How TV Influenced My Life, Music, Romance

How TV Influenced my life, music, romance.

I wrote that note probably a month or two before pulling it out of my book to sit down and write about it.

When I wrote the note I was thinking about the influence television had on me.  For instance, without the Beatles being on the Ed Sullivan Show would music had been such a huge influence in my life?  Probably so but then the question would be what type of music?

The Beatles took me down the road to rock and roll.

What if my early big influential act would have been Hank Williams?  How would that have shaped my musical and life journey?

Through the years I discovered and still discover new influences from all genres and eras but the Beatles were the ones who started me down this path.

I also thought about romance and love and how sexually repressed the shows were in the sixties when compared to what my eleven year old grandson is exposed to today.

Sex was for the marital bed and I was well into my adolescence believing that’s what all the girls thought.

That was probably a good thing.

Television did play up the romance in those days. Sex or any blatant innuendo about sex was a no no unless you stayed up past the eleven o’clock news.  So I grew up with a notion that romance was a large part of a relationship and that has served me well over my life.

I learned the joy of romance not only with women but with life.

Anyway that’s what I was thinking about when I wrote the note, “How TV influenced my life, music, romance.”

Then a few days before I wrote this piece something made me think about Captain Kangaroo.  I was trying to remember the Captain’s real name, which was Bob Keeshan, and I wanted to make sure I spelled it correctly.

I Googled it and found some videos clips from Captain Kangaroo.

The first video I watched was in color.  I didn’t remember the show being in color when I watched it.  But we only had a black and white TV for a number of years when I was growing up.

As I watched the opening credits I didn’t recall the animation or the theme music.  It was more contemporary music from the time.  It was folksy, early seventies type music.

(This isn’t the Captain Kangaroo I remember, check out Bruce, I mean Caitlyn.)

I realized this wasn’t the Captain Kangaroo I watched.  I thought the theme song was corny and I wouldn’t have watched a show with such a corny theme song when I was a teenager in the early seventies.  To be honest I wouldn’t have watched  or at least admitted to still watching Captain Kangaroo when I was a teenager, corny music or not.

I continued to search for black and white videos from the early sixties.

I found one and as soon as the lush strings started the theme music I instantly remembered their refrain of the show I watched almost every day.  I watched it at my grandmother’s house in the morning as I was waiting for the school bus to arrive.

(This is the Captain Kangaroo I remembered.)

I loved the theme song, the rich sound of strings.

Then it dawned on me.  Here’s another way that TV has influenced my life.

When I write songs, one of my favorite sounds to work with is the strings.  Strings can add such emotion to any song.

I think I learned this and developed my love and appreciation for strings from my early days of watching TV.

From the Captain Kangaroo theme song to the romantic scenes in the old movies and old syndicated TV shows I watched after school.  There was no sexy porn like sax music just romantic, emotional strings and entire orchestras.

Even the old Warner Bros. Looney Tunes, Disney and Hanna Barbera cartoons had strings and orchestral music.  I’m talking about in the days when they used actual artists to draw and paint each and every frame and hired composers to score the cartoon and brought in orchestras to record the sound track.

(Check out this Merry Melodies ode to Strauss.  These cartoons introduced me to the great sounds of classical music.  I watched these cartoons after school at my grandmother’s house and Saturday mornings at my house.)

All of this great lush music was subconsciously placed into my head, strings, emotionally charged music, quality music.

I remember years ago someone told me that when musicians say something like “oh these people don’t know what good music is”, those musician are full of shit.  People are exposed to quality music every day.  They hear it constantly on TV and in movies.  The soundtracks for shows and their theme songs, the music licensed for commercials, are all done by professionals.

The masses might not be able to tell you why it’s good but they know when it’s good because they have a pretty high standard for a reference point.

Anyway TV really has influenced my life, at least the TV from the sixties my formative childhood years.

Nowadays I don’t watch a lot of TV.  As I get older nothing much interests me on TV.  Maybe a few comedy shows, some sporting events (hockey) and when I’m flipping around some classic movies or favorite shows from my formative years.

By the way was Mr. Green Jeans really Frank Zappa’s dad?


© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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