Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Music of Our Lives

Procrastination isn't all that bad.  It can bring on a bit of nostalgia.

While listening to one of my playlists as I work on edits, a sudden urge to check out Burton Cummings of  the band The Guess Who hit me.  That led to learning that he and Randy Bachman (Bachman Turner Overdrive aka BTO), who was a member of the band for a while, co-wrote many of The Guess Who's hit songs.  And to think I saw them in concert in 1970.

For Christmas in 1967 I received my first stereo record player.  It looked similar to this one ↑, and I was wildly ecstatic.  Stereo, for goodness sake!  And an album to play on it, too!  Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence.

I grew up in a home that where music was listened to often and appreciated.  Sure, that meant watching The Lawrence Welk Show, a favorite of my parents for many years, but I can now recognize many of the songs from the 1940s---yes, before I was born--and the bands and vocalists from the era.

When I was four-years-old, my parents bought a small, neighborhood grocery store.  The memory of those two or so years are still strong.  In the far back corner of the store, near the meat counter, where a real butcher worked, a radio sat high on a shelf.  Music played all day long, much of it Country-Western music.  To this day, listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford singing Sixteen Tons is like being in that store again.

Growing up, my next door neighbors were more like family to me, an only child.  They were the ones who took me trick-or-treating every Halloween, taught me how to play jacks, hopscotch, to shoot a basketball and ride a bike.  The oldest was a teenager in high school, about the time I was eight, and Kay plastered her walls with Elvis Presley.  To this day, I've never swooned over him.  I usually cringe. :)  Between Kay and her younger sister Margaret, they had a record collection of 45s that were to die for.  Pat Boone, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Fisher, Connie Francis, Bill Hayley and the Comets, and more.  I was allowed to borrow them.  At my first slumber party (today's sleepover) in third grade, we managed to crash & break my bunkbed by swinging on the end of it, while we listened to Perry Como singing Hot Diggity.

A quick jump forward to the early 60s.  Neil Sedaka,, the Four Seasons, the Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Little Richard were only a few of the hit-makers.  We learned to do the Twist, the Mashed Potato, and the Locomotive.  Then came cruisin' music and surfer music--The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Hondells, the Safaris.

And then came the British Invasion.  The Rolling Stones getting satisfied, the Dave Clark 5, The Byrds, The Monkees and the never-to-be-forgotten Beatles topped the charts.  I still listen to Marvin Gaye, The Mamas and Papas, the Temptations and the Lovin' Spoonful and so many I can't list them all.  Those were the groups of my generation, the generation that protested The "War" That Shouldn't Have Been.

I still listen to all of those groups and their music.  My playlists are endless, and I've learned that William Congreve's "Music has Charms to soothe the savage Breast" is still as accurate today as it was in the 17th century.  Music can comfort and uplift, energize and calm.  Listen to your favorite music and refill the well of your soul.
Music is the universal language of mankind. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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