05 March 2009

If You Like Pina Coladas... or American Idol

This is controversial to some (and well accepted by millions) but I am a fan of American Idol. So what? I understand the contestants aren't Ella Fitzgerald or Robert Plant or any other iconic singer you can think of but I adore their charisma. Some of these cats have emotions seeping out of all their pores and the rawness can't be denied. Although one of my favorites - Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell - is long gone, there are still some classics like the crying Ricky Ricardo, Jorge Nunez and the wonderfully flamboyant Adam Lambert who fits himself into a Rolling Stones song like a snake burying into a thick bed of grass. They're all rough around the edges but they bring something fresh to songs that may have been otherwise forgotten on a daily basis. It brings me to wondering what kind of impact American Idol and its little minions have on classic music in general.

Whether you like a specific participant's rendition of a song or not, more than likely if you're a fan of the song it will stick with you long after the little kid is voted off. This recently happened to me with several personally long dismissed hits like Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror and Bruce Hornsby's Mandolin Rain, a song I never even realized I liked until it was sang to me by a blind man from somewhere in the midwest. Naturally, I immediately went on iTunes to retrieve these songs and relive them on my headphones. To my surprise I found that iTunes was way ahead of me and already had a genre button for "American Idol Songs by Original Artists".

Well, hmm.

I guess everyone has to get a piece of the pie. It's fun for me to think of Mary J. Blige sitting at home with her husband somewhere in the hills of New Jersey listening to a woman named "Lil' Rounds" sing her songs and get more of a reception - and probably audience - than even she sometimes get. What do these artists think? I'm truly fascinated. Do you think some one hit wonder artists try to get in contact with the contestants or judges and beg for their songs to get some air time? If they haven't already they probably should. Pay Danny Gokey a little on the side to sing the Pina Colada song or something.

Just something to think about.

No comments: