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10ft Nerthwet* ArVanms TIMES, Sun., May 26, WT% rAvrrriviLU, AHKANIA* Golden Age Of Song Writing Now Realized Bf THE ASSOCIATED PRKSS "We have lived through a (olden age of popular singers, and nobody in America knew it. The same thing -- we lived through a golden age of SOUR writing and only now it's being realized." Henry Plcasanls studied Voice at ttie Curtis Inslilule ip Philadelphia and Ihrough most of his life lias been a critic, ^Tiling aboul opera. Then lie decided lie could stand to know i little less about classical music and spend time enjoying popular music. Of course, being a critic --- in London since 1967 -- he also studies it. "So many popular singers can not read music. I think il has been Ihcir salvation. Because they don't work according to presented rhythms and pitches. 11 leaves them free to put notes where they waul them and Ihe way il suits the bend pitches inflections of alilies was sufficient to allow them lo continue to do the same thing lor m a n y more years. l-UTTINf! EI.VIS DOWN "In 1555 and 1956 1 was living in G e r m a n y . Everybody was pulling Elvis down. 1 remembered how wrong I'd been about Frank Sinatra. I had accepted the conventional idea t h a t he was a voiceless crooner. I was brighter Ibis lime. " 'High Sociely 1 had come oul and Sinalra and (Jracc Kelly had a big hit with 'True Love ' Elvis made a record of prose and to closer lo the speech." . Pleasants has written a book, "The Great American Popular Singers." which has chapters on 22 performers. If he were writing it today, he would have added Gladys Knight. "1 think the two most influential musicians of the cen- lurv were Ixmis Armstrong and Elvis them Presley. Each one of turned music around Each contributed everything he had to contribute in a period of two years -- 1928 29 and 1955- S6. What they hart as person- Lifestyle In South Korea Improving SEOUL. Korea (AP) -- Ko Kung-choo is on his way up in }he world after starling onl as it poor laborer's child and then Jiving with his own family in a squalter's shack on Seoul's oiit- tkirls. ;' The stocky 40-year old father of three boys has now quit his Job as a barber and with his savings is gelling ready to buy a vegetable slore. And Ko has moved out of that hated squatter's shack and into a city-built, low-income apartmenl. ' Ko's gradually improving life Â·nd way of thinking probably , show a lol aboul millions of South Koreans who have benefited from Ihc nation's striking economic growth in recent years. ; Most of these people seem willing to put, up \vith Ihe in creasingly dictatorial rule o President Park Chung-lice as long as the economic gains con _ I heard thai and 1 knew then he was a singer. "No singer can get very far without being able to sing a ballad." Most persons consider Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald America's best popular singers. Pleasanls would agree and he would add Ethel Waters. "I find it a tragedy t h a t she is re membered today as an actress instead of a singer. She was a stupendous arlisl." The Iwo main themes Ihrough "The Great American Popular Singers" are the Afro-American heritage and thai Ihese singers without knowing it, have the same thing which produced the birth of opera in the 17th centu ry -- a love of language. When opera began, Plcasanls says, the composer expectet the singer to embellish a gooc deal and if he didn't, he wa considered a poor performer Today, classical singers are supposed to be true to the com poser's notation. Popular sing crs are supposed lo do wha Dick Haymcs's mother advised "Sing a melody on the words." DENIED PRESTIGE It bolhers Pleasants that popular singers a r e n ' t consiciercc part of American culture. The have money and acceptance b nearly everybody expect cduca tors and music critics -- bu are denied the prestige he feel they deserve, especially by th critics. About to give a lecture calle "The Art of the American Pop Irates on words, the classical singer concentrates, on tone, usually, and the popular singer may be the more creative because he does more intcr- prclalion. "Some people think as soon as anything is commercial it is bad. It often is very good. H isn't good always or even mosl of the t i m e , but it often is." When Pleasants decided to write his book -- his eighth, and the one he has enjoyed doing the most -- he did a lol of record listening .He made file cards on about 700 singers Then he -- with great difficult! each aboul, He excluded some, ike Jcanetle MacDonald a nd Nelson Eddy, who came out of a European vocal tradition instead of Ihe Afro-American tradition in which while and black singers listened to, and derived style from, each other, STUDIES SINGERS After Pleasanls chose his 22 singers, he spent a month on each, reading about them, listening to all t he records, i n chronological order, "hearing the mistakes they were correct ing. the repertoire and voca problems they were having. 1 got the feeling 1 was living with each one of them, getting to Actually Plcasanls has m e t lone of the singers he has writ- en chapters about. S o m e he las come to feel quite an idcn- jficalion with. "Jimmie Rodgers was one. rlis whole personality and story -- riding the rails and fighting TB. He sang a 12-bar blues and Mississippi John Hurt sang the same piece. Who got it from svliom? What is not generally known is thai for the past 50 years among the biggest fans of couulry music have b e e n southern blacks. Whites w e r e listening to blacks, loo. Jimmie was a wonderful example oT that. "Ethel Waters Hank Wil iams. To me, he was a poetic genius. When he sang a line 'ou got the idea an entire coun- ryside is talking. I listen to olkics of today like Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell and 1 can not get a feeling of authenticity. Dne person whose songs I listen to with admiration -- though I don't like him as a singer -- is Kris Kristofferson. 1 guess it's because he handles English so well. To start a song Take the ribbon from your hair' is beau liful. "Sinatra, of course. Peggj Lee 1 admire almost in the Si natra class as an artist but didn't feel a personal identi ication. B. B. King. Mildred Bailey had a most beautiful voice and a sensitive way wilh words. There's hardly a man alive loday who can tell you who Mildred Bailey was. Thai's i real tragedy. "Ella Fit/gerald recorded April in Paris' in 1955 and she controls a vibrato and lets it widen. It's a miracle of vocal- sm. I play it again and again dnd again." . The TIMES It On Top of The New* Seven Days a Week Call Williams Co. for "CANCER CARE" Insurance Uri H. Wlllimw i- Wlll ui-nn ojjoa U1-3M4 ular Singer" one time Pelas ants was asked whether h title wasn't a conlradiclion i lerms. His answer is no. A popular singer is in a different idiom from a classical singer, but he can still be a Breat art- st. The popular singer concen- tinue. : Ko Prisoners To Get Vacations savs his income has jumped from (lie equivalent of $30 a monlh five or six years, ago to about $75 before h e ' q u i t | Corking at a nearby barber! shop to buy a store. Being a m e r c h a n t , he thinks, will move' him even farther up the economic scale, "Things are gelling belter partly because the pay of work.. and partly be' cause of Ihc government's efforts to see that the living standards of the general public get better," Ko said in an interview at his home. NEW APARTMENT His small two-room apartment is in one of 17 austere brick and cement, five-story buildings perched on a rocky hill on Seoul's northwest out- skirls. Thousands of shacks used lo fill the area.. but .lbe were lorn down lo make room for Ihe government's low-in Come apartmenls. ' "This is a modern building with a toilet and water and the heating system isn't bad. It's much better than before," Ko said. - He pays only aboul S5 a month on a 15-year mortgage for his two rooms. And he rents one of the rooms to another man. Ko. his three sons and wife all live in the other 6-by- 12-foot room. I Heal from Ihe charcoal bri- quets used for cooking warms the Iraditional Korean "ondo!" floor. He has jammed a television, stereo, several chests and other odds and ends into their single room. : At night there is barely room for all five of his family members to lie down to sleep. But Ko likes the added income from renting the other room, and he hopes some day to be able to move out and into his own house, . The Kum Wha "citizicns apartments" where Ko lives are only a few years old, but already Ihe buildings are looking shabby. One of them is being torn down because it was so poorly built that officials were afraid it might collapse on the residents. ' INFLATION" PROBLEM : The problem that is bothering Ko the most is inflation. Prices have gone up more than 20 per cent so far this year. He and Ms wife now spend about ?60 monthly for food and other household necessities, about 50 per cent more t h a n last year. South Korea's economy h a s grown al an average of nearly 18 per cent over Ihe past dec ade under President Park's leadership. Last year it grew by almost 17 per cent, but this year growth is expected to be about 8 per cenl. according to the government. ,Park took power in a coup in Jf61. He was elected to three feur-year terms and then de- dared martial law in 1072 and tad the constitution altered to Are Him dictatorial powers. VIENNA (AP) -- Prisoners are entitled to an annual len- day vacation as of next year in Austria, a country where jailbreaks are rare and occasional escapes arc nearly always motivated by jealousy. While not all of Ihc 8,400 pretrial and convicted inmates in Austria's 63 penitentiaries will automatically bcnefil from Ihe new law. officials said an over- ill maximum two-week holiday can be obtained by those whose term is at least two years, with one quarter already served. Life-term convicls -! " a five-day furlough year Ivoiild be the also get home leave if Iheir conduct ,5 satisfactory and they have been jailed for seven years. But officials in the Justice Ministry made it clear the essential precondition for a prisoner to don civilian clothes for twice a . .. certainly that he return on time without committing further offenses. ' "It is hardly conceivable to r e-integrate offenders into society by tolally excludin; them from their human environment. This is why we are Irving to provide more conlacls with the family and the outside vorld," Heinrich Keller of the Justice Ministry, a slale prosecutor, said. Keller explained this would _ i one of a series of attempts o cut down Ihe number of re- eal offenders. In Austria, as in nost European 'backsliders" countries, the accounl for about half of all ex-convicts. REASON' CITED "The holiday measure and permission for inmates to leave orison in groups -- and in civil- an attire -- is not only dictated by humanity but by sheer reason." Keller said. Other prison reforms will be introduced In conjunction \vilh the "holiday law," such as the slreamlining of punishable offenses. "We have shul up lop many in the past." Vicktor Pickl, de- p a r t m e n t head in the ministry's penal administration section. Lold The Associated Press. "In fact, Austria, a country of aboul 7!i million people, tops the European list with 117 prisoners per 100.000 citizens. The official said the penal administration reform would "depopulate" Austrian prisons, introducing a syslem of fines up lo 30,000 Schilling -- H.500 dollars -- or more, for sentences that have so far carried a six- month term or less. 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