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November 19, 2011

Time for some oldies

Lee Pockriss, the composer of the 1960 hit song Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland, has died at the age of 81.

This was one of the many silly songs that became hits in that 'beach party' period before rock-and-roll really took off. Pockriss also wrote the much better song Catch a Falling Star which became a hit for Perry Como in 1957.

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Comments

"Itsy Bitsy" is trite and inane, but it's better than the "Thong Song". And I disagree with you that "rock-and-roll really took off". The early 1960s were the beginning of corporate rock, of mass production music for mass consumption.

I don't miss "bubblegum music", but what I do miss is instrumental music. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, groups didn't need a singer, a face or an image to have a hit. It was just like Jazz in the 1940s and 1950s, an instrumental could stand up to and be as popular as a pop or vocal song.

Back in 1989 when Joe Satriani's "Surfing With The Alien" was out, it was the first all-instrumental album since the 1960s to hit the Billboard mainstream charts. There hasn't been another since.

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Posted by P Smith on November 20, 2011 10:31 AM