Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Marking the decline of fashion ... and fashion music

fredastaire.jpg
Puttin on the Ritz

Fashion never goes out of style, and popular music has always provided the sonic accessory. From “Buttons and Bows” to “Chantilly Lace," musicians love to sing about fashions, but arguably there has been a decline in the looks — and the music.

It doesn’t get any classier than Fred Astaire in top hat and tails, so let’s start there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFabjc6mFk4

Some say the decline of fashion coincided with the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. We won’t dispute that, and here’s Carl Perkins for the prosecution:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79CJON8fv6c

Another example of fashion – and rock ‘n’ roll going down the tawdry path of decadence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYKlYA77ZI4

The latest and most obvious example of the decline of fashion, and a viral (8 million + hits) song to go with it. This is General Larry Pratt and “Pants on the Ground”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMwhl4IrPNc

Every week on “Record bin Roulette,” KPLU’s John Kessler and John Maynard put an insightful and fun spin on a century's worth of discarded vinyl. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Thursday during Morning Edition, All Things Considered and on Weekend Saturday Edition.

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KNKX since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KNKX “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.
John Maynard started working in radio in the seventies as a DJ at Seattle’s KJR AM which at the time was the dominant AM station in the Seattle market. After a brief stint as a restaurateur and night club owner, Maynard returned to radio with Robin Erickson, creating the hugely popular “Robin and Maynard Show.” In the more than 20 years under that marquee, Maynard flew with the Blue Angels, piloted the Goodyear Blimp, sang with Donny Osmond and hung out in a Universal Studios bar with Kojak (Telly Savalas).