Wake Up Little Susie isn't the Everly Brothers' finest song - it can't hold a candle to Walk Right Back or Let It Be Me, for example - but I did think it was fairly recognisable to most people as being Don and Phil's work. How wrong I was. As part of last night's pub quiz, I played the opening bars of the tune, including vocals, and not a single team identified it correctly. At first, I was very surprised and then, after thinking about it a bit later, I was surprised that I'd been surprised.
The truth is, music doesn't really mean very much to most people these days. Consequently, why should anyone be expected to recognise a song which is more than sixty years old?
It wasn't always thus. When records were precious commodities and people used to queue around the block to buy their favourite band's latest release, many a conversation would be held into the wee small hours about seminal bass lines and the relative merits of double-tracked backing vocals. Occasionally, you'd meet blokes at parties who'd want to discuss Van der Graaf Generator bootlegs and rarities (NB - rarities are rare for a reason: they're not very good) but they were usually bald and wearing tank tops so you could spot them a mile off and keep an appropriate distance throughout the evening.
No, mostly it was simple, interesting fayre about chart songs and albums and who played what on what.
These days, thanks in no small part to X Idolly Voice Factor type programmes, most people think there are only three songs that exist in the whole wide world and that two of them are Hallelujah. Plus, unless the singer has got a woefully tragic back story involving an orphanage and a club foot, nobody's remotely interested in what they actually sound like. Not to worry, though, I have a solution to this complex and rather dispiriting problem.
For anything to be considered precious it has to be, by definition, difficult to find. To this end, I'm going to record a song and then make only one copy of it.
This is bound to cause a media sensation, and its value will soar exponentially with every day that passes, as it lies in a safe in an undisclosed location, under round-the-clock surveillance.
The only question remaining, then, is which song to choose for the experiment. Come to think of it, Wake Up Little Susie should do the trick - nobody's heard of it anyway.