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I have been a fan of western Pop Music since I was a little boy of five. In 2003, after my father's death, I decided to spend the rest of my life in researching the music that he loved, namely American pop standards from World War II to the eruption of Rock and Roll.
I was born in Israel (Palestine at that time), in 1945, to a couple of veterans of the British Army. My grandfather, who was a socialist, fled from Russia to the USA in 1905, after the Bloody Sunday. He lived in Brooklyn until 1917, when he joined the Jewish Legion. After the war, he stayed in this country. My grandmother, his wife, came here after World War I. She settled in Tel Hai in 1919, but left, to marry my grandfather, only a few weeks before the riots, and they settled in a neighborhood of Tel-Aviv, now a part of Giv'atayim.
My father was born a year later, and when he was twelve they moved to Avihayil. When he was seventeen, he joined the FOSH as a warrior, and in 1939 he volunteered to the British Army. It was there where he learnt to love the English and American pop music, and he inherited this love to me when I was still in the cradle.
As one can understand, I was one of the first Baby Boomers generation. My musical memories start from 1950, with Nat King Cole and Patti Page. I must admit that as a boy I found their songs simply boring, and I learnt to love them only after my father's death. The eruption of Rock and Roll was a fresh wind for me, and here is when I acquired my own musical taste. I absorbed everything I heard from the radio, from pop music, through Latin Music, like Mambo, Calypso music and Bossa Nova, to Country Music and Black Music, like Rhythm and Blues, Spirituals and Doo Wop.
In 1957, the song Mambo Italiano by Rosemary Clooney was a great hit in Israel, and then came Diana by Paul Anka. Suddenly all my classmates became fans of pop music, and the argument was "Who the real king is", the American Elvis Presley, or the British Cliff Richard. As we grew up, Elvis took over, and different styles overruled, starting with the Brill Building sound, through the Twist, and ending with the British Invasion.
Then I finished high school, joined the Israel Defense Forces, and after my term was over, I participated in two wars, as a soldier of the reserve forces. Meanwhile, I was married, studied economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and gave life to two wonderful children. It was hard to follow the music of the late sixties and the seventies, because there were so many "One hit wonders", so many bands that appeared and disappeared like mushrooms after the rain, but the overall sound was good enough: Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Carpenters, ABBA, and more.
To cite Don McLean, the end of the Disco in 1983 is for me "the The day the music died". Not exactly: I do like contemporary music, and I see VH-1 from time to time. I even consider myself as a fan of young LeAnn Rimes. However, the Pop Music, as a whole, lost its taste.
I have spent most of my adult life as an Information technology professional, starting as a FORTRAN programmer on a Control Data Corporation super computer, going through a COBOL programmer and a system designer on an IBM mainframe computer, and as the years went by, I moved to smaller and smaller computers, like being a system manager of a DEC VAX mini computer. The top was a CIO (Chief Information Officer) of a firm holding a network of personal computers. To make things clear, the contemporary computers are smaller in size, but I can assure the reader that my desktop computer has more computation power than the first super computer.
After the burst of the high-tech bubble, I went back to designing and programming; I had to learn a lot: VB and VB.Net, C# and WEB programming. But then, when I mastered them all, I found myself over 60 and had to quit the profession.
My father died in 2003, and I wanted to do something for his memory. I started to listen to the music that he liked and to read articles about it. Since I quit working, I have spent most of my time in a history research of that music. The evolvement of Wikipedia helped me a lot, and today it is my main source. Because Wikipedia is a free source, I feel that now is the time to contribute back.
Most of the music that I like is known as Oldies, but I mean it in a wider range of years than the customary definition. My definition includes Pop Standards, from World War II, to the end of Disco.
This section describes in detail the genres that I am fond of, and mentions the most important artists and songs that belong to this genre. I prefer to divide the music into genres like Pop Standards, Latin Music, Jazz and more.
Dividing this genre into sub genres is a problem, because music of the 50's is a genre, Rock and Roll is a genre, and even Rockabilly is a genre. I prefer deviding into decades, but even this division is not straightforward: The development of music is evelotionary, which means small changes from time to time. However, every decade or so there is a great revolution, but (a) this revolution does not necessarily happen at the begging of a decade, (b) the revolution is not total, e.g. Old Cape Cod (1957) sounds older than Rock Around The Clock (1954).
Music of the 40's
There is no exact point marking the beginning of the forties. For example, when I first heard The Ink Spots singing If I Didn't Care, I was sure that it was from the late 40's, but in reality, it was from 1938 . This example shows that there were no major style changes along the decade. For many years, I had the thought that the 40's music was either Big Band dance music, or Tin Pan Alley hits from musicals, but this example convinced me that music that was written explicitly for the radio was not rare.
To be continued...