Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR READERS: Over the last couple of weeks, we have gotten pros and cons regarding the choices made by the Music Educators National Conference (M.E.N.C.) of "42 Songs That Every American Should Know." Most noteworthy among those letters were several from M.E.N.C. members and executives which made clear their intentions — information not originally available in the published articles seen by most readers, myself included. Two weeks ago we shared the pros, and so we'll conclude this topic with comments made by those who disagree with M.E.N.C.'s selections.

DEAR JERRY: I have some comments to add to the ongoing "42 Songs" debate, as inspired by the letter in your column from Darwin Foote. I agree with Mr. Foote. That list was probably made by the same group of multi-culturalists that is trying to shove their revisionists history curriculum and bilingualism down our collective throats.
—Tom Margraff, Clearwater, Fla.

DEAR JERRY: After seeing some of the songs on the list I decided I must not be an American. None of those songs, good though they may be, have ever vibrated my floppy ears. Perhaps they mean South Americans?
—Tim Smithers, Federal Way, Wash.

DEAR JERRY: I have been a lover of all types of music for decades. I grew up on the pop tunes of the late '40s, and the rock and roll of the '50s. I even dee-jayed in the '60s and '70s.

Out of music lovin' curiosity, and prompted by your column, I sent for the entire list of 42 songs. Now I can say I agree for the most part with Darwin's (Foote) theory. Approximately one-third of the titles are ones even I have never heard of. Another third are tunes I know but would not have chosen. The remaining third are ones I feel are appropriate for such a list. I think many of us have had it up to here with so much attention being paid to political correctness and diversity issues.
—Stephen Leonard, Staten Island, NY

DEAR JERRY: Musically speaking, I haven't exactly lived with a bag over my head. I was a bassoonist in high school and took music appreciation in college, yet I only recognized one of M.E.N.C.'s songs.
—Barbara Mars, Milwaukee

DEAR JERRY: I agree with Darwin. I never heard a single one of those songs. Perhaps older people know some of them, but older people don't make up the entire population.
—Zacharay Folder, Gig Harbor, Wash.

DEAR JERRY: I don't think much of the choices by the Magic Educators National Conference. Thanks for the opportunity to speak out.
—Madeline Muhlenfeld, Huntsville, Ala.

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