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New York Magazine and Vulture.com music critic Jody Rosen defends the kind of over-the-top, sentimental songs that Journey, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel and Prince made famous. He writes, "Schlock, at its finest, is where bad taste becomes great art."
Rosen talks to Here & Now's Robin Young about how the tendency towards schlock goes way back in American popular music.
Recent Pieces By Jody Rosen:
Songs Heard In This Segment
Steve Perry sings "Open Arms" live with Eels in June 2014
Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"
"Danny Boy," sung by The Irish Tenors
Stephen Foster's "The Old Folks At Home," sung by Paul Robeson
"My Mammy," sung by Al Jolson
Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now," 2000 re-recording, sung by Joni Mitchell
Judy Garland sings "Over the Rainbow," live at Carnegie Hall in 1961
George Jones, "He Stopped Loving Her Today"
Ray Charles, "America The Beautiful"
Katy Perry, "Roar"
Lionel Richie, "Hello"
Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, "My Endless Love"
Prince, "Purple Rain"
This segment aired on August 27, 2014.