Although I'm no expert in the history of modern music, I'd bet a pair of blue suede shoes that you could draw a direct line from 1960's Pop Idol Neil Sedaka to 21st Century Rapper Eminem. I base this on the belief that the present is inexorably influenced by what came before it. Look - they're both songwriter/performers who sing songs about their girlfriends. Isn't that proof enough?
Anyway, for those of you who do not know, Neil Sedaka (who celebrates his 70th birthday on March 13th) is a Brooklyn-born pop singer, songwriter and pianist who had a string of top 10 hits in the late 50's and early 60's. As with many American pop stars of the era, he was a casualty of the British Invasion. In addition to the songs he wrote for himself, he penned hits for Connie Francis, The Monkees, The 5th Dimension, Frankie Valli, The Carpenters and Elvis. He had a resurgence in the mid-70's with two #1 hits (Laughter in the Rain and Bad Blood) and he wrote the Captain and Tennille's # 1 hit Love Will Keep Us Together. He continues to write, record and perform and he appeared as a celebrity judge during American Idol's second season.
Why am I writing about Neil Sedaka? Well, I happened to have come across a wonderfully kitschy video of his 1960 hit Calendar Girl and I couldn't resist sharing it. The timing seems to be slightly out of synch, but you can still enjoy the video in all it's technicolor wonder. At 2:20 is it just me or is Neil looking up the skirt of the girl dancing on his piano?
Neil's got some pretty cool dance moves, doesn't he?
More Sedaka goodness - his 1962 # 1 hit Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (in 1976 he recorded a slower-tempo version that reached #8 making him the second artist to reach the Billboard Top 10 twice with different versions of the same song).