ONCE UPON A TIME * ROCHELL AND THE CANDLES * SWINGIN' 623 * USA
The group consisted of Rochell Henderson, Johnny Wyatt, Melvin Sasso and T. C. Henderson, and this was their first record for Hunter Hancock's (ol' H H ) Swingin' label; and, although this record was from October 1960, it belongs very much to the Doo Wop of the 1950s. Once upon a time was, as all English speaking people once knew, the traditional opening lines to a 'fairy' or fictional story, the term later became a disparaging retort to something that was incredible or believed to be false. Yet as Harvard College Professor Maria Tatar points out in her book Fairy Tales, Children's Literature and the Culture of Childhood, "Children think it's hilarious when the millstone comes down and kills the (wicked) stepmother, [as] something complicated is happening when those children are laughing, something that has to do with the fact that they are weak and vulnerable and that they have a lot of anxieties which they don't have the words to talk about,". Now children's storeys are rigorously over moralised and vetted for 'offensive' or 'inappropriate' language so that things in a story that might be beyond the ken of this or that committee on 'standards' are corrupted, debased or eliminated without ever having known what its true purpose was. It is this aspect of our culture that has now become at best confused or distorted, to the point of utter bewilderment on behalf of many, who no longer have any shared psychological sense of themselves (excluding alienation) other than that which is constantly being manipulated according to the ideological whims of commercial or political elites.
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