Produced by

The Kids Are Alright

Monday, April 19, 2010

The current No. 1 album in America is the work of an elfin youth barely old enough to shave. Today, we hear about the Justin Bieber juggernaut from Los Angeles Times staff writer Amy Kaufman. Then, we look at the history of teen idols in pop music with Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys and writer Maura Johnston.

Guests:

Howie Dorough, Maura Johnston and Amy Kaufman

Comments [29]

Adam from NYC

If you like boy bands, check out this group of 3 brothers, ages 19, 16, and 12. They are AJR. They have amazing harmony and are brilliant songwriters. www.AJRBrothers.com and http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/born-bred/id359553649 If you like real sounding pop rock, then you will love them!

Apr. 19 2010 05:41 PM
Chriss Williams from Montclair, NJ

Barry,

I'm so happy you can see the future.

Do you pick stocks too? Or just which recording artist are going to "evolve" into something....

You have to recognize that from the Beatles on Sullivan, there was NO way to see what they would become.

NO WAY.

Apr. 19 2010 03:17 PM
Vinny from Manalapan,NJ

RE: [19] Suki from Williamsburg April 19, 2010 - 02:33PM

It is so easy to make Beatles fans mad: just compare them to NKOTB...

Right, it would be like comparing your writing skills to that of Samuel Clemens. While you may be a great writer, it's not evident in your short and sarcastic body of work.

Apr. 19 2010 02:48 PM
Barry from Queens

@Michael: Exactly - no mere boy band could have created "A Day in the Life," side B of "Abbey Road" or anything off Revolver. I don't see any of these current manufactured acts ever evolving into anything close to that.

Apr. 19 2010 02:38 PM
Chriss Williams from Montclair, NJ

Not true.

The Beatles GREW into the Beatles. They did not start with St. Peppers...

At this point, you have NO idea what Justin B might turn into.

Look at Will Smith. He is the biggest movie star in the world. Not bad for a corny rapper, that no real hip-hop fan found worth.

Apr. 19 2010 02:36 PM
Susannah from NYC

Duran Duran were my favs, but they weren't a boy band, they were men

Apr. 19 2010 02:36 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I meant to put the word small in quotation marks in my comment above. I meant "true" facetiously.

And Howie D's use of the word "artist" is grossly suspect. One of the most overused, misused words in the language nowadays, especially when applied to pop culture. And this stuff is the lowest of the low.

Apr. 19 2010 02:35 PM
Karen from Long Beach ,NY

If you don't like the topic, change your dial.

Apr. 19 2010 02:35 PM
virginia from Putnam Valley NY

My favorite boy band - The Beatles! When you played I wanna hold your hand a few minutes I didn't even have to close my eyes, I was back to being 17 and holed up in my bedroom, and those voices were coming out of the clock radio on my nightstand. I could almost hear Cousin Brucie do the intro.
yeah, yeah, yeah!

Apr. 19 2010 02:34 PM
Robots Need To Party from NYC

The difference between today's teen idols and the teen idols of the past is that the teen idols now get the majority of the label's marketing dollars. This "Tween" market is now the biggest segment of music sales and dominates the mainstream music press. Labels seemingly have given up promoting other types of music. It's just way harder to compete for those other non "Tween" dollars.

Apr. 19 2010 02:34 PM
Suki from Williamsburg

It is so easy to make Beatles fans mad: just compare them to NKOTB...

Apr. 19 2010 02:33 PM
Peter from jackson heights NY

i've always loved teen stars, from david cassidy (in my day) to his li'l bro shaun, the bay city rollers (those last two were the first live concert I ever witnessed before adoring thousands) and all since: find the phenom fascinating -- something for all young kids (and Peter Pans) to project their own varying fantasies onto, from adolescent crushes to fame-related dreams, etc. However, don't compare any of 'em to the Beatles, a once-in-a-lifetime phenom after all: the big difference: the Beatles were not a PRE-fab four, but organically grew together out of their neighborhood and shared class background and -- the big one -- wrote their own catalogue, one rarely equalled in music history

Apr. 19 2010 02:33 PM
Suki from Williamsburg

Was I the only person out there who tried to make boy bands of Radiohead and Pearl Jam?

Apr. 19 2010 02:31 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Comparing the Beatles to the later groups is true, except for the following small differences:

The Beatles were all in their very late teens when they found each other (they weren't put together by Disney or another marketing machine); they played in bars for years and honed their chops; their own original music was just that, incredibly original.

At the bottom was music and musicality.

Not true for any of the subsequent groups.

Apr. 19 2010 02:31 PM
Michael from West Village

Comparing the Lennon/McCartney or the Jackson 5 or Brian Wilson, or whomever else to the Backstreet Boys is absurd.

The Backstreet Boys and modern teen bands will never approach the cultural status of Lennon/McCartney etc because Lennon/McCartney were culturally created. Modern boy bands like the backstreet boys are corporate creations, not cultural creations - therein is the pivotal difference.

Apr. 19 2010 02:31 PM
JT from Texas

The popularity of some of these acts may be attributed to the power of suggestion (like the young girls hired to swoon over young Sinatra) but time has proven that, due to honest to goodness craftsmanship, these acts can and do inspire rabid loyalty. New Kids FOREVAH!

Apr. 19 2010 02:30 PM
MAT from new york

john taylor from duran duran was my destiny but i didn't have the money nor were my parents willing to spend on merchandise and show tickets like kids nowadays. their unattainability gave them lasting endurance ...

Apr. 19 2010 02:30 PM
Elle

What's disturbing is the older women in the clips. what would we say if girls his age woul flirt with older men?

Apr. 19 2010 02:28 PM
Barry from Queens

Now you're just being ridiculous. The Beatles went on to create some of the most innovative and challenging rock ever. No chance for Mr. Bieber. A more apt comparison would be Herman's Hermits or the Monkees or another bubblegum pop group from the 60s.

Apr. 19 2010 02:27 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Music? It has long had nothing to do with music John. It has to do with promotion, marketing, and making $$$.

And it all takes advantage of hysterical young girls, and their parent's pocketbooks.

Music indeed! The "music" is pure, boring crapola.

Apr. 19 2010 02:24 PM
kp from nj

As long as there is money to be made picking the pockets of adolescent girls, there will be teen idols. I sent plenty of my babysitting money to the "David Cassidy juggernaut"....

Apr. 19 2010 02:23 PM
darrin from staten island

i hate the way the word "talent" is constantly used to describe these flavor of the month pop artists...

Apr. 19 2010 02:22 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

How old is Amy, 14?

Apr. 19 2010 02:18 PM
darrin from staten island

another product of processed pop with a hip/hop/r&b twist, to me hes nothing but a marginally talented singer whos cleverly pkged...

Apr. 19 2010 02:18 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Snore.

Apr. 19 2010 02:18 PM
Karen from Long Beach ,NY

Justin performed at our middle school this month because the students won a contest.

Apr. 19 2010 02:16 PM
Chriss Williams from Montclair, NJ

Catchy pop has always been fun.

(Hell I remember 4 shaggy haired boys from Liverpool when they first showed up... Parents thought them irrelevant with their "She loves you-- YEA! YEA! YEA!" diddy....)

The boy can sing, dance-- what's not to like?

Oh, right. GIRLS love him... So it must be bad....

Apr. 19 2010 02:16 PM
Michael from Rockville Centre,

Nice voice ? Geez,he sounds like Michael Jackson.And get a Hair Cut.!

Apr. 19 2010 02:15 PM
Jeffrey from Midtown

Who really cares? There's so much better music out there and this is the best you can do, John? If I want to hear this crap, I'll turn to Z100.

Apr. 19 2010 01:14 PM

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