May 20, 2011

Sal Mineo - in the era of the Teen Idol, just about anything was fair game.

Ending up a somewhat schizo week of the Roundtable with another live performance via early Television. This time it's Teen Idol Sal Mineo performing live on The Big Record variety series. This one is from February 19, 1958 and Mineo performs his latest release Little Pigeon. As with all live TV at the time, it was flying by the seat of your pants and Mineo doesn't fare nearly as well in front of a live audience with no re-takes as he did in the studio, which probably explains why his singing career didn't go the distance it was hoped it would and he soon went back to acting exclusively.

But still, it's history and this was mainstream media and mainstream music at the time. This was what the overwhelming majority of America was listening to and watching. Despite the fact that by 1958 R&B was gaining a strong foothold on the record players of the teenage population, there was still an overwhelming degree of segregation among the established music and broadcast industry and reluctant Teen Idols like Sal Mineo were quickly recruited to fill the bill.

And like I always say, ignorance of your culture is considered uncool even if it means a raised eyebrow or two.

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