Friday, February 10, 2006

Quiescent all over

About two weeks ago, the CBC aired a documentary called Shakin' All Over.

I thought it was good as far as it went, but it had some flaws.

How can you *call* a show "Shakin' All Over" and not talk about the pre-Burton Cummings Guess Who and their interesting experience with their cover version of that song? It was one of the first Canadian hits in the U.S. top 40.

Inexcusable, since even Les Classels, Quebec's singing "Men From Glad", got a few seconds of screen time.

The show assumed that Canadian pop and rock had to wait for the Baby Boomers to come along, before it started to have an impact. That would be news to Paul Anka (whose popularity in the U.S. was such that the National Film Board made a documentary about him, Lonely Boy, in the early 1960s). It would also be news to Bobby Curtola, The Beau-Marks, The Diamonds, etc., all of which had some hits in the U.S. in the late 1950s and 1960s.

You could detect a subtle attitude that the filmmakers had. Canadian rock only started to exist when leftish baby boomers with their free attitude towards sex (the CBC aired some footage of a topless dancer that one band had hired as part of a publicity stunt) and their progressive attitude towards politics (Buffy Sainte-Marie was profiled at some length) came along.

The CBC can put subtle biases even in an interesting documentary like Shakin' All Over.