The old saying really is true. “Life is like a roll of toilet paper — the closer one’s life is to being over, the faster it unrolls.” And, boy, 2013 seemed to just fly by for me!
Each year at this time, I always enjoy looking back upon the past year in music, taking a look at the good, the sad and the ugly that’s happened in music over the past 12 months.
As it happens every year in music, 2013 was another good year for the music industry. For the past couple of years and this year in particular, the trend seems be that explicit, vulgar rap music is seeing a continuing decline in popularity. (It’s still being produced, of course, with lyrics that would make your grandmother roll over in her grave, but at least the number of songs containing profanity is trending downward.)
This past year saw the Billboard charts dominated by pop, rock, adult contemporary and country music. R&B/Pop/Rock artist, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” a great dance hit, led the way by staying on top of the Hot 100 chart for 11 consecutive weeks. Right behind, with nine weeks at No. 1, was the song “Royals,” by 17-year-old New Zealand newcomer Ella Yelich-O’Connor, more popularly known as her recording name Lorde.
The newcomer country duo, Florida Georgia Line, topped the country chart with its more-rock-than-country hit “Cruise” for 19 weeks, a feat that hadn’t been seen since Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By” in 1961.
And more good was that crossover artist, Taylor Swift, continues to be as popular as ever, as evidenced by her recent selection as artist of the year at the 2013 American Music Awards.
Sadly, this past year we said goodbye to artists Annette Funicello (“Tall Paul”), Eydie Gorme (“Blame it on the Bossa Nova”) and the Andrews Sisters’ Patty Andrews (“Rum and Coca-Cola”).
Also, we lost country artists Slim Whitman (“Indian Love Call”), Mindy McCready (“Guys do it all the Time”) and George Jones (“Tender Years”). And just this past week, famed country singer Ray Price (“For the Good Times”) passed away from pancreatic cancer.
They will certainly be missed.
Miley Cyrus. Enough said.
This week’s question
This week’s question looks back a half-century to 1963. That year, a young artist named Jimmy Gilmer and his band, from Raton, N.M., took pop music by storm with their hit “Sugar Shack,” which topped the charts for five weeks and went on to earn the distinction as record of the year.
This week’s question is: What was the name of Gilmer’s band? Was it A) The Crickets, B) The Comets, C) The Juniors, or D) The Fireballs?
If you are the fifth caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or genre. Good luck!
Last week’s question
Last week’s question asked if you could name the year Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was recorded and released?
The choices were A) 1952, B) 1963, C) 1974, or D) 1985.
The correct answer was 1963. The heyday of Williams’ career spanned from 1957, with his No. 1 hit, “Butterfly” to 1964, with his last top-20 hit, “A Fool Never Learns.”
Congratulations to last week’s first-time music trivia winner, Barbra White, who says this was an easy question for her as Andy Williams’ song was her mother’s all-time favorite Christmas song.
Barbra was born and spent her early childhood in Brentwood, N.Y. When she was 10, her family moved to Florida.
Following high school, Barbra landed a job at Disney World as an amusement ride attendant, then spent a number of years working for the organization in a variety of different capacities.
In the early 1990s, Barbra pulled up stakes and moved her family to the Valley. After 10 years of enduring the blistering summers in the Valley of the Sun, she decided another move was in order and relocated to Payson. Her son, Mario, attends Rim Country Middle School and her daughter, Isabella, goes to Julia Randall Elementary School. She also has two grown children living in Payson.
Barbra currently works for the Payson-based W.I.C. (Women, Infants and Children) program as a community health assistant, which provides programs and assistance to pregnant and new mothers and children up to 5 years old.
When she’s not working and taking care of her children, Barbra says she loves to spend time in the world of photography. “One of my favorite things to do is to take a long, slow drive along Road 300, on the top of the Rim, and capture the panoramic beauty of the area,” she said.
As for her taste in music, Barbra said, “I really enjoy all genres, except country music, but particularly enjoy smooth jazz and disco.” Her three favorite artists are jazz artists Richard Elliott and Candy Dulfer and the adult contemporary group Train.
Happy New Year!
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482, Web site: www.djcraiginpayson.com