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On June 11, 1949, Hank Williams Sr. made his first appearance on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. He received an unprecedented six encores and was launched into superstardom at 25.
He was dead by the age of 29.
On Sept. 9, 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. His swiveling hips, snarling lip and southern charm turned him into an overnight superstar.
He died in 1977 at the age of 42.
On Feb. 9, 1964, The Beatles made their first appearance on the Sullivan show.
Music, song writing, style, and even haircuts, would never be the same again.
On May 16, 1983, “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever” aired on NBC in which Michael Jackson performed his first moonwalk during a performance of “Billie Jean.” It was a pivotal moment in a career that would produce 13 Grammy awards, 13 No. 1 singles and over 750 million albums sales.
On June 25, 2009, “The King of Pop” passed away at the age of 50.
Although his life in and out of the public eye tended to be incredibly disturbing at times, his work as a musical artist is comparable to very few.
Jackson revolutionized pop culture with everything from his dance moves to his music videos and his impact on the music business itself. It is the one thing no one can take away from him.
Each person mentioned here has had an impact on the world we live in today. Chances are if you take the time to think about your youth, one of these artists have probably affected you in some way.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard a Beatles’ song. It jump-started my love for music and the passion to gain as much knowledge as possible on all genres of music.
With the passing of Jackson, many are probably wondering; where do we go from here? The music business has not seen a true revolution in years and no single artist or group has affected pop culture the way Jackson did.
The remainder of the 1980s was filled with a lot of cheesy, spandex-clad rockers hailing from Los Angeles whose songs rarely had any meaning or relevance.
During the early 1990s, Nirvana broke out on the scene with their 1991 album, “Nevermind.”
Since then, rock vocalists have attempted to imitate the voice of Kurt Cobain and fellow grunge artist Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
The late 1990s saw an onslaught of boy bands, Britney Spears and the like. So desperate for talent, America is now letting Simon Cowell of American Idol judge who will be the next big star.
The music business is now nothing more than a beauty pageant, judged by those who are more concerned with the way a person looks than by their talent.
Although I’m sure talent is still out there somewhere, it will continue to be overshadowed by the shallow critics who care more about who made a designer dress someone’s wearing on the red carpet than the next musical revolution.
As for me, I will continue to watch for the next revolution, someone who will take the world by storm and have a long-lasting impact on the music business.
Chances are, I’ll be waiting a while.