In his prime, Buddy Holly produced some of the most distinctive and influential rock music of the 1950’s. Inspired by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly went from playing at a local roller skating rink in Lubbock, Texas to the top of the billboard charts. Songs like Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day led to his stardom until a 1959 plane crash ended his life before reaching his 23rd birthday. American folk star Don McLean was so touched by this tragedy he wrote the song American Pie in 1971 recounting the day music died in this disaster.
Music was reborn 10 years later on August 1st, 1981 as Music Television first aired in New York City. As cable television went national in the early 1980’s, the art of music was brought back to life through on stage interviews, behind the scenes programs on upcoming album releases and the creation of music videos. During my junior high days, I went to a friends every day after school until 5pm so I could be informed on my favorite groups and their new songs. This was musics second hey day, spawning an entire generation, yet this too would come to pass.
While artists come and go, dying of natural and unnatural causes, the second death of music is more subtle. Some where in the past 30 years, music has been corrupted by sex appeal. In an attempt to hold an audiences’ attention, music videos continue to push the envelope, developing more into a 3-4 minute adult film than a music video. Although must consumers download songs from places like itunes, album covers still exist. Instead of a pissing contest, female musicians appear to be competing in a beauty pageant, seeing who can reveal more of their body without being accused of pornography.
Yes, music in America is on life support, waiting for the next Buddy Holly to rescue it. While Super Bowl half time shows will continue, we need a true leader to arise, saying enough is enough with these wardrobe malfunctions. Doesn’t any artist have some integrity or guts to save lyrics from sexual immorality? God is waiting, like in the days of Ezekiel, for someone to stand in the gap of morality, Ezekiel 22:30. In the words of M.C. Hammer, Pray!
by Jay Mankus
song writer of A Simple Confession, 1994