Earlier, I wrote about the unnerving popularity of Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" on Macedonian radio. As an American, my music is neatly categorized into "New" and "Old". "New" music is on the radio, unless you're listening to an "Oldies" station. "Old" can never be "New". So that an old Elvis song could be popular now, well, it's just plain disturbing.
To add to this phenomenon, two anecdotes:
I have heard live bands or DJ's in popular Skopje discos play these songs on the weekend:
"Love Shack" by the B-52's
The Friends theme song (!)
"Dancing Queen" by Abba
That song from Grease where they sing back and forth
And I should stress that they are playing these songs entirely without irony. Sure, we'll have an '80's Party' in college, but the whole point of that is to wear ugly sweaters and laugh at ourselves. This stuff is popular here.
Also, I was talking to someone about the soundtrack to Animal House (why? I can't recall) and I asked her if she had ever heard the Sam Cooke song "Wonderful World", which is featured in the movie. "Yeah, of course," she said, "It was a big hit here two years ago."
This is fascinating because people here have always had access to Western music. It's not like the wall came down, and a flood of Zeppelin and the Beatles swept over, and people are still digging around and discovering the 1950's. But, nonetheless, Sam Cooke is still making waves.
Good for him.