I was listening to the radio last night. It wasn’t how I used to listen to the radio when I was a teenager. I’d be in my bed, ear pressed to the tinny speaker with the dial tuned to WLS, “the Big 89” from Chicago.
That was then. This is now. I was streaming a classic rock station through a smart television equipped with a radio app and connected to an audio system. The end result was the same. Music from the sixties.
A strong male voice was singing passionately about a girl. I recognized that familiar voice, but not the song. Singing in a full, rich baritone and ultimately reaching crescendos layered with full orchestration, while repeating the name “An-ge-LI-ca,” it was compelling enough for me to uncover more about the song. I located the station web site where a slowly scrolling playlist noted the title currently streaming was Angelica by Scott Walker:
You know, it’s been a while since the sixties. For one split second, upon seeing the name “Scott Walker” scroll past, I envisioned a notorious politician crooning from behind a podium, and it wasn’t Scott Walker the singer.
A group named the Walker Brothers had a hit song in 1965 titled The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore, the refrain of which I often sing aloud while shuffling around the house on gloomy, winter days. It was that song in which I’d first heard the Scott Walker I was hearing now, the one my mind’s eye initially offered up as a politician from Wisconsin.
Most of what I know about Scott Walker the singer, I learned on Wikipedia just a few minutes ago. Most of what I know about Scott Walker the politician has come from newspaper articles and social media over a number of years.
The Wikipedia article about Scott Walker the singer is surprisingly good and rather extensive. It captured my interest for quite some time as I sought out YouTube videos of him as a solo artist and singing with his brothers. I don’t spend that kind of time on politicians. Unless, of course, they’re singing.
For better or worse, Scott Walker the politician isn’t among them in the above mashup video. But depending on whether it’s Scott Walker the singer accompanied by his brothers, or Scott Walker the politician accompanied by his environmental policies, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore can carry two distinct messages. Sad as it is, I prefer the singer’s. The other is unthinkable.