Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

blm

(113,371 posts)
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 06:26 PM Apr 2023

April 25, 1967: Leonard Bernstein in awe of 15yo Janis Ian's "Society's Child".

Leonard Bernstein's producer saw Janis perform "Society's Child" at The Gaslight and scheduled Ian to perform the song on Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution, an April 25, 1967 CBS television special about new pop music. Largely owing to Bernstein's efforts, Verve Records started promoting it in trade magazines and many radio stations picked it up. But some radio stations, such as Chicago's WLS, refused to play the song. Though several radio stations were slow to add the song to their playlists, this behavior extended the record's airplay life. "Society's Child" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

20 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
April 25, 1967: Leonard Bernstein in awe of 15yo Janis Ian's "Society's Child". (Original Post) blm Apr 2023 OP
Love Janis Goonch Apr 2023 #1
I remember that... 50 Shades Of Blue Apr 2023 #2
Imagine being a teen heralded by Bernstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, blm Apr 2023 #3
It's interesting that WLS didn't play it. Sister station WABC did play it, rsdsharp Apr 2023 #4
Oddly, Bill Cosby used his influence to undermine blm Apr 2023 #5
You would have thought he would have been too busy for that. rsdsharp Apr 2023 #6
You got it right. He suspected she was a lesbian, blm Apr 2023 #7
Her masterpiece: At Seventeen milestogo Apr 2023 #8
I had the pleasure of seeing her perform several years ago PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2023 #9
It was one of Ella Fitzgerald's favorite songs. blm Apr 2023 #13
I had no idea. PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2023 #15
Life is certainly interesting. blm Apr 2023 #16
It is a brilliant song Zorro Apr 2023 #10
She was wise beyond her years judesedit Apr 2023 #12
That was awesome. Loryn Apr 2023 #11
from my dreaming. AnotherDreamWeaver Apr 2023 #14
Thanks for posting this, blm. JudyM Apr 2023 #17
Ya know Lennie will get me toute suite UTUSN Apr 2023 #18
😉🫶🏽 blm Apr 2023 #19
I remember the uproar on some people's part about this song. electric_blue68 Apr 2023 #20

blm

(113,371 posts)
3. Imagine being a teen heralded by Bernstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix,
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 06:43 PM
Apr 2023

and Nina Simone.

Amazing. Would make a heckuva a bio flick.

rsdsharp

(9,446 posts)
4. It's interesting that WLS didn't play it. Sister station WABC did play it,
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 07:15 PM
Apr 2023

and it peaked at number 5 on their playlist in early July. John Rook took over as PD at WLS in the spring of 1967, but I find it hard to believe that he banned it. He was known for having a great musical ear, but he also resisted pressure from Jesse Jackson to hire an African American jock (which would have required him to fire a jock on the number 1 rated Chicago station).

blm

(113,371 posts)
5. Oddly, Bill Cosby used his influence to undermine
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 07:23 PM
Apr 2023

a 15yo girl. He didn’t want her booked on shows he regularly appeared.

rsdsharp

(9,446 posts)
6. You would have thought he would have been too busy for that.
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 07:37 PM
Apr 2023

The song came out in the middle of I Spy’s production run. Apparently, his animosity was because he thought she was a lesbian, not because of the racial issues in her (then) only hit song.

Reprehensible, whatever the reason

blm

(113,371 posts)
7. You got it right. He suspected she was a lesbian,
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 07:44 PM
Apr 2023

but, at 15 she was nowhere near displaying ANY sexuality, let alone a preference for other women. He was just being a perverted control freak.

milestogo

(16,829 posts)
8. Her masterpiece: At Seventeen
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 08:31 PM
Apr 2023


The music, the lyrics, and the performance mesh so perfectly to communicate the angst of the teenaged female.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,024 posts)
9. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform several years ago
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 08:41 PM
Apr 2023

at a small theater (maybe 115 seats) here in Santa Fe. I paid a premium to be able to meet and chat with her before the performance.

The very first time I heard "At Seventeen" on the radio, I turned up the volume (I recall the specific car ride and who I was with) because I could tell it was something incredibly special.

Yeah, that song speaks to me.

PoindexterOglethorpe

(26,024 posts)
15. I had no idea.
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 09:47 PM
Apr 2023

Back in the late 70s, my older sister, who then lived in Los Angeles, had a pretty serious heart attack. Afterwards, she said it was almost worth it, as she wound up in a cardiac rehab group with (I bet you've already guessed) Ella Fitzgerald.

Zorro

(15,921 posts)
10. It is a brilliant song
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 08:50 PM
Apr 2023

And her album Between the Lines is full of other stunningly brilliant songs, including this one. One of the best ever.

AnotherDreamWeaver

(2,857 posts)
14. from my dreaming.
Wed Apr 26, 2023, 09:20 PM
Apr 2023

After listening to Janis Ian, I thought of a story/song that was about a spell that “reset” the organic computer. The song is sung in unison until one word which is two words, one on left side the other on right side. Both words mean the same thing and are sung at the same time. The story is about trying to find the right words... Words that could anchor peace and understanding in the hearts of humanity.

Latest Discussions»The DU Lounge»April 25, 1967: Leonard B...