Song Of The Day 3/18/2016: Every Father’s Teenage Son – “A Letter to Dad”

Revenge of the Sequels – The Vietnam War and general '60s commontion inspired a micro-fad of epistolary tunes in the form of spoken-word "open letters." One of these was Victor Lundberg's actual hit "An Open Letter to My Teenage Son," in which a surly Jack Webb type attempts token understanding and acceptance of his hippie son's freedom of expression as long as he doesn't burn his draft card. That is Lundberg's unforgivable sin, not racism or murder or anything like that. Then "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" gets turned up, the listener gets his patriot vaccination and the song's over.

There were two notable responses to "AOLTMTS." Dick Clark, formerly America's Oldest Living Teenager and honestly nowhere near creepy, did one called "Open Letter to the Older Generation," which was featured here in January. Dick tried to smooth everything over between Pops and Junior by reminding the former of his own youth, and also hepping him about how the vast majority of kids he knows aren't making blotter paper part of their nutritious breakfasts.

The second was by an anonymous kid ambitiously calling himself Every Father's Teenage Son, and it was released on Buddah Records, who have since changed their misspelled name. If we stage this as The New Breed vs. Lundberg (and it makes the most sense to listen to Lundberg's piece first, then play Teenage Son's), I'm not sure the challenger presents the most effective case. There's a lot of reason, which is fine, nobody gets restraining orders over people being reasonable. But it's too tame. Maybe if the son stammered, lathered on the botox and threw on a "Make America Great Again" cap it'd be more persuasive. The kid counters his dad's use of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with a thoughtfully plucked rendition of "America the Beautiful." I would've gone with "Cold Sweat" or "Kick Out the Jams," but I'm not the one on trial here.

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