The Oldies Record by Thomas Howard

The Oldies Record

Thomas Howard on the Old Canon That Even Reactionaries Won’t Sing

As a boy, I was never an aficionado of what was then called “the hit parade,” the popular songs that were currently, and briefly, at the top of the list. There was a period, however, during my adolescence when I listened to these songs on the radio with some loose regularity. One program had a little signature ditty at the beginning of which the performers sang, “We’ll sing the old songs, / We’ll sing the new; / We’ll sing the bright songs, / And maybe we’ll sing the blue.”

There were more bright songs in those days (this was the 1940s) than are abroad now. “Cruising Down the R . . .