I admire Britannica for doing more online, especially now that the entire world is literally conspiring together to put the encyclopedia publisher out of business. But if it keeps blogging nonsense like Robert McHenry‘s post today, they get everything they deserve. McHenry is the former editor-in-chief of the encyclopedia—-surely the job of a fearsomely intelligent man—-and he’s careful to insulate his assertions with an admission that he doesn’t keep up. But still: “It seems as though sometime in the 1950s the golden age of songwriting came to a quiet close.”
And worse: “Surely one of the primary reasons that the Beatles hold such an eminent place among contemporary popular musicians is that they, meaning chiefly John Lennon and Paul McCartney, had a strong sense of melody and wrote songs that could be played, sung, and listened to with pleasure by others.”
It’s been a rough go, lo this many decades after Let It Be, finding music that can be “listened to with pleasure,” but somehow we’ve muddled through.