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The Baby Boomer Generation is a source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 - 1964.

Covering issues on the Boomer Generation including original content for Boomers, bulletin boards, user comments, Sixties and Seventies music, Baby Boomer culture, health and coverage of issues for "Aging Hipsters."
December 1, 2006

Do Boomers Still Dig Rock & Roll Music? What's on Your iPod?

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Do Boomers Still Dig Rock & Roll Music? What's on Your iPod?
Friday, December 1, 2006

When, in preparation for his New York Times article about Boomers and music, Jeff Leeds interviewed me, I started thinking about the way I listen to music today as opposed to back in the day. For the most part I still listen to a lot of what I listened to then--Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Steely Dan, Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, a bit of blues, a lot of Billie Holliday and Ella, a lot of jazz. I haven't bought a current CD by anybody, even old favorites, in the last few years. My last new discoveries were Delbert McClinton who's been around for at least 30 years and Eva Cassidy, who's dead.

For a while I was all about staying current. I liked Counting Crows for a minute and a half when they came out. I like Alannis Morrisette for a day or two. I was quoted in the article saying that if I want to know what's cool, I ask my 22-year old. That's true but it doesn't mean I like much of what I hear. I like some Ween, some Sublime. I've been trying Matis Yahu lately and Gnarls Barkley. But I couldn't tell you what any of them look like, who the personnel is, who's the cool session guy sitting in, or even what their albums are called. These days listening is more like dim sum---a little this, a little that. Its not the same as knowing which Bonnie Raitt albums Freebo played on or that Wayne Shorter played on Steely Dan's Aja.

I'll keep listening for new discoveries and nod towards whats absolutely this minute, but I think my days of laying on the floor between the speakers are over. Billie Holliday will always make me cry when she sings Travellin' Light, Tom Waits will always blow me away with Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis, and I'll always rock out with the Allman Brothers. But I'm pretty sure I haven't been cool for quite a while. And I figure at my age, it's time to get over it.

Just for fun, let's lay it out there. What were the last 10 songs you put on your iPod? Don't go searching your play list for the coolest stuff, just the last 10 you added. Who knows, maybe we can turn each other on to new music or remind ourselves of old favorites. I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours:

1. Delbert McClinton & Danny Gatton--Sun Medley
2. Chris Smither--Frankie & Albert
3. Jet--Are You Gonna Be My Girl?
4. Keb Mo--Shave Yo Legs
5. Matis Yahu-- Chop em Down
6. Dean Friedman--Ariel
7. Drive By Truckers (thank you, Jeff Leeds)--Goddam Lonely Love
8. Johnny Mathis--Chances Are
9. Dirtie Blonde--Walk All Over Me
10. Gnarls Barkley--Gone Daddy Gone

Posted on December 1, 2006 4:29 PM

Print (?)


OK - at the risk of making a complete fool of myself, and to break the ice a little- here's the last ten songs I added to my ipod:

10. Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting For You (because unlike you, I have memories of the 80's)
9. The Reason - Hoobastank (I just like saying Hoobastank)
8. Maybe I - 5 For Fighting
7. Wordplay - Jason Mraz
6. Baby Girl - Sugarland
5. Making Memories of Us - Kieth Urban
4. Alibi - David Gray
3. Settle for a Slowdown - Dierks Bentley
2. Hold Your Head Up - Argent
1. Breathless - Corrine Bailey Rae

Hmmm - it appears I'm a sappy metro-sexual cowboy, but my ipod is still bigger than yours!

Posted by: Pete on November 29, 2006 9:09 PM

10. Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Loving Feeling
9. Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit
8. Steve Earle - Cocaine Cannot Kill My Pain
7. Devo - Jocko Homo
6. The Doors - People Are Strange
5. Godsmack - Serenity
4. Sonny Boy Williamson - Your Funeral My Trial
3. Candide - The Best of All Possible Worlds
2. Acoustic Alchemy - The Earl of Salisbury's Pavane
1. Tom Waits - Road To Peace

Posted by: Michael Dare on December 1, 2006 11:19 AM

Hmmm--the piece from Candide almost trumps my Johnny Mathis in weird-things-we-just-gotta-have. I remember seeing Candide--but don't remember any of the music. I'm a Sondheim buff. Your Tom Waits is more progressive than the stuff I listen to. I think swordfishtrombones was the last straw. I blame it on his wife:) Loved the Linkin Park. I'll have to listen to more of them.

Posted by: jan on December 1, 2006 8:27 PM

Nice post! Especially in the light of the big LOVE debut in Las Vegas.

For the past few years, I've found myself hanging around the house more and more, so haven't aquired an iPod yet. What I have been doing is gradually replacing all those albums that were so loved in the 70's. Recent aquisition:

1) Dave Brubeck-Take 5, OK really from the 60's

2) Blood Sweat & Tears-First Album

3) Santana-The Best of

4) Chicago 3

5)YesSongs--Oh that was a great one!

6)Beatles-Something New-60's again

7)Beatles-Sgt Peppers

8) Stevie Wonder-Songs in the Key of Life

9)Traffic-The Low Spark of High Heel Boys

10) Van Morrison-Moondance

Guess I'm getting up there too. The Gen Xer's music sounds all too canned to me--what we called elevator music in the 70's. But then again, the last time I asked one of my nephews which singers he liked, he responded: "Ella Fitzgerald".

Seems like good taste know no generations!


Posted by: Paula on December 4, 2006 12:26 PM

I love the Eagles, Clearwater Revival, Roger Whitaker, sometimes Do-Wop and have never stopped listening to the incredible Rod Stewart. I have diversified a bit to the unbelievable voices of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. On the more recent side, Norah Jones has crept into my CD collection and will remain there. Since I am a true "Baby-Boomer," the thought of an ipod is "alien" to me, but may be a future purchase.

Posted by: Flo on December 4, 2006 7:10 PM

On my iPod Shuffle? Usually vocal music, most recently everything I could find sung by the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. I cannot tire of that lustrous voice. I gave up rock long ago. Though if I hear Bob Seger I'm taken back to the Stones and sitting six feet from Clapton, who took away my hearing for a day. And my 25 year old son was here during the Thanksgiving holiday and bluetoothed all of Abbey Road into my iMac. Some of it is pedestrian. Some of it, like Maxwell's Silver Hammer and Here Comes the Sun, are immortal, even if they are wickedly different.

Posted by: Ken Wolman on December 4, 2006 9:38 PM

I don't have an Ipod and don't plan to get one. I like listening to music ov er a speaker system when I'm with other people who want to listen to what I'm listening to (or vice versa) or when I'm alone. When I'm in a public place, I don't want to be shut off from those around me, which is what iPods do IMHO.

I love live music and try to go see and hear live music at least once a month, on average.

I download a lot of music - for free - off of They have a huge live music archive of performances by wonderful musicians; some of whom you may have heard of and others who you may have never heard of before. I subscribe to Relix Music Magazine as a way to stay current on new musicians. I also listen to publicly supported radio stations (mostly) by streaming their shows via my computer. Many publicly supported radio stations play a wide range of rock and roll and other genres of music - americana, blues, jazz, world, etc. that are absolutely fantastic. By doing this, I get turned on to musicians I knew nothing about all the time, such as Donna the Buffalo, David Jacob Strain, Jim Lauderdale, Kate Gaffney, Guy Clark, Gillian Welch, The Slip, The Waybacks, Trailer Park Rangers and a whole host of other musicians. I still listen to music by my long time favorites and buy their CDs as well as DVDs but through the above mentioned ways, I am constantly getting introduced to new musicians.

Stay Tuned,


Posted by: Roy Earnest on December 6, 2006 3:00 PM

Not quite up to an Ipod yet, but I love Springsteen, both old and new stuff. I love Tom Petty, Stones, Crosby Stills and Nash.New stuff...Killers, Dashboard Confessions, love the new Mark knoffler, Emmylou CD. Kinda like you said, I like the songs but know nothing of the artists. You know, I miss lying on the floor with my head between the speakers.

Posted by: marti on December 6, 2006 3:34 PM

the babyboomer generation started after world war two and ends in 1955, stop redefining it. stop renaming generations, watch some old news shows and movies.

Posted by: mark kevin douglas on December 6, 2006 5:48 PM

Traffic..Low spark of High Heeled boys...YeH..Still have the album; Love Jethro Tull..saw them 4 times..Steely Dan; still great music..Linda Ronstadt...ELO...Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...Brewer & Shipley..Eagles.. to name a few..Peace..Rockyman

Posted by: rockyman on December 20, 2006 1:01 AM

Frank Zappa was cool; I saw him at the Palace Concert theater in Providence, R.I. also Dr.John , Cream, The Doors, The Kinks, Rod Stewart, Harry Chapin, Yes, Tina Turner, Led Zepplin...ohh the memories..Peace..Rockyman

Posted by: Rockyman on December 20, 2006 10:23 PM

I don't currently own an I-Pod but will probably be getting one or an MP3 player soon since I try to exercise outside as much as I can. The last 10 downloads and CDs I've bought most recently or ones I play a lot lately are these:

1. No Dice - Badfinger
2. Live a Little - The Pernice Brothers
3. Face the Music - Electric Light Orchestra
4. Goodbye to You - Patty Smyth and Scandal
4. Smile - Brian Wilson
5. Four-Eyed Girl - Rhett Miller
6. Time Machine - The Click Five
7. Calling the Moon - Dar Williams
8. Girl Dont Come - Sandie Shaw
9. It's For You - Cilla Black
10. 100% Fun - Matthew Sweet

Posted by: Gregg on January 12, 2007 10:28 AM

I'm not an iPod owner either. Kids have 'em but that whole "going around the circle thing" just doesn't work for me. heck, i have trouble figuring out how to use my cell phone!
Music wise - I'm still living in the past: Beatles; Beach Boys; James Taylor; Four Seasons; Frankie Avalon; you get the picture!

Posted by: Sandi on February 17, 2007 11:11 AM

The Eagles..Streisand..Marvin Gaye..Phantom of the Opera...AAron Neville

Posted by: Cecelia on February 17, 2007 4:51 PM

My two cents worth -
Don't have an ipod, but if I did.... I would load it up with my favorites from in this order
1. Beatles
2. Stones
3. Zep
4. Allman Bros
5. Dylan
6. Rory Gallagher (saw him in Germany in 71 at British Rock Meeting, loved his playing and then forgot about him for 20 years. Heard he had died and went back and listened again and now he is back where he should have always been, in my top 14.
7. Creedence
8. Kinks
9. Who
10. Beach Boys
11. Springsteen
12. Muddy Waters
13. Van Morrison
14. Roy Orbison (singing for the lonely)

Posted by: Randy Bury on February 18, 2007 8:35 AM

Randy, How could I forget Rory Gallagher? Thanks for re-kindling my interest in his fabulous music! Sometimes my memory is just a "Road to Hell" or were you just "Messin' with the Kid"?

Posted by: Pete on February 18, 2007 10:50 AM

First I had to figure out how to USE the Ipod...but I can read directions, so I'm in the process of gettin' into the current listening capability. My last 10 songs were:
1. White Bird - It's a Beautiful Day
2. Sail on Sailor - The Beach Boys
3. Do Ya Wanna Dance - Bette Midler
4. Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
5. Somewhere Down the Crzy River - Robbie Robertson
6. Watching & Waiting - Moody Blues
7. Big Love - Fleetwood Mac
8. Breathe- Pink Floyd
9. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
10. Suicide Blonde -Inyx

Posted by: Sally on February 18, 2007 3:33 PM

OK - I grew up in Venice, CA "back in the day." I had many older siblings, so listened to all kinds of music. Bob Dylan & Ravi Shankar played by one sister. Kris Kristofferson, The Doors, and Cream by another. Gene Pitney & surf music from another. My favorites back then - Sonny & Cher, Herman's Hermits, The Monkees...give me a break. I was a little kid. lol. But even then alone in my room I would find this jazz station and listen to the music - I found it really soothing, but that seemed lame, so I kept it a secret. When I was a teenager I listened to Olivia Newton John, and Barbra Streisand, and the Alone Again, Naturally guy. It was not until I moved out of home and became a wild child that I discovered music that really turned me on. I would go to The Parisian Room and listen to old greats - Arthur Prysock, Esther Phillips, Earl "Fatha" Hinds, for example. I got really into soul music. And Prince, and I traveled a lot, and got into music from other cultures. Lived for a while in the Pacific Northwest, and cool music was scarce. But I think it was Gonzaga U that had a small station that played great soft jazz - like The Wave. Got into Strunz & Farah, Hillary James, David Sanborn, Diane Shuur, etc. Moved on to Las Vegas after my divorce - and my daughter was a teenager now and into Hip Hop, and so I listened to what she did. Back in L.A., and I have another daughter - who listens to rap and hip hop, so I listen to that, too. And I like it all. Well, no, I don't like it ALL. But I like some of almost every genre. What I'm mostly into now, as my 50 year old self, is world music. Love anything hip and with a beat. I have a Myspace page now (thanks to my oldest daughter) and "friends" from all over the world. The music is so awesome. I play all their music. I love Bollywood music, French pop, music from Corsica, music from Latin America, music from Brazil. I like a lot of current American music -love everything by Sting, love John Mayer's Waiting for the World to Change, Blue October's Into the Ocean, Fergie's music, The Black Eyed Peas, Akon, Gwen Steffani, it just all depends on my mood. I'm in grad school (majoring in gerontology administration, so I'll be ready to work with all us Baby Boomers!) and on the way to school this morning I was switching radio channels, and Kool & the Gang or someone like that came on. The music did something to my soul - took me back to a happy time - I guess I was thinking I was 18 or 19 again, and then the announcer came on and mentioned that it was "Old School Saturday" and it seemed so odd...I mean, when did we become Old School? Oldies to me were songs from the 1950's. We are the grownups now, my friends. Yikes. That sucks.
Anyway, short blog long, let me go get my iPod and tell you the first 10 songs on it:
Just remember my music might not be the "norm" - ha ha. Here goes though...
The Gorillaz...Feel Good, Inc.
Stevie Wonder...Always
Los Cantos 7 - Me Voy a Puebla
Michael Franks...Barefoot on the Beach
Aterciopelados...El Cielo is Azul
The Pretenders...500 Miles
Jim Croce...Roller Derby Queen
Sting...After the Rain Has Fallen
Yolanda Adams...Fragile Heart

Oh, hey, that wasn't so bad. That playlist sounds pretty normal. Yay! ;)

Posted by: Jillian on March 17, 2007 7:57 PM

A little old a little new and a little in between for me.

1.The Allman Brothers Live at the Filmore East. (Still the best live album of all time)

2. Heart Dreamboat Annie (A wonderful wonderful record)

3. Boston (the soundtrack to my highschool years)

4. The Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way (Simply the best record of 2006)

5. Bob Dylan Modern TImes (still brilliant)

6. moe. Warts and All Volume IV (moe. is an amazing jamband check them out.)

7. Phish Live at Madison Square Garden New Year's Eve 1995 (Phish was no question, hands down the best rock band of all time)

8. Yonder Mountain String Band Mountain Tracks Volume 3 (bluegrass never sounded better)

Posted by: Jim on March 18, 2007 7:33 PM

1-Five Dollar Friend (my son's band!)-XOXORx-1st cd
2-Herb Albert-The Lonely Bull
3-Bonnie Raitt & John Prine-Angel From Montgomery
4-Yo-Yo Ma-Bach, The Cello Suites cd
5-Handel's Messiah
6-Arlo Guthrie, City of New Orleans
7-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-Don't Let it Bring You Down
8-Blind Boys of Alabama-Give a Man a Home
9-Jerry Jeff Walker-Mr Bojangles
10-CCR-Run Through the Jungle

Posted by: Brian on March 25, 2007 12:45 AM

I'm heading towards 50, so I guess I qualify. Here's what's good and contemporary -- mostly I have podcasts on my ipod, but the latest album by the Sadies is on it (Neko Case sometimes plays with them). They've definitely captured that pre-eagles-1971 vibe

Kate Gaffney - like Bonnie Raitt in '71, but better. Way better. => her my space page, listen to TiredWired, and buy the CD.

Anyone here who grew up with all those Motown and Philly soul hits will love
Cat Power's "The Greatest".

Regina Spektor - stick with her latest CD. Every track's a winner

Patrick Watson - getting more modern here. The next band to come out of Montreal and hit it big.

Phish of course, and I was never much of a Dead fan. Draw lines from Bruce, Little Feat, Led Zep and the Dead, and Phish is where they meet.

on the other hand I still listen to the Bruce bootlegs from 1974.

Posted by: Bill Kidder on March 28, 2007 3:01 PM

Well, I'm a pro songwriter, addition to collaborations in progress and a cut or two from my CD...

I have one song each from the most diverse sources...

Dianne Reeves
Billy Joel
Billy Joe Shaver
Gretchen Peters
Herbie Hancock
Molly Hatchet
Bach (cool dude)
Michael McDonald
Ehsaan, Shankar and Loy

(I'll listen to whatever anyone thinks is the most exciting in their favorite genre...keeps me spicy!

And hey, why is it that boomer = rocker? Some of us loved lots of other kinds of music: singer-songwriters, world music, r&b and blues back then...and rock!!

Don't know about Rolling Stone's community, but MySpace is extraordinary, allowing all sorts of people to connect with me and my music from all over the world and way back in my's a good thing, and you can't beat the cost.

This is a terrific time to be into music...


Posted by: Ruth Greenwood on June 11, 2007 2:43 PM

Just a quick comment. I just turned 61 years old in May,07 and it is so weird, I feel almost the same as I did 30 years ago. I was raised on Rock and Roll music and I LOVE to dance and do so quite often. I am a free spirit and live my life the way I chose, not the way society says to live. I think alot of people worry about what other people think and I could care less and have always lived my life that way, I am 5ft.4 in. and weigh 120 lbs. and I dress the same now as always. I just took early retirement "Love It" and still in my jeans and enjoying life.

Posted by: Mary on July 19, 2007 6:57 PM

I don't have an iPod. Actually I won one in a raffle but my daughter gaffed it. I'm a musician so my tastes might be a little different. I love jazz, blues and musicianship-oriented rock equally.

Off the top of my head, my favorites are:

Butterfield Blues Band
Brian Setzer Orchestra
Michael Bloomfield
Danny Gatton
Count Basie Orchestra
Paul McCartney
Duke Ellington
Benny Goodman with Charlie Christian
Buzz Feiten / Full Moon
Art Tatum

I thought it was really cool that the original poster mentioned the Delbert McClinton / Danny Gatton Sun Medley. If you ever want to hear guitar playing at its most monstrous, get that one! It will be under Danny Gatton.

Take care,


Posted by: Jon Garner on September 27, 2007 4:29 PM

Hey boomers!!

Question for anyone who feels like answering....

What would make you want to actually buy a CD, since no-one is really doing that these days, and where do you think the music industry is missing the boat in maketing to baby boomers? Do you think we're overlooked?? Why? What would YOU do to change that??? I'll take any and all answers so keep them coming!!!

Posted by: MuTan on October 8, 2007 3:37 PM

First of all, the music industry's troubles have nothing to do with Baby Boomers - except that the music business forgot about 76 million of their best customers. I defy you to find a top ten current single and say it's better than ANYTHING I have in TWO closets full of vinyl.

And if you think this online music downlaod mess has anything to do boomers - think again. It's not Boomers raiding the ether looking for the latest Gansta rap. In fact, the last two CD's I bought were from artists who have continued to publish great music. I love these artist, and I want them succeed - so we buy her music.

It's abour connecting. The music business is too busy selling (and protecting their ass(ets) by suing 10 year olds and dead people) to even know what the means. Music has become a commodity. It's like the difference between Charmin and Angel Soft. Who cares? Use it up and buy more.

According to the NY Times, someone forgot to tell Springsteen Rock & Roll was dead. If the Boss' newest album (yes, I still call it an album) is any indication, he's the only one actually connecting with Boomers... and he's probably 20 years older than most of the music executives he encounters.

Fix the music business? No way - too far gone. Besides, those two closets of vinyl still have lots of gems to give up before I worry about Brit-knee's newest crap.

Posted by: Pete on October 8, 2007 8:56 PM

The music has to have a certain indescribable feel to it. It has to trigger some emotion. The only artist that has moved me in a number of years is a new artist... King Tobaccoville. You just have to hear it to know what I'm talking about... it has a 60's rawness to it.

Posted by: MetoYou on October 19, 2007 6:03 PM

I'm in Austin, TX, and there are lots of bands and artists here that, while they may not realize it, are catering to Aging Hipster tastes. There's ALSO a significant percentage of the younger, Gen Y audience, that are afficianados of music from our g-g-generation. There are kids here that know every lick from the Cream albums, for example, or every lyric Bob Dylan ever wrote.

And those young artists are writing and performing new music that's highly informed by classic rock, blues & soul.

For example, give a listen to Blues Mafia at If Joplin & Cream showed up at a Sly & The Family Stone party, it might sound like Blues Mafia.

Or check out the AC/DC-influenced band Joker, at It's head bangin' rock like your mom used to warn you about.

Would be interested in your opinion.

Posted by: Sursum on October 20, 2007 9:02 AM

I've got some widespread tastes, and lean toward guitar heros or otherwise phenomenal here's the latest ALBUMS I've loaded...Google a few - they're worth a listen!

10. Francine Reed: Red, White & Blue
9. Jonny Lang: Turn Around
8. Gary Hoey: Wake Up Call
7. Peter Frampton: Fingerprints
6. Corinne Bailey Rae: Corinne Bailey Rae
5. New World Son: The EP (
4. Marc Broussard: Momentary Setback
3. Joe Satriani: Flying in a Blue Dream
2. Martin Sexton: Live Wide Open
1. Glenn Kaiser Band: Carolina Moon

Posted by: CommGuy on October 26, 2007 6:17 AM

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