the risk of appearing too sentimental or corny (but what
better time than a reunion to be sentimental?), I asked
for the opportunity to say a few words about something
that's given me a great deal of pleasure in the last few
years, the music of the
fifties and the good times it represents, times that
we spent together at
Oceanside High as members of the great class of
But first, as for myself, and I hope
on behalf of all our classmates in this room, I
sincerely want to thank the members of the
Reunion Committee, Nancy and Jack, Doreen, Barbara,
Jay, Penny, Sabin, Tom and Karen, for taking on the
extraordinary burden of organizing this wonderful event.
We are indeed fortunate to be able to
look back on the fifties as our high school days. For
what better time has there been to be a teenager? The
fifties was the decade of the teenager. This was the
first time in history that teenagers had their own
music and were recognized, first by the music industry
and then by others such as the motion picture,
automobile and clothing industries, as an important
market segment in the American economy.
The fifties are best remembered for,
our music. It seems that America, itself, had its
puberty in the fifties and grew up, with us, in the
sixties. Everyone looks back at their teenage years with
fond memories, but ours was a very special time,
immortalized in movies and on TV, and the Broadway stage.
And we have very special music to help us remember those
"happy days." Most of our music made us happy; some made
us cry; all of it made us dance. It still does all of
these things -- and it's all our own. So let's listen
again, let's laugh and cry, let's dance again and
remember those fabulous fifties.
Remember the undisputed first, real,
blockbuster, rock 'n' roll hit, from the spring of 1955.
By the fall of that year, most of us boys in the eighth
grade were rushing home from school daily to watch the
growth and development of
Annette Funicello, and this record had been number
one on the charts all summer, establishing itself as the
top record of the year. According to the latest edition
of the Guinness Book of World Records, it is
still the biggest selling single record of all time.
once again, class of '60, "Put your gladrags on,
and join me, Hon ... We're gonna rock around the clock