As I have sometimes alluded to, I'm a sometime fan of classical rock; though sometimes making cracks about some examples that I thought were excessive.
However, there's a phenomenon that seems confusing to me: periodically, male groups came out with songs suns wholly or partly in falsetto. What's with this odd practice? Frank Valli and the Four Seasons were particularly notorious; with songs like "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Sherry." But even the Beach Boys have gone the falsetto route, with "Sloop John B." Others include Lou Christie, Beck, and The Bee Gees.
I have two possible theories for this:
(1) The occasional male group singing in falsetto is a kind of psychic rejection of puberty; with for boys no less than with girls puberty has a mixed bag to go with it.*
(2) The persistence of falsetto singing guys might be a cultural longing for castrati. As barbarous as it sounds, for several hundred years prepubescent boys were castrated to maintain their voices in an alto or soprano range.**
Anyway, I'm really puzzled. Does anyone have an idea for why male falsettos occur so often in popular music?
*Things suddenly got more serious; and there's no way out. I admit to having been ambivalent about it all at the time.
**A fictional example of this is found in Anne Rice's book Cry to Heaven. Warning: it is explicit; and not among her best. In my opinion, you might enjoy Feast of All Saints more. It's a novel about the Free People of Color in old New Orleans.
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