Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind

The top four, ever

I've written here several times (beginning in 2001) about the four all-time favorite pop songs of my lifetime, but I've only recently discovered that all four of them are now available as video shorts on YouTube. In fact, most of them are available in more than one video format, as subscribers to YouTube create their own pictorial presentations to accompany their favorite songs. In other cases, what's available is the original video released when the song was, to promote it on venues like MTV. Here, in their chronological order (as I recall it, but as three of the four were hits in 1959, it's anyone's guess), are my favorites. (Click the play button to begin the play.)

Tragedy, a number five hit on the Billboard Top 100 for 1959, was recorded by Thomas Wayne and the DeLons, and written by Gerald H. Nelson and Fred B. Burch. A cover version of it by the Fleetwoods in 1961 made it to number 10 on the charts.

True Love Ways, Buddy Holly. Though recorded in 1958, the record was not released until after Holly's tragic death in a plane crash in the winter of 1959. It was co-written by Holly and his record producer, Norman Petty. Though this video is a bit slow on the uptake (the music doesn't begin until the third or fourth photo), it's my favorite video of those available because of the images it brings together.

Mr. Blue, the Fleetwoods, also 1959. This was the Fleetwoods' second hit, after Come Softly To Me, another unforgettable song earlier the same year. Mr. Blue was written by DeWayne Blackwell.

The One You Love, Glenn Frey, 1982. I jokingly say this is not only the best song released in 1982, it has never been surpassed since. Frey, one of the Eagles, was also the writer of this song.

Why do I favor these above all others? The easy answer for these particular songs, I suspect, is just that these four are much easier to memorize (by lyrics) than most other songs. Their rendering is crystal clear, But why this kind of music? That may be a topic worth revisiting.

I hope at least one of these has plucked one of your heartstrings.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy



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— C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

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Jon Kennedy's latest book is The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, now in stores, from Adams Media, F&W Publications. From May 9, 2007 through July 2, 2008 his blog entries or "Jonals" were articles inspired by readings in Lewis's work that didn't fit into the book. Click here for a list of all articles in the C.S. Lewis Overflow series. The book is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and is also available on Amazon.

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