It started when I heard my teenage boy singing the old John Denver song “Country Roads”.
I wondered: how did he know that old song from decades before he was born?
He explained that it was a song in some video game. I’ll have to ask him the details when he gets home from school.
My point is that ‘new nostalgia’ can be such a powerful tool for engaging and connecting – appealing to both ‘older’ and new generations.
I think he is listening to a newer, darker version of the old song. I’ll have t find out. I’m keen to find out more about the new version and the video game – and my boy wants to find out more about John Denver.
I actually met John Denver when he was touring Australia in the mid-90s. This impressed my boy and he wanted to know more about what John was like and other songs of his.
Then when I’m driving my boy to school HE tells me lots of interesting things about John Denver – like his real name: Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.
That combination of old and new – new reworkings of nostalgia is a powerful combination appealing across generations.
For example: the ABC show Back in Time for Dinner takes a modern family back in time to see what life was like from the 1950s to current times.
It shows the old stuff (fashions, food, and kitchen appliances0 that probably brings back memories to the older audiences – yet younger audiences are often curious to see what it was like back in ‘the olden days’. It’s great cross-generational viewing. In my opinion, it’s clever because it combines and compares the old and the new. It re-works the nostalgia into new nostalgia.
Anyway, I better go and brush up on remembering some old John Denver songs to impress my son even more.