Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Those Oldies But Goodies…Out In The Be-Bop ‘50s Song Night- The Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”- Billie’s, Billie The Pope Of “The Projects” Night, View

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of the Shirelles performing the classic Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?.

Markin comment:

This is another tongue-in-cheek commentary, the back story if you like, in the occasional entries under this headline going back to the primordial youth time of the mid to late 1950s with its bags full of classic rock songs for the ages. Of course, any such efforts have to include the views of one Billie, William James Bradley, the schoolboy mad-hatter of the 1950s rock jailbreak out in our “the projects” neighborhood. Ya, in those days, unlike during his later fateful wrong turn trajectory days, every kid, including best friend Markin, me, lived to hear what he had to say about any song that came trumpeting over the radio, at least every one that we would recognize as our own.

Billie and I spent many, many hours mainly up in his tiny bedroom, his rock heaven bedroom, walls plastered with posters of Elvis, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry and of every new teen heartthrob singer, heartthrob to the girls that is, around, every new record Billie could get his hands on, by hook or by crook, and neatly folded piles of clothing, also gathered by that same hook or by crook, appropriate to the king hell king of the schoolboy rock scene, the elementary school rock scene between about 1956 to 1960. Much of that time was spent discussing the “meaning” of various songs, especially their sexual implications, ah, their mystery of girls-finding-out-about worthiness.

Although in early 1959 my family was beginning to start the process of moving out of the projects, and, more importantly, I had begun to move away from Billie’s orbit, his new found orbit as king hell gangster wannabe, I still would wander back until mid-1960 just to hear his take on whatever music was interesting him at the time. These commentaries, these Billie commentaries, are my recollections of his and my conversations on the song lyrics in this series. But I am not relying on memory alone. During this period we would use my father’s tape recorder, by today’s standard his big old reel to reel monstrosity of a tape recorder, to record Billie’s covers of the then current hit songs (for those who have not read previously of Billie’s “heroics” he was a pretty good budding rock singer at the time) and our conversations of those song meanings that we fretted about for hours. I have, painstakingly, had those reels transcribed so that many of these commentaries will be the actual words (somewhat edited, of course) that appear in this space. That said, Billie, king hell rock and roll king of the old neighborhood, knew how to call a lyric, and make us laugh to boot. Wherever you are Billie I’m still pulling for you. Got it.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Lyrics

Carole King

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Tonight you're mine completely,
You give your love so sweetly,
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes,
But will you love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure,
Or just a moment's pleasure,
Can I believe the magic of your sighs,
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken,
You said that I'm the only one,
But will my heart be broken,
When the night (When the night)
Meets the morning sun.

I'd like to know that your love,
Is love I can be sure of,
So tell me now and I won't ask again,
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Billie back again, William James Bradley, if you didn’t know. Markin’s pal, Peter Paul Markin’s pal, from over the Adamsville Elementary School and the pope of rock lyrics down here in “the projects.” The Adamsville projects, if you don’t know. Markin, who I hadn’t seen for a while since he moved “uptown” to North Adamsville, came by the other day to breathe in the fresh air of the old neighborhood and we got to talking about this latest record, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by the Shirelles. They are hot.

Fair’s fair right, so I’ll give you Markin’s, Peter Paul’s, take on the lyrics, so I can come crashing down on his silly pipe dream ideas. By the way if you don’t know, and he will tell you this himself if he is honest, he was behind, way behind, in figuring out girls, and their girlish charms. I had to practically tell him everything he knows. Where did I learn it? Hell like everybody else from the older kids, the older guys, and my older sisters too if you can believe that. So I know a lot, or at least enough to keep old Peter Paul from being a total goofball. Still, see, he thinks the main thing is that the girl in the song here is worried about her reputation because she has just given in, in a moment of passion, to her boyfriend, it’s way too late to turn back and yet she is having second thoughts, second thought regrets, about it, and about what he will think of her and whether it will get around that she “does it.”

Ya, she does it, now officially certified a woman, or at least acting like a woman can act, that is what my sister Donna says, and from the feel of the song, probably in some back seat of some “boss” convertible, a Chevy I hope. Her guy, some under the hood day and night guy making that baby, his real baby, hum against the in-stock store-bought standards of his father’s car, his old fogy father’s car. She was breathless weeks ago when her Chevy guy came up gunning that beast behind her walking home from school and said “Hop in.” And she did, now she's the queen bee of the high school adventure car hop night. All the other girls, friend or foe, frantic at her fortune and ready to leap, girls’ “lav” leap, all over her come Monday morning finely-tuned grapevine gossip time. So tonight is paying back time, car hop queen bee paying back time. No turning back.

I hope, I really hope, they “did the deed” down by the seashore, big old moon out, big old laughing moon, waves splashing against the rocks and against the sounds of the night, the sounds of the be-bop moaning and groaning night. Call me a romantic but at least I hope that is where she gave it up. Or, maybe, away from coastal shoreline possibilities it was at some secluded lovers’ lane mountain top, tree-lined, dirt road, away from the city noise, some be-bop music playing on the car radio, just to keep those mountain fears away, motor humming against the autumn chill and the creaking sun ready to devour that last mountain top and face the day, and face the music.

But see that’s where Markin has got it all wrong, all wrong on two counts, because Chevy guy two-timing her, or spreading the “news” about his conquest, or even that hellish girls’ lav whirlwind inferno is not really what’s bothering her. Markin has got this starry-eyed thing, and I think it is from hanging around, or being around, all those straight lace no-go Catholic girls, who do actually worry about their reputations, at least for public consumption. That is why high Catholic that I am, just like old Markin, I don’t go within twenty yards of those, well, teasers. Ya, teasers but that’s a story for another time, because right now we have only time for women, or girls who act like women. What’s bothering moonstruck girl, number one, is that she likes it, she liked doing it with Chevy guy, and is worried that she’ll go crazy every time a boy gets within arms length of her. She “heard” that once a girl starts doing it they can’t help themselves and are marks, easy marks, for every guy who gives them the eye. Jesus, where did she ever get that idea. Must have been out in the streets, although I personally never heard such an idea when I was asking around. This is what I heard, well, not from the street but from my sister Donna, she said it was okay, natural even, for girls to like sex. If the moment was right, and maybe the guy too. It wasn’t some Propagation of the Faith, do-your-sex-duty to multiply thing we heard in church. Hell, Donna said she liked it too, and believe me, old Donna doesn’t like much if you listen to her long enough. So moonstruck girl don’t worry.

But number two you do have to worry about, although I don’t know what you can do about it now I never did ask Donna about that part. Pregnant. Ya, the dreaded word for girls and guys alike when you were just trying to have a little fun, just liking it. Now everything your mother told you about “bad” girls, about leaving school, about shot-gun weddings, or about having to go to “Aunt Bessie’s” for a few months, flood memories and as the sun comes up there is momentary panic. Like I say I don’t know what you can do. I don’t know the medical part of the thing. But Peter Paul, leave it to Peter Paul, who knows diddley about sex (except what I tell him) says do you know about “rubbers.” And he got all in a lather telling me that there is some new pill coming out, and coming out soon, so you don’t have to worry. This from a guy was practically missed the first time he kissed a girl. But if he is right, and I ain’t saying he is, then check it out and then you can still like “doing it.” And not worry.

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