Since 1954 up to the present, a good 60 years, there were about 6,000 memorable music that had passed through the air and had captured the hearts and minds of a generation. This is to account around 100 musical scores that had achieved quite a following based on the top 100 in the billboard. This is but a conservative production of musical numbers composed and played during the period. I would even venture to say that on the average, there were 200 songs arranged, composed and played on the air every year or a staggering 12,000 compositions in one lifespan.
From the top 100, there was the so called 10 top hits for every year. Or, 600 after six decades. These 600 melodies comprise the so called retro music replayed every now and then expressing nostalgic ambience wherever it is played and heard.
The top ten hits in 1954 were the following:
- Little Things Mean a Lot by Kitty Kallen
- Wanted by Perry Como
- Hey There by Rosemary Clooney
- Sh Boom by Crew Cuts
- Make Love to Me by Jo Stafford
- Oh! My Papa by Eddie Fisher
- I Get so Lonely by The Four Knights
- Three Coins in the Fountain by Four Aces
- Secret Love by Doris Day
- Hernando’s Hideaway by Archie Blever
- Maybellene by Chuck Berry
- Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley
- Tutti Fruit by Little Richard
- Speedo by The Cadillacs
- The Great Pretender by Platters
- At My Front Door by El Dorados
- When You Dance by Turbans
- Ain’t A Shame by Fats Domino
- I Hear You Knockin’ by Smiley Lewis
- Pledging My Love by Johnny Ace
- Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
- Long Tall Sally by Little Richard
- Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley
- Don’t Be Cruel by Elvis Presley
- Be-Bop-A-Lula Gene Vincent
- Roll Over Beethhoven by Churck Berry
- In the Still of the Nite by Five Satins
- Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
- Please, please, please by James Brown
- I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
This was one period when blues and jazz singers would predominate the air waves, when their looks and clothing would become basis for fad and would be cloned. It was a period when mass media and communication began to technologically improve and would reach a greater mass base. Several artists would be benefited in the process and the likes of Chuck Berry, Platters, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash would likewise become the template for style and projection of succeeding musical artists. Rock and roll would become a fad from where modern music would evolve from.
Ten years later, in 1966 the following were heard blaring on radio and in every teen party during the period:
- Good Vibrations by Beach Boys
- Woman Percy Sledge
- Reach Out, I’ll be There by Four Tops
- Gimme Some Lovin by Spencer Davis
- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg by Temptations
- Eight Milies High by Byrds
- For what it’s worth by Buffalo
- Paint it Black by Rolling Stones
- You Keep Me Hangin’ On by Supremes
- Wild Thing by Troggs
Another good ten years later in 1976, the following songs would capture the hearts and minds of a younger generation, the children of the so called baby boomers, the activist generation. During the inclusive period (1966 to 1976), the Beatles predominated the musical landscape and influenced the foundation of musical bands, blending and philosophical treatises as inspiration for lyrics and various experimentation in mixture of blended instruments. It was likewise this period that proved fatal for artists since their inspired pieces were conducted with such mind bending drugs and substance abuses.
Philippine music industry achieved quite a following during this period too. Various local artists would compete with their foreign counterparts and would win in the competition. The birth of OPM or Original Pilipino Music would graduate into the stage of nationalist consciousness. While Martial Law suppressed social consciousness among political lines, music succeeded in bringing to the fore.
- Hotel California by Eagles
- More Than a Feeling by Boston
- Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols
- Dancing Queen by Abba
- The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
- Kapalaran by Rico Puno
- Bato sa Buhangin by Cinderella
- Manila by Hotdogs
- Awitin Mo by VST
- Ako ay Pinoy by Florante and a lot, lot more.
I love retro music if only because it served as background music for the youth during those tumultuous days on school campus, on demonstration camps, in unexplored hills and mountains, in every conceivable corner of the neighbourhood, when youth was youth and life was as exciting and awesome for everyone. It gave color, emotion and significance that defined a specific moment in life.
It served likewise as a time when everything was done manually, when digital instruments were still unheard of, when there were no internet connections, no personal computers, no gadgets that would render holders as dependents to an abnormally fast pace planet of technology; when we could reach out easily to the world.