1968: was it a good thing?



Postby Joe » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:49 pm

I guess I'm on the fence here. Certainly JLL had hit a brick wall commercially by the end of the decade. Had he continued to ply his old hits with the odd experiment, it's unlikely that he would've risen any higher than the oldies circuits which began in earnest in the late-60s. Kennedy and others, in steering JLL toward hardcore country, afforded JLL not only commercial success but, figuratively-speaking, clothes that fit better (stylistically and aesthetically) imo. And he wore them well.

However, Peter's point is well-taken; JLL certainly experimented less after '68, but he was required to be more artistically conservative by the standards of the country audience he was actively and enthusiastically courting. Catch-22. There aren't many popular music artists—esp from JLL's generation—who can experiment robustly and retain consistent chart success. I've always thought that mass commercial success comes at a price: at the same time one's elevated, he/she has fewer options for personal expression.
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Postby wolfgangguhl » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:51 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
Rocky wrote:If this had not happened, and they kept him in the rock/blues field, I'm sure he would have faded into obscurity.


I'm sure he wouldn't have, no more than Fats, Richard & all the others did...

He might've even stayed in better shape if he'd had less financial success later on.


I think he would have drifted into obscurity. Fats & Richard have had many major hits at the time while Jerry's status was the one of a two-hit-wonder. So without his later Country charts success he would have become an insider act like Bo Diddley for example, but no major star.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:15 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:
peterchecksfield wrote:
Rocky wrote:If this had not happened, and they kept him in the rock/blues field, I'm sure he would have faded into obscurity.


I'm sure he wouldn't have, no more than Fats, Richard & all the others did...

He might've even stayed in better shape if he'd had less financial success later on.


I think he would have drifted into obscurity. Fats & Richard have had many major hits at the time while Jerry's status was the one of a two-hit-wonder. So without his later Country charts success he would have become an insider act like Bo Diddley for example, but no major star.


Jerry was always as popular as other rockers like Chuck, Richard & Fats 'live' (at least in Europe), both before & after the "comeback" hits. During those 70s & 80s tours the vast majority of the audiences couldn't have cared less about 'To Make Love Sweeter For You' & 'Let's Put It Back Together Again' (or even 'Chantilly Lace' & 'Me & Bobby McGee' to a large extent). It's always been the Sun hits & misses they've wanted to hear (WLSGO, GBOF, Breathless, High School Confidential, What'd I Say, etc). Through these records & his concerts he'd become a "legend" without the help of any later U.S. hits.
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Postby Andrew McRae » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:32 pm

Had Jerry Lee not had the (mis)fortune to hit the big time in the country music market, who knows, he might have become one of the greatest Shakespearean and/or musical actors of the second half of the twentieth century. Perhaps "Another Place, Another Time" totally screwed up an alternative career on the stage and on screen. There is no question of him 'fading into obscurity' - whether or not there were recording contracts and hit records he would have emerged somewhere, doing something of significance, that would have added to the legend one way or another.

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Postby peterchecksfield » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:11 am

Andrew McRae wrote: There is no question of him 'fading into obscurity' - whether or not there were recording contracts and hit records he would have emerged somewhere, doing something of significance, that would have added to the legend one way or another.


Exactly. Maybe he'd have had a fluke worldwide number one with a novelty record (like Chuck) or retired & preached for a while (like Richard).
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Postby Joe » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:12 am

peterchecksfield wrote:
Andrew McRae wrote: There is no question of him 'fading into obscurity' - whether or not there were recording contracts and hit records he would have emerged somewhere, doing something of significance, that would have added to the legend one way or another.


Exactly. Maybe he'd have had a fluke worldwide number one with a novelty record (like Chuck) or retired & preached for a while (like Richard).


Or gone fishin'.
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Postby Andrew McRae » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:31 am

Joe wrote:Or gone fishin'.


Had that been his choice, I suspect it would have been in the manner of a modern-day Captain Ahab!
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Postby bluesinc. » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:42 am

the last few possibilities should all have happenend one after another, what an interesting life this could have been.... could we still have than this comeback after all?
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Postby Andrew McRae » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:52 am

bluesinc. wrote:the last few possibilities should all have happenend one after another, what an interesting life this could have been.... could we still have than this comeback after all?


No, he'd have been too busy starring as a psychopath in Quentin Tarantino movies. A prospect of which we got a glimpse of the potential in "Collision Course" in 1973. And somewhere along the way he would have put in an Oscar winning performance as Harry Powell in a remake of "Night of the Hunter".

Anyway, as it is, 1968 'happened'...and here we are today, stuck in just one of any number of parallel universes...
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Re: 1968: was it a good thing?

Postby mildred » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:02 am

I don't like the sound of harpsichords.
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Postby Dave McKee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:14 am

You see what I mean, moderators - another completely unnecessary post.
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Postby mildred » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:44 am

Dave McKee wrote:You see what I mean, moderators - another completely unnecessary post.




"CALL THE AUTHORITIES, we have a post that isn't up to snuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Get a life, Dave.
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Postby Dave McKee » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:15 am

My point is the fact that you don't like harpsichords contributes absolutely nothing to this forum.
And naturally you obviously don't have a life or you wouldn't keep posting rubbish on virtually every page on this forum.
And don't be rude.
Regards,
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:17 am

Joe wrote:I guess I'm on the fence here. Certainly JLL had hit a brick wall commercially by the end of the decade. Had he continued to ply his old hits with the odd experiment, it's unlikely that he would've risen any higher than the oldies circuits which began in earnest in the late-60s. Kennedy and others, in steering JLL toward hardcore country, afforded JLL not only commercial success but, figuratively-speaking, clothes that fit better (stylistically and aesthetically) imo. And he wore them well.

However, Peter's point is well-taken; JLL certainly experimented less after '68, but he was required to be more artistically conservative by the standards of the country audience he was actively and enthusiastically courting. Catch-22. There aren't many popular music artists—esp from JLL's generation—who can experiment robustly and retain consistent chart success. I've always thought that mass commercial success comes at a price: at the same time one's elevated, he/she has fewer options for personal expression.



I agree. And compared to other country artists of Jerry's generation - I think JLL stretched himself quite a bit, with different, unique approaches to well known songs. He was fearless in at least attempting to put his own stamp on songs, which is why I was attracted to him.

The only other country artist I can think of who stretched himself and kept having hits is Marty Robbins. He could sing it all - and well.
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Postby mildred » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:25 am

[quote="Tim in St. Louis]I think JLL stretched himself quite a bit, with different, unique approaches to well known songs. He was fearless in at least attempting to put his own stamp on songs[/quote]


He sure did!!! (except that I would've left out "attempting")

Amazing.

Yeah, 1968 was a very good thing, in my opinion.
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