Recordings: The Anti-Middle-Class Market

Mr. Taylor cheats on his wife. Mr. Harper is a drunk. Widow Jones cavorts without pulling down her window shades. It would all be everyday grist for Peyton Place but, blaring out of radios and jukeboxes, this titillating recital is selling 3,000,000 records. It is Harper Valley P.T.A., a thumping, country-flavored song about a smalltown widow. Her high skirts and low life are criticized by the P.T.A. at her teen-age daughter's school. She storms into the P.T.A. meeting and graphically exposes the membership as a bunch of hypocrites:

Mr. Baker, can you tell us why your secretary had to leave...