At this time of year more than 40 years ago, I began my senior year of high school. I have been thinking about that academic year since writing this post.
As one would know if they read the comments (and you should!), David Banner (not his real name) and I attended the same high school. More than that, we were in the same class, or section as our school called them, all eight semesters. Anyway, here is a picture of my class in my senior year of high school, when I thought more about cars than about sports, which meant I thought A LOT about cars.
Trying to be as objective as possible, this was an extraordinary group of high school students. The average SAT score of the entire class was 1300, in the days when the maximum score was 1600.
One person in this class is the COO of a large energy company. At least two people became doctors, “David Banner” being one of them. I don’t know the exact number, but I do know this class produced multiple Ph.D. awardees.
Then, of course, there’s me. Although all of these facts have glanced off the collective skull of the world, I am a pioneer of sports analytics, one of the fathers of “Moneyball.” I wrote a book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written. Of course, that review will get me breakfast at McDonald’s, as long as I also have six dollars.
In these posts I have often looked longingly at my childhood as a time when almost anything seemed possible. That still seemed true to me as I graduated from high school.
How many of you are aware of BMI? No, I’m not talking about Body Mass Index. I mean Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) They are one of the major performing rights companies in the United States. BMI collects license fees from businesses that use music on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed.
In order to know how much to collect and to distribute, BMI collects data on how often specific songs have been broadcast/performed on TV and radio. According to BMI, what was the most performed song of the 20th century? I have long thought that “Yesterday” by the Beatles was the answer. I was wrong, but not by much. From the linked story, here are the Top Ten and their composers:
|1.||You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’||Barry Mann, Phil Spector, Cynthia Weil|
|2.||Never My Love||Donald & Richard Addrisi|
|3.||Yesterday||John Lennon & Paul McCartney|
|4.||Stand By Me||Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller|
|5.||Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You||Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio|
|6.||Sitting on the Dock of the Bay||Steve Cropper & Otis Redding|
|7.||Mrs. Robinson||Paul Simon|
|8.||Baby, I Need Your Loving||Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland & Eddie Holland|
|9.||Rhythm of the Rain||John Gummoe|
|10.||Georgia on My Mind||Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorrell|
In 2009, Phil Spector was convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson and given a sentence of 19 years to life, but that’s another story. So, according to BMI how many times was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” performed? More than eight million…
As I have written before, I strongly believe that the phrase “current American music” is an oxymoron. Am I just an old fogy? As time progresses it doesn’t follow that everything progresses. No human being is perfect and no endeavor of human beings is perfect. New paradigms can be, and often are, severely flawed.
Going back even further in time than my senior year of high school…
From oldparkedcars.com a picture of a 1961 Buick Skylark convertible. The link above is to a Hemmings story about the introduction of General Motors’ first compacts, the Y-Body cars introduced in 1961. These cars were the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans, Buick Special/Skylark and Oldsmobile F85/Cutlass.
Like the hashtag reads, so many cars just one life.
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