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Study: Most Can Only Name One Peter Frampton Album

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Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:30:40 EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (CAP) - After more than ten albums with Humble Pie, another dozen as a solo artist, and a Grammy back in 2006, nearly two-thirds of Americans over the age of 25 still cannot name more than one Peter Frampton album, a study released yesterday showed.

The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs Annual Musical Literacy Study paints a dismal picture of the musical knowledge of the most recent graduates of the U.S. education system, although the study did find steadily improving results as respondents approached the age of 49.

However, an overwhelming 80% of all respondents in the study did try to pass off Frampton Comes Alive! as two albums.

"Far too many young people lack even the most basic skills for navigating our musical history or understanding how rock and roll has evolved into what it is today," said the study's final report.

Scholars and musicologists who have analyzed the results of the study say Americans' woeful level of musical illiteracy damages more than Arbitron ratings for "classic rock" radio stations. They say it damages democracy.

"You're going to make assumptions about people out of ignorance, and they're going to make assumptions about you," said Geoff Phillips of the Center for the Study of Music in American Culture at Indiana University in Indianapolis.

"Our memories of our musical heritage are like Peter Frampton's hair," said Phillips. "Once long and flowing, and now - hardly anything to speak of."

The release of the study coincides with the launch of the National Geographic-led campaign called My Wonderful Peter. A statement on the program said it was designed to "inspire parents and educators to give their kids the power of global knowledge through Peter Frampton's music."