My digital cable service comes with a large selection of music channels: 45 narrowly programmed channels of commercial-free music, ranging from Old School Rap to Mexicana. This evening I was bored with everything on TV. Even VH1 Classics wasn't doing it for me, and that hardly ever happens. So turned to the Music Choice 70s channel, because, as I admitted to rollick yesterday, I have a weakness for cheesy 70s pop rock. Like, say, Ambrosia, whose 1978 hit "How Much I Feel" happens to be playing as I type this sentence.
Anyway, all the Music Choice channels show factoids about the songs as they play. For example, right now it says that Gino Vanelli released Slow Love in 1998. (The song just changed. Now it's "I Just Wanna Stop," a song that tests the limits of my fondness for this era in musical history.) Normally I pay no attention to what it says on screen, because, well, it's boring to watch. And frankly, most of the facts aren't that interesting. OK, so Nicolette Larson ("Lotta Love," 1979) studied psychology and sociology in college. Big deal. But every so often I happen to look over there despite my best intentions, and occasionally I'll see something that truly surprises and interests me, like this gem that flashed up on screen while "The Rapper" by the Jaggerz was playing:
The Jaggerz are part of a permanent exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
Now, that's genuinely interesting, if only because it's so phenomenally unlikely. Consider some of the other musicians to come from Pennsylvania: Marian Anderson; Frankie Avalon; George Benson; Boyz II Men; Jim Croce; Danny and the Juniors; Stan Getz; Billie Holliday; Joan Jett; Patti LaBelle; Live; Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes; Harold Melvin; Teddy Pendergrass; Poison; and Will Smith. And let's not forget that American Bandstand originated in Philadelphia. Now, never having seen this exhibit, I don't know who's in it or even what the point of the exhibit is. Maybe it's a tribute to one-hit wonders, and they share exhibition space with Toni Basil, Michael Sembello, and the Trammps. But barring that, how did the Jaggerz make the cut for the exhibit when there are literally dozens of other musicians from Pennsylvania who are more successful, better known, and more influential? I think it may be worth a drive up to Harrisburg to find out.