Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday - Music, Music, Music!



What role did music play in your growing up years? What, if any, music do you associate with early childhood? What music style or songs were popular when you were in high school? How did you listen to music - on the radio, albums, etc. Did you have a stereo in your room? Did you attend concerts when you were a teenager? Did the music you liked cause conflict with your parents? What song or songs take you back to a certain place and time of your youth?

I don't even know where to start with this post! I love music and have loved it since my earliest memories of singing hymns at church. If you are a regular Saturday visitor to my blog, you know that hymns still resonate with me and speak to my heart like nothing else.

When I was little, we had an old record player. We had mostly 33 1/3 rpm records, but I remember my dad had about three 78 rpm records of a man singing hymns and other inspirational songs. When I was probably in about the 4th grade, we got a stereo - one of those old consoles that had a sliding door on top and one side held the records. That was so exciting! My parents had that until we moved my mom into assisted living a few years after my dad died.

I was a little bit nerdy as a child in the music I liked. I can't believe I am about to admit this on the world wide web, but I loved The Lawrence Welk Show when I was in elementary school. I was convinced I was going to grow up and marry Tom Netherton! I used to tape the show on my mom's little cassette player and play it multiple times during the next week. I would stand in the living room and hold a pretend microphone and imagine I was singing on stage.

In the early days of contemporary Christian music, groups such as Truth, Eternity, and the Heritage Singers just fascinated me. I thought it would be so cool to be in a group like that.

My parents were a more than a bit horrified at the rock music that was popular in the 1960's and beyond. When I was in third grade, my class did a little dance at the school's Fall Festival. There wasn't much dancing to it - I think they just kinda swayed back and forth. But I wasn't up there. Part of it was the dancing - my strongly legalistic Baptist parents weren't about to let me do that! But a lot of the reason was the raucous song that was being danced to: Sugar, Sugar by the Archies! That is almost elevator music by today's standards!

I don't even think they cared about the lyrics; I doubt they even listened to the song enough to even know what it said! In fact, when I was in high school and my best friend went with us on a vacation, we would laugh at my dad because he could only stand to have the car radio on the pop station for a little while; if a particularly fast song came on, he would switch it. . .to a country station! We always said "Those lyrics are a lot worse - and you can understand them!"

Some of the songs from my younger (elementary) years that stand out are a result of hearing my siblings play their little FM radio include Billy, Don't Be a Hero (anti-Vietnam War song), Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, and The Carpenters. We didn't get to buy popular albums, but one sister actually had a Glen Campbell LP, and she and I loved Long Black Limousine. The two summers that I spent a week with my brother and his wife we listened to their Simon & Garfunkel records a lot, and my favorite was The Sound of Silence

And of course, there was The Streak! ("Is that you, Ethel? What do you think you're doing?! You get your clothes on!. . .Say it isn't so, Ethel!") (If you "youngsters" watch that link, you'll get to see an actual record player with an automatic arm!) And the one that horrified 2nd Cup Lid to find out that I liked was Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band; it's a raunchy song, but I always loved the harmony!

When I was in high school, I listened to both contemporary Christian music and pop. Contemporary Christian music favorites of mine were the Imperials, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Evie Tornquist, and Amy Grant, who was just releasing her first record.

I have been sitting at my computer for more than two hours watching/listening to YouTube clips of songs that are now considered oldies that I loved in high school. It's funny how hearing a song can transport you right back to another time and place! The late 1970's had some wonderfully romantic music. . .and some songs that I realize now are so melancholic and depressing! Of course, I loved the BeeGees. Andy Gibb. David Gates & Bread. (Goodbye Girl and Lost Without Your Love. Olivia Newton-John. Abba. I loved the Commodores (Three Times a Lady and Still). And Babe\ by STYX. Dan Hill's Sometimes When We Touch. (I liked some sleazy songs! Maybe it's a good thing I didn't date a lot!) With a Little Luck by Paul McCartney's group Wings. Anne Murray's You Needed Me was a favorite. And I loved Kenny Rogers. And Dolly Parton's Here You Come Again takes me back to the angst of boyfriend ups and downs!

I was always misunderstanding things I heard. No confused lyrics pop into my mind right now, but when I was in high school, I thought "Hall & Oates" was "Haulin' Oats" -- and I couldn't figure out why they were on the pop station instead of country!

And lest you think I have an indelible memory, remembering one song leads to another, plus I found this website!

Oh, and I do remember in Journalism we loved to tease the editor with Randy Newman's Short People! I think she was 4' 10". I was a whole foot taller than she was!

One thing I did notice while listening to these old songs. . .it is easy to feel the heaviness of the emotion. My heart and mind are much happier listening to a great Christian song!

When I was in college, I pretty much stuck with Christian music - it was really exploding with new talent. Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, Petra, DeGarmo & Key, Harvest, Steve Archer, First Call, Larnelle Harris, Wayne Watson, Steve Green, Gaither Vocal Band (when it was called The New Gaither Vocal Band!). . .the list goes on and on! And one of the first things I bought when I graduated from college and got a job was a stereo! It was great - had both a record player and a cassette player! Kids today with their iPods don't even realize how good they have it!

I gotta stop. Here's a song I always loved from Amy Grant's very first album, released in 1977. Look how young she and Michael W. Smith (at the piano) are!




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9 comments:

Debbie said...

I've wanted to join up for some time now. I love this topic of music. My growing up years were much different from yours. We went to church but in my youth I was more influenced by the culture. That has changed for me in the past 15 years though and I love Christian music. But thanks for providing this opportunity to go down memory lane.

Blessings,
Debbie

Kathy said...

I loved reading your post, and I really enjoyed writing mine. I grew up listening to some crazy music, but it didn't warp me in any way...LOL
I love the song Afternoon Delight, too--it's still one of my all-time favories! Like you, I thought the message was a bit risque, but the harmonies were absolutely wonderful...

Kim said...

It was fun to read your post -- it brought back so many memories! I am really BAD at remembering both the names of songs and those who sang them.
Thanks for hosting this great meme!
Since I didn't grow up in a Christian home, I don't remember ever hearing Christian music (except when a country singer sang a southern gospel number) until I was saved at age 17. And my post certainly reflects my 'heathen' upbringing :) I still love country music but don't have a chance to listen to it (or much Christian either) where we live now, except what I have on my iPod or bring up on youtube.

Joyce said...

My favorite topic! I played along...I can't wait to read the posts today. Thanks for hosting.

Do you remember the old Amy Grant song, 'I am a small and lonely grape'? We used to sing it at camp. I loved that first album of hers!

Thanks for the walk down memory lane : )

Craig Weeks said...

It's a shame that Starland Vocal Band is remembered only for "Afternoon Delight". It's an entertaining little ditty (and highly marketable) but their self-titled LP had some much better stuff, in particular an acapella rendition Paul Simon's "American Tune". Somewhere along the way I ditched all my vinyl, including "Starland Vocal Band", but I reacquired it later via a used CD and it's on my iPod today. They were much more talented that the synopsis of their career would indicate. I saw them open for John Denver once.

What's with Amy having her hands in her pockets? Experience matters, huh?

bekahcubed said...

I love the Lawrence Welk show! My grandpa watches it faithfully every week, and when we'd go up there he'd sit us down for our weekly dose of "culture".

Now, if I turn on the radio (which I rarely do, preferring to listen to music I've bought myself or some of the classical or jazz I've obtained for free), I generally turn to an oldies station--so I get to hear and love all those songs you referenced. Of course, I don't know the names or artists for most of them since the oldies stations assume you already know and don't announce!

Peggy said...

Blessings Linda... Just had to come over and hear all your flashback fun!!! What an enjoyable post & idea!

I saw Debbie's and just had to come and see what you had, knowing that you are such a music buff! This was so enjoyable and ohhh I remember these oh so well. I was not such a Lawrence Welk fan but it was always on in our home, but I totally get the Tom "heartthrob" deal. I was like that with Steve Green and Don Moen later.

Thanks for the delightful memories!
Every group I knew the song but I was more Associations, Frankie Valli, Supremes. But I loved Lady
oh, so many memories. I still have many records, 8 tracks, and cassettes; many 45s of my favorites. I could enjoy MUSIC FLASHBACK every Friday. This was fun... sorry I did not join but it was great just reading yours and Debbie's. Now I'll be stuck in a mind warp of songs of my past. I had a different song for each boyfriend. Can't remember a one, except a crush I had on an Andy
and I'll bet I had "Sealed with a Kiss" for him.

Have a fun weekend & enJOY!!!
Peggy

Xmas Dolly said...

I found you blog through a mutual friend. What a neat idea for a meme. I hope I remember it for next Friday! Love Amy Grant too! I'm your latest follower, nice to meet you. Have a great weekend.

CeeCee said...

Love your music memories. Hey I remember enjoying The Lawrence Welk show too. My taste are eclectic because my mom played everything from classical to disco to everything in between. I wasn't blessed to be raised in a Christian home until my late teens. Now I mostly listen to praise and worship. But I still have an ear for other genres too.