Music without words. Is that possible anymore?
Today’s music consists mainly of light rock, heavy metal and rap. It would be hard to do rat-a-tat rap music without words like “Ho’s in the hood” or rock music without a pounding beat and an echo chamber for the soloist.
But Boomers remember when there was great music, and no words whatsoever. We called them “Instrumentals.”
Theme From a Summer Place, Autumn Leaves, Moonglow, Ebb Tide, Sail Along, Theme From the Apartment, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Sentimental Journey, Telstar, Canadian Sunset, Exodus, Theme from the Love Story, Moonlight Serenade, The High and the Mighty, More, Poor People of Paris, The Entertainer, Stranger on the Shore, Lara’s Theme, and Speak Softly Love (Godfather).
And then there was Henry Mancini’s brilliant work. Lie many of the songs above, most of his songs ended up with words, but the music itself was the stuff of stand-alone beauty: songs like Moon River from
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Days of Wine and Roses, Arabesque and Dear Heart.
Boomers also recall instrumentals that weren’t necessarily love songs. Some were catchy instrumentals like Bill Doggett’s Honky Tonk; Walk Don’t Run by the Ventures; Herb Alpert’s Lonely Bull, A Taste of Honey, and What Now My Love. Duane Eddy had Rebel Rouser and the Ventures recorded Wipe Out. Good stuff, one and all.
One of the great instrumentals of that time actually had one word, and it was one of the few songs I knew every word to. It was Tequila by The Champs.
Those were good days and some great music. Even without words.