This is something that I always like to have fun with… as you have probably read somewhere in a post or two here on GFM that we like to “connect the dots” musically and one thing that is often apparent is the 20 year nod to the past. This nod isn’t necessarily blatant, and you can’t necessarily point to a date in each decade when the rewind begins, but you can hear it or as they say “the proof is in the pudding’.

I wanted to start this little series out by pointing out the 20’s in this classic song “I Wanna Be Closer” from Switch. Released in 1979 if you listen to the vocals on the intro as well as what’s happening in the arrangement musically it could be 1959. The vocals owe a lot to the Doo-Wop era as well as the era of vocal groups that heavily influenced Doo-Wop, see a pattern beginning to form? If older instruments were used in the rhythm section instead of the 1970’s trademark Rhodes Electric Piano and ultra funky electric bass, if you closed your eyes and didn’t know that this was made in 1979 you might have consulted your calendar.

The appeal of this song besides just being a beautifully executed ballad performed masterfully is that it is: A tip of the hat to those who had come before, yet putting your own personal signature on it. That’s the whole concept behind On 20’s…

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.