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In Defense Of Schlock Music: Why We Love/Hate It

WBUR
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New York Magazine and Vulture.com music critic Jody Rosen defends the kind of over-the-top, sentimental songs that Journey, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel and Prince made famous. He writes, “Schlock, at its finest, is where bad taste becomes great art.”

Rosen talks to Here & Now’s Robin Young about how the tendency towards schlock goes way back in American popular music.

Recent Pieces By Jody Rosen:

What’s your favorite “schocky” song? Tell us on Facebook or in the comments.

Songs Heard In This Segment

Steve Perry sings “Open Arms” live with Eels in June 2014

[Youtube]

Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’”

[Youtube]

“Danny Boy,” sung by The Irish Tenors

[Youtube]

Stephen Foster’s “The Old Folks At Home,” sung by Paul Robeson

[Youtube]

“My Mammy,” sung by Al Jolson

[Youtube]

Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now,” 2000 re-recording, sung by Joni Mitchell

[Youtube]

Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow,” live at Carnegie Hall in 1961

[Youtube]

George Jones, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

[Youtube]

Ray Charles, “America The Beautiful”

[Youtube]

Katy Perry, “Roar”

[Youtube]

Lionel Richie, “Hello”

[Youtube]

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, “My Endless Love”

[Youtube]

Prince, “Purple Rain”

[Youtube]

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