The Public Eye

printed 01/31/2020

And this year’s Grammy for the Best Song in B-Flat Minor on a Clarinet Carved by the Amazonian Leaf People goes too …

Walking away from the Grammys without picking up at least one of the 84 awards must be like standing in line for five hours at a smorgasbord and then discovering everything’s gone except the creamed turnips.

So much for the old days when, on television’s American Bandstand generations ago, dancers would offer simpler critiques of songs to host Dick Clark by saying, “Well, Dick, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”

In today’s Grammy world, if Dick was still alive — and he could be, for all I know — he’d ask dancers what they thought about a song and they’d say, “Well, Dick, this just might be the best hyper-local roots music from Denton, Maryland ever played on a toilet paper tube flute. And it has a good beat and you can dance to it.”

For younger people who don’t know who Dick Clark was, he began as the host of a television dance program in the 1950s at 27 years of age. He went on to host the New Year’s Eve TV show, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, where he continued to be 27 for the next 50 years or so.

Theoretically, he died in 2012, although some say he’s really just in storage regenerating his skin and should be back on the move in a year or so.

When he does return, he would find a Grammys list with, once again, 84 categories, from top pop (ewwwwww, says the boomer) down to the award for who can hold a single note the longest while singing underwater in their neighbor’s bathtub.

Obviously, all the nominees have more musical ability than I. At least that’s my surmise, as even though I sing my own compositions around the house all the time — “You Are A Robin … and I’ve Got The Worms” is one of my good ones — the household music critic invariably asks, “Why do all your ‘originals’ sound like the Oscar Mayer Wiener song?” Which is true.

My forte, apparently, is writing lyrics, as in “Ed the Dog,” which is, of course, sung to the standard wiener melody — “Ed the dog, he is my little buddy, he’s amusing and he’s quite the little card; we go out and get all dirty-muddy, and then we both do something funny in the yard.”

Okay, maybe that wouldn’t qualify for inclusion in the Grammys, but it shouldn’t be long until the Recording Academy comes up with a sub-bracket for that kind of music.

“And the nominees for Songs about Small Dogs Sung to the Oscar Mayer Jingle are …”

And there I’d be, on stage, surrounded by performers whose primary dance moves were not learned in Sunday school, indicating, as others did throughout the night, that it was not so much a dance production, as it was dance of reproduction. Not that I’m against that sort of thing.

In any case, I didn’t really watch the Grammys, but did catch snippets of it. I went elsewhere when I found out that my favorite category, Comb-and-Tissue Paper Compositions, didn’t make the cut this year.

But there’s always next year. And maybe, just maybe, Dick Clark will host.

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