Harry Connick Jr. speaks the truth and American Idol trembles

Why has the music become so small…?

Harry Connick Jr. is now officially my Hero of the Day. Hell, I’ll let my man hold the crown for the entire week.

Just finished reading a story where Connick essentially told some contestants – and even a few judges – on American Idol that there is such a thing as honest-to-goodness musical talent and craftsmanship in this world, and that to some of us it does still matter. To his everlasting credit Connick did not dispense his criticism like the dearly departed Simon Cowell who gained fame and recognition during the show’s earlier years for his gleeful public disemboweling of contestants whom he felt didn’t quite measure up to his standards. Connick delivered his criticism as an actual artist who has taken the time to study his craft and encourages other artists who consider themselves serious about what they do to do some damned homework themselves. Either be a hobbyist or be for real, but if you’re gonna be for real then do the work.

The funny thing is that Connick isn’t even what most artists would consider a heavyweight. Oh he’s talented for sure, but there are quite a few who could put Harry in the corner and Harry would not complain. But compared to about 90 percent of the vocal contestants who appear on American Idol (and I’m being generous) Harry Connick casts a shadow about the same size as Charlie Parker casts over Kenny G. Harry called them on their failure to measure up to even the most basic of standards that should be expected of any musician, like knowing a little musical history and knowing what the hell a song is about before trying to sing it. But even that was considered too harsh by some, such as American Idol judge Randy Jackson.

Thank God somebody let some light shine in on that farce, even if for just that brief shining moment.

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Writer and musician.

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