Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art that Spans Generations

For the 4th of July, my family attended a local fireworks show / concert. This year’s headliners: The Beach Boys. (And seriously, who doesn’t love the Beach Boys? What’s more American than that?)

I’ve seen the Beach Boys before. In fact, I saw them at this same exact show a number of years ago. They have the kind of sound that makes people stand up and dance and sing at the top of their lungs, even if they don’t know all the words.

There was this guy a couple rows down. He had to be forty-five-ish, at least. But as soon as the band started to play, he whooped, and hollered, and jumped out of his seat to belt out the songs. And yes, he definitely danced, even when his kids got in the way.

Between songs, my teenage son turned to me and said, “This is the kind of music that will never go out of style. It’s classic. Why don’t they make music like this anymore?”

My first response was to point out that we were at a concert, so obviously someone still did make this exact music (notwithstanding the fact that the band members are in their 70’s ish). But then I thought about popular radio play these days, and wondered what songs and which groups will be considered classics when my grandchildren are teenagers.

I often have similar wonders about books and other literature.

I have fond memories of stories by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Those are the classics I grew up with. The stories that stuck with me. The art that carved out a piece of my soul and reshaped it. There were others, of course. I loved to read as a kid. But when I think of personal childhood classics, those are the first to pop into my brain.

In the age of technology, when there are thousands of books to choose from, and kids can buy them with the click of a button, I’m wondering which ones they will remember most when they’re grown.

And I have to admit, I kind of hope that someday, one of them will be mine.

For your enjoyment, this is the 1963 version.

1 comment:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've wondered the same. Harry Potter is a given. Most others have a short shelf life. Maybe it's because there are so many choices these days. Even a good book can only stay in the spotlight for so long.