Okay, all you YouTubers out there. Buckle your seatbelts. The latest phenomenon to rocket to fame are two twin 21-year-old brothers from Gary, Indiana — Tim and Fred Williams. This is a classic YouTube success story, and it could not have happened to two more deserving young people.
There are now many music video reactors on YouTube, but these guys have catapulted to popularity, closing in on 500,000 subscribers, most of it in just the past few weeks after their reactions to “Jolene” by Dolly Parton (she instantly tweeted her approval) and the astounding response to their reaction to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” That one video of theirs now has 5.9 million views and 17,000+ comments. Frankly, I never realized he was that popular, but hey, that sudden drum break is something else.
The thing about the twins that is making them so popular is that they are sensitive and perceptive and are willing to listen and react to just about any type of music from Tennessee Ernie Ford to Aerosmith and everything in between and after. And they’re funny. It’s the first time they’ve heard any of this. Every genre of music is fair game, and their genuine enthusiasm and likeability, as well as the sheer fun and delight they derive from listening to all kinds of music, make their channel a pure pleasure to listen to. Even though I’ve never listened to most of what they react to, I can guarantee I and anyone else willing to step outside their musical comfort zones will be in for an eye-opening education in popular hits that span decades. Bravo!
If you look at the thousands of comments they receive, one thing stands out. Older people who grew up listening to the songs the twins are hearing for the first time are just plain happy, glad and grateful that people as young as Tim and Fred listen to and enjoy music popular with different generations. It’s refreshing, it’s astonishing, it’s unheard of. How many teenagers, college students or young adults that you know are similarly open-minded? I confess, I haven’t listened to much contemporary pop music, and after growing up with the great classics of the 60s and 70s, I’m not sure I would want to. So maybe I need to branch out.
The brothers have just been featured in an article in The New York Times, and they are been interviewed on CNN and numerous other media outlets. I personally don’t think fame is going to get to them. They’re going to stay humble and continue to share their love of music with us. In these terrible days of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a sheer relief to listen to the twins react to the music we love, and in the process take our minds off all the troubles that swirl around us every day.
In the comment section listeners send in thousands of requests for the twins to listen and react to. My first time hearing Tim and Fred was their reaction to one of my favorite songs, “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers.
Here’s one of their most recent videos, listening to Linda Rondstat’s Blue Bayou