The More Things Change . . .

I was reading about “Poptimism” when I ran across this two year old remark in which Saul Austerlitz calls music critics to task for adopting teenage pop taste:

“But should gainfully employed adults whose job is to listen to music thoughtfully really agree so regularly with the taste of 13-year-olds?”

I couldn’t help but think of Mitch Miller’s 1958 speech in which he castigated disc jockeys for pandering to teenage pop taste:

“You carefully built yourselves into the monarchs of radio and then you went and abdicated — abdicated your programming to the corner record shop; to the eight to fourteen-year-olds; to the pre-shave crowd that makes up twelve percent of the country’s population and zero percent of its buying power, once you eliminate pony tail ribbons, popsicles, and peanut brittle [and records?].”

Of course, teenage pop in 1958 was the rock ‘n’ roll against which so many “rockists” find contemporary pop lacking.


Miller, M. (1958, June-July).  To the disc jockeys,–with love.  Music Journal, pp. 18-19, 39.

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