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October 1, 2008 - Meg Alexander
The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra is coming to Fairmont Oct. 3, and since I cover the Fairmont Opera House, I had the task of interviewing the orchestra director, Larry O'Brien. I think he was a bit surprised I had heard of the group and was more surprised to know I was familiar (and fond) of their music. For many of my peers, listening to the classics means Nirvana, or maybe back to the '80s with Guns 'n Roses, or even further back to the '70s and the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Rolling Stones ... And of course, there's the '60's and the ever-popular Beatles. And yes, yes, I like all of the above, but when I think of the classics, I go wayyyyy back, before my time, before my parents' time. We didn't listen to much rock 'n roll in my house growing up. We had a record player and an 8-track and Barbra Streisand was my favorite. Yes, I was a strange little girl. My parents missed the hippie boat by a few years, and rock wasn't appealing to them, not once The Beatles entered the scene and things got weird, my mother would say. But my parents do love music. They were always singing, often hymns and the real old-time classics that will (hopefully) outlast most of what's heard on the radio today. As a teenager and even a young adult, I have to confess there were times I wished my parents were cooler, that they had come from the hippie generation, with stories about Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin ... even The Eagles. But looking back (now that I'm almost 30) I realize I came to appreciate all those musicians on my own. And though my parents would cringe listening to most (maybe all) the bands I love, I owe them a big thanks for an amazing gift that will last a lifetime, as well as a musical repertoire that spans several generations. And if I had the time ... or the money, I would be all over hearing "In the Mood" from a live band of such a high caliber. As Larry O'Brien said, "The appeal of the music is timeless. .... It's music that's designed to make everybody jiggle a little bit." What's not to love about that?
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