I originally began this section of the WHS'62 by asking the class to name me their top 10 favorite songs of the era. What I received was 100 different songs for only 10 people. It was then that I realized that of all the things common to our class, music was the one that EVERYBODY related to.. whether it was to listen to, sing along with, dance to, or perform. However, it was also the most diverse thing we had in common Therefore this section of the website was the most difficult to do, especially if it was to really reflect our class. To add insult to injury, the musical styles and types changed considerably from 1950 to 1962... and it seems our class enjoyed them ALL!
Before we get started on specific songs, let's look at what was happening technically with music during this time, because it had a great influence on music as a whole, world-wide as well as Waxahachie. I'll try to do them in order to help show ther impact as a progressive thing:
Automobile Radios - now you could listen to music on the go. With America and especially its youth becoming mobile and able to listen to music, it began to follow us around.
45 RPM Records - For the first time, you could buy music one record at a time. The older 33 1/3 was reserved for albums. You could now buy just the specific song you liked at a price you almost could afford. It also meant that "One-Hit-Wonders" could become rich too. Now music became $$$. The recording industry was turned upside down. Record collections replaced doll and comic book collections for the affluent baby-boom growth in the number of the world's youths.
Transister Radios - Now you could take the music any where, any time! And that we did.
HI-FI (High Fidelity) - The sound quality to a tremendous leap with hi-fi. Now you could really hear the nuances of the artist and the music.
STEREO - Now when you listened to music it was as if you were sitting in front of the artist and surrouded by the band or orchestra.
TV - Now, not only could you hear the singers, you could watch them. Looks and presentation became extremely important. Dance shows, like American Bandstand, became popular to not only feature the artists but to show the various dancing styles associated with the music.
Bottom line... the unattractive "Crooner" with the perfect pitched, beautiful voice singing a ballad telling a story, but just standing there with no stage presence gave way to the "Cute Kids" singing songs that made no sense but were "catchy" while using the stage as a visual stimulus. So much so that we called it.....ROCK & ROLL! BUT, it was "Our" music and we could "Feel" it and that's what counted. Most of our class can name the songs of the 50's-60's after hearing the first 4 notes.... so obviously we listened a lot...