Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mills Brothers - When Cool Never Postured

Sometime, along the way to today, talent and professionalism got masked with pretense. Whether it happens to be a strutting, pouting, skeletal woman jamming her way along a fashion run-way, an NFL receiver spiking the football in the end zone and dancing like he had been nailed with Tazer, an academic goof sneering at his students, or some pretentious rock and roller mouthing political platitudes instead of paying attention to the three chords and hook, we have allowed the icon to replace the talent. Cool can't be airbrushed, dubbed over and is never manufactured, much less purchased. It is a simple recognition of God's talents loaned for a while and their ability to bring happiness to others.

The Mills Brothers performed within the vortex of Jim Crow America - a mere bag of shells to these men. The Mills Brothers, like jazz pianist Errol Garner and NFL legend Gale Sayers, put it all on field. They took very simple tunes and lyrics, often considered square, and wove a Baroque with full respect for their audience and the song itself. That's cool.

Here's a whole bunch of Cool - fifty years of it 1930's - 1980's

No sneering, no pouting,no irony and no non-sense - all business and that's Cool.


Jim Bowman said...

Yes. Whispering Grass: The trees don't need to know.

Java Jive: I love coffee, I love tea . . .

Wonderful stuff: our first record as a family, Xmas 1939 or so, before the brothers went to war. On our first Victrola.

Dennis Byrne... said...

And an appearance in 1970 at the officer's club at Naval Air Station Olathe, Kansas. I guess they'd play anywhere where good music was appreciated.