Crooner: (n) someone who utilizes smooth but exaggerated singing
Late one night, as a friend and I drove across the expanses of the American prairie, where it was so lonesome and dark that even the prairie dogs had turned in for the night, we quickly discovered that we were getting sleepy.
We tried eating.
We tried listening to the radio.
We tried talking. (I think we confessed all the sins and indiscretions from our youth at least three times over.)
While flipping around the radio, we discovered a channel set aside exclusively for old-time singers like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
We were deeply surprised at how much production was put into each and every song, and how these crooners took every single tune and made it sound the same as the others—simply by homogenizing the words and blending the tones together to develop the same consistency on every ballad.
We got tickled.
We decided to take great rock and roll songs and sing them to one another as if we were crooners. From “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, to “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, to “Hang On Sloopy,” by the McCoys, to “Get Back” by the Beatles—each rendition was funnier than the last.
After all, rock and roll is known for separating words and lyrics, almost in a syncopated style. When you smear it all together, it not only loses its beat, but certainly threatens to remove all meaning.
Crooners are interesting vocalists.
They took a time in our history, when we wanted our background music to be nearly symphonic, and then they added cottage cheese vocals, to make everything resound with romance.
Still, I don’t think anything else could have kept us awake that night, as we drove across Americana.
It was especially funny when we decided to do our “crooner rendition” of the Kiss song, “I’m Gonna Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day.”