The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fallout New Vegas: The Good Stuff Is Coming Back

In response to commenters on my last post which featured an old Inkspots tune, I wrote:

Glad you liked this little song by the Inkspots. It would seem that this kind of music is gone forever, lost. That once our generation is gone, this kind of music will be gone too. 

But it's not. It's coming back, it and lots of other earlier styles as well. How's that possible you say? Through what channel is this music that would be lost being delivered to today's youth?

My next post will address that and offer some more examples of "lost" music that's being resurrected.

(With Apologies to the Snapple Ads "Great Stuff")

Since my grandson Brent (he's now 15) started playing the viola 4 years ago, he's been very interested in music, mostly classical and the hard edged stuff young people listen to today. I've had several discussions with him in which I would play an old song from the fifties, or an old classic rock 'n roll song, or maybe a country song, and he would listen politely and then tell me he didn't like it. (Actually, he would grin, and say "it sucks, Da.")

But, over the holidays, he got a new X Box 360 video game called Fallout New Vegas. This game depicts a post apocalyptic world with a devastated landscape and the usual kinds of violent missions.

According to, "the game is set in a post-apocalyptic retro-futuristic Las Vegas, following the Great War between the U.S.China and other countries, a conventional and nuclear war that occurred on October 22 - October 23, 2077, and lasted less than two hours, despite causing immense damage and destruction."

Brent connected his X Box to the small TV in my study upstairs and played the game for a couple of days; sometime during the second afternoon he called me to come up there. He had something to ask me.

He played a few songs that were featured as background music on the game. He said, "This is good stuff, Da. It's old, but I like it. Do you?"

"Are you kidding," I said. "This is GREAT STUFF." The music he played from Fallout New Vegas was from the '30s, '40s, '50s. The Inkspots, Sinatra, Kay Kyser, Nat King Cole, Marty Robbins, Johnny Bond, Hank Thompson, Peggy Lee, etc.

We looked on Youtube and found that young people who like this game had uploaded lots of these great songs. In many cases they were also crashing long running threads by older people who had in the past posted video clips, etc. of this stuff being performed in old movies, TV shows, etc.

I was elated. By the music and by Brent's reaction to it. Movies, usually romantic comedies, have sometimes provided a link like this for contemporary audiences to older music. Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, etc. come to mind. But video games? Violent video games?

The answer is a definite "yes." This game and others like it apparently validate the music to younger audiences. Make it "cool," not square.

Here are a few examples of songs from Fallout New Vegas. There are lots of others. You can easily spend an evening listening to this good old stuff. Just type in the name of the game and the word "music" in the Youtube search box and see what turns up.

Peggy Lee: Johnny Guitar

A great old Western singer, Johnny Bond, sings Stars of the Midnight Range

Pure Country: Hank Thompson: Hangover Heart

Inkspots: It's a Sin To Tell a Lie

Nat King Cole: Love As Though There were No Tomorrow

Kay Kyser: Jingle Jangle

Harry James: I've Heard That Song Before


  1. Great music! Maybe all is not lost after all.

  2. Good news, indeed. I'm of the feelin' that all is not lost, when ya get right down to it. At least from some purely anecdotal personal experience. Permit me some puffery, if you will. Here's a direct quote from an e-mail I got this morning from my 14-year old grandson:

    I've been checking out bands and artists and I've been making all my decisions on buying from it (me: "It" being YouTube). I bought Renee Olstead's new album because of it and Norah Jones because of it. Robert Johnson, Everly Brothers, Sophie Milman and Muddy are next on the buying list. I'm also going to add some Mick Taylor and check him out. You gave him some good reviews so I'm eager to listen.

    The grandson is a budding guitarist and his musical tastes are eclectic to say the VERY least... but he favors Old Bluesmen. And the Beatles. We have THE most amazing discussions about music; he's asked for and received numerous "loans" from my collection. Does a body good, this. ;-)

  3. Scooney, I hope you're right. I'm prone to over optimism, but listening to some this might actually start a change in the culture.

    Buck, Puffery is always allowed here at the Post, especially regarding grandchildren. I like your grandson's taste. What kind of axe does he use?

  4. He has several, Dan. An Epiphone acoustic, a Fender electric (I forget which model) and a Gibson electric (ditto on the model).

    Is he spoiled? Nah. ;-)