love you too. It did say "perhaps". it did not say "unequivocally" or "unparalleled". I'll give you all those names and probably a few more, but you can't argue that Burt deserves his spot at the top of that list. not only in terms of output and influence but also in the hits department!
Posted by deeselig at July 29, 2008 6:39 PM
I was being a little tongue in cheek, but Dan, the point is that while Burt deserves a spot in a list of big 20th-century pop figures, I don't think there's any question that he's very very far from "the top."
But he's certainly the single most important figure in 20th-century popular music who's playing Pop Montreal this year, I agree!
Posted by zoilus at July 29, 2008 7:35 PM
Is he, Carl? Wire are responsible for... Um... Elastica... and... Menswe@r...
Why do we like Wire, even?
Posted by Matt Collins at July 30, 2008 7:46 PM
I all seriousness, though- you rank Benny Goodman in your list, but leave Duke Ellington and Count Basie out altogether?
Posted by Matt Collins at July 30, 2008 7:59 PM
oh just realized. you forgot Stevie Wonder. Blasphemer!
Posted by deeselig at July 30, 2008 8:02 PM
"I all seriousness, though- you rank Benny Goodman in your list, but leave Duke Ellington and Count Basie out altogether?"
Not looking very hard, are you Matt? Duke's 2nd in Carl's list.
And we like Wire because Wire are good (were great), not for those who copied there sound (btw. influence is surely more than the obvious copying of sound. Mike Watt rates Wire's two first records among the Minutemen's biggest influences).
Posted by Chris M at July 31, 2008 6:40 AM
Whoops- though I am tempted to suggest Carl was more influenced by Steve Allen's Benny Goodman than Benny Goodman himself.
As well, Chris, for those of us who were there, Elastica is not so easily forgivable.
Posted by Matt Collins at July 31, 2008 11:06 AM
I wasn't making a list of musicians who were influential on *me*, Matt - just influential broadly speaking. I realize that naming a white jazz musician in that list can be a contentious thing, but "the king of Swing" was *the* leader of the big-band movement through the '30s and '40s (partly due to racist radio/stage structures obviously); was the one to bring jazz to Carnegie Hall, thus challenging the high/low divide in American culture (and he invited members of the Ellington and Basie bands to guest there); integrated his band a decade before baseball got integrated, a quarter-century before the civil-rights movement; hired the likes of Gene Krupa, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Christian, Harry James, etc; inspired the Jitterbug; and was one helluva clarinet player.
He was also a bit of a prick in his later years, but I think the case for his historical importance is pretty solid.
Posted by zoilus at July 31, 2008 3:16 PM
I'd put leonard cohen as well as leonard bernstein down on the list. sure, he is already a montrealer, so he would technically be a local, but even so he would still be a bigger draw than bacharach AND david put together. (not quite sure if that even makes sense but it might). another omission would be jimi hendrix cause he was obviously more important than burt bacharach. ray davies also. maybe goffin-king. but the list ends there. bacharach was pretty darn great: his dad bert [not sic] wrote some important works on men's etiquette, kinda like emily post but cooler.
Posted by marco at August 2, 2008 7:53 PM
Runaway hyperbole is the publicist's friend.
I mean, clearly!
And "perhaps" is such a friendly, lenient, permissive word.
(Patti Smith, Johnny Rotten, Brian Wilson, James Jamerson, Walter Page, Baby Dodds, Irving Berlin, Mother Maybelle Carter, Sister Rosetta Tharpe . . . [mutter mutter mutter] . . . )
Posted by john at August 2, 2008 11:51 PM