to overlook it because his voice is so pure. And Jamie, same throwback vibe, and regard for a time long gone, seems to really enjoy what he’s doing. I imagine him jumping on top of his piano whether it’s at Chastain or a dirty old pub in Ireland.

    And thanks for posting some not so famous artist for recommendations! Always enjoy adding to my “radiopotato” playlist!

  2. Audrey says:

    I can’t wait to see Buble and Cullum live with you girl! Great post! You know I love me some Madeleine Peyroux! 🙂 Good idea on creating a Radio Potato playlist Amanda!!

  3. Julie says:

    Harry Connick Jr is amazing live. Such energy and natural charisma. Its evident how much he loves music and that he pours his soul into it. How can anyone not love that man?
    I’ve checked out Melody Gardot and I’m as fascinated by her music as I am by her personal story. Thanks for introducing me to more great soulful artists.
    Second on that playlist!


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dustin shey, Allison Rizk, Allison Rizk, Allison Rizk, Allison Rizk and others. Allison Rizk said: Vintage music is the new Top 40? Throwback is the new black. http://bit.ly/7cK7rX (PLEASE RT! Thx!) […]

  2. […] your Michael Buble covering ANYTHING or Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails, please Quit it.  Go in the woods by yourself and […]

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