Once rock & roll reached ascendancy over traditional pop in the late 60's, middle-of-the-road pop emerged as a separate style. Nobody ever accused Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Barry Manilow, or other MOR vocalists of being hip or edgy like their rock contemporaries. They were throwback artists, appealing most to middle-aged, middle-class people who remembered the heydays of big-band swing and pop vocals. Though a few MOR crossover acts -- Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, the Carpenters -- made inroads on the pop charts (especially during the 70's), most middle-of-the-road artists relied on their wide appeal to a large fanbase. They released albums rather than singles, and toured to large, older crowds. As rock fans aged during the late '70s and 80's, many of them gradually grew into middle-of-the-road pop, and the style continued steadily into the 90's and beyond.

Published before on allmusic.com. Placed with permission.

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