Monday, May 08, 2006

Once Upon a Time...

The first popular song I remember from my childhood is, These Boots Were Made for Walkin', by Nancy Sinatra. Interesting song for a young 'un to listen to, wouldn't you say? I had a 45 rpm single play record of this song - the kind that needed the adapter pictured on the left in order to be played on the hi-fi.

I also had the single of, Those Were the Days, My Friend, by Mary Hopkins, on the Apple lable. You know the song (if you're old enough) - it started out, "Once upon a time, there was a tavern, Where we used to raise a glass or two." Again, odd musical choice for a toddler. That yellow adapter looked pretty funny right smack dab in the middle of that green granny smith apple!

Another song I remember from that era is, Little Becky's Christmas Wish. It was a tearjerker about a little girl who wanted her big brother to come home from Viet Nam for Christmas. I don't think he made it.

I took a musical trip down memory lane at You Tube last night and looked up the following songs:

Hooked on a Feeling - This one was originally by Blue Swede; the version at You Tube is by David Hasselhoff (what's up with that?), but it sounded pretty much the same, and the video had dachshunds in it!

Bohemian Rhapsody - by Queen. I still love the tight harmonies and the rock opera presentation.

I Started a Joke - by the Bee Gees. I still only partly get the joke.

Surrender and The Dream Police - by Cheap Trick

I even visited my least favorite song of all time. It gave me a frisson of nostalgic repulsion right from the very first strains: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I used to cringe when they played it at a dance - it went on forever and ever, and it was virtually impossible for anyone to dance to it.They always requested it, though, with cries from the crowd of, "Play Freebird! Play Freebird!" Ugh. Sorry to all of the Skynyrd fans out there. Just hated this one. It grated on me from the very first time I heard it. Sweet Home Alabama was much easier to take.

I could never quite bring myself to like Stairway to Heaven, either. I know, I know, I'm a traitor to my generation. Another awful song: The Girl is Mine by Michael Jackson.

I couldn't find anything by The Cars at You Tube, but I went through a distinct Cars phase.

I was able to find the first music video I remember watching - Don't Stand So Close To Me by The Police. I checked out a little Blondie (Call Me!) and the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox singing Sweet Dreams). I even listened to a short version of Macarthur Park (hey, it beats Freebird any day in my book).

To give credit to the late 80's, I looked up Simply Red's, If You Don't Know Me By Now (it was big when I was dating my husband). I kept trying to remember Don Henley's, The End of the Innocence - it sat at the back of my mind like a shadow or a ghost that disappeared when I tried to look directly at it. If finally popped into my head tonight, when I least expected it.

There was a song by John Cougar Mellencamp that was big in the late 80's, too - I can see a bit of the video in my mind, but I can't quite remember it. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

When I speak of today's music, I have begun to echo the things my mother said to me a couple of decades (or so) ago:

1. They don't make music like the did in my day, and
2. It all sounds the same.

I could go on for hours, picking out tunes from the past and reliving moments of my life to them. What were your favorites, and which one gets your vote for worst song of all time?


Random Kath said...

"Jack and Diane"? "Pink Houses"? "The Authority Song"? "Cherry Bomb"? . . . any of those?

Wow - favorite songs? That's one I have to think on . . . I loved listening to the radio all throughout my teens and twenties and there are just too many things to list . . . I listened to everything except death metal, I guess and hardcore rap.

I do make fun of my husband's love of Led Zeppelin, since I think Robert Plant sounds the same on all of the songs - I like to do a whiny "waaa waa laa" in Plant-ese, just to get a rise out of him. :-)

REM, B-52s, Sting & the Police, Elvis Costello, XTC, Tori Amos, They Might Be Giants, Madonna, Paula Abdul, 10,000 Maniacs, Carole King, Billy Joel, En Vogue, Stevie Wonder, Beastie Boys, Van Halen (the David Lee Roth years) . . . I could go on forever. I am not that picky - if it has a good tune, or a fun time attached to it, I love it for the memories it brings up . . .

paxromano said...

Those Were The Days My Friend!!! Oh SNAP, I remember that one. Wasn't Mary Hopkins dating one of the Beatles (it might explain how she got signed to their label!!).

Say weren't we talking about all of this at lunch today?

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

Darling, I had "Those Where the Days" as well and yes, I vividly remember the Apple labels. I loved that song, still do, I remember "Boots" as well as having a 45 of Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is" and "Call Me Irresponsible", I hate to admit it but there where a few songs from the 60's that I fondly recall. Growing up in the 60's (I always say they passed me by, thankfully), I remember haunting the Goodwill and second stores, where I could but 78's from the 20's, 30's and 40's for 5 cents a record. La, darling, those really where the days.

Virginia Gal said...

How did those videos from the early days of music video's look compared to the slick productions they spin out now?

One of my favorite songs from my childhood (late 80's, early 90's) was "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey. I also liked "Toy Soliders" by Martika, "Forever your Girl" by Paula Abdul, "Wherever you are" by Richard Marx. Of course when I was a teen, I was all about New Kids on the Block. Sigh, I still love them.

I am not a fan of anything by Phil Collins, Rod Stewart and mostly everything by Elton John (liked his Candle in the Wind and Tiny Dancer).

Merci said...

Random Kath-
I think it was Pink Houses. Thanks!

My memories of music are based mostly on the radio. I didn't own too many albums (music was still produced on records during my HS years, though 8-tracks and cassettes were available), so I only knew the music that made into frequent play. I often find that I know a song, but I don't know the artist or the group. I rely on Pax R. for my pop culture info.

Yup, we were discussing this at lunch the other day. I was talking about this post, which I couldn't seem to finish, for a variety of reasons...

The Mary Hopkins story can be found here:

Miss Magnolia-
I remember the 78's! We had some of those around the house. You had to remember to switch the speed on the turntable, or they sounded pretty funny.

Wish I could come up with some of those old recordings now, though I don't even own a turntable anymore...

Virginia Gal-
The early music videos were not so very high tech. They came out before most people even had VCR's, so they had to be broadcast rather than purchased. When I was in college, my roommate and I used to watch, "America's Top 10," every Sunday night before we went to sleep. It was the only way to see music videos at the time.


I just listed to some snippets of Queen Latifah's latest release - The Dan Owens Album - soul, blues, and pop from the 20's to the 70's. I think I'm going to pick it up.

Zelda Parker said...

Music is food for the soul! Give me music or give me........First albums: Introducing the Beatles (wish I still had it), a 45 of RESPECT by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin and Peter & Gordon. Google that one, no freebees. First cassette; the BIRDS,you remember David Crosby and company singing "Mr. Tamborine Man, Turn, Turn, Turn."
First concert; was it Bowie at the Tower or Queen. That would be my first four concerts. I remember that "Sparks" and Billy Squier were opening acts.
Most recent concert: Billy Joel, still great after all these years.
Least favorite song, from a most favored artist: "Thirty thousand pounds of Banannas," by Harry Chapin. Wish I could have seen him once.
Noteworthy: Up close and personal with Mavin Gaye at one of his last performances. When he started talking off his silk pj's for sexual healing we left. Once I sat in the third row for Bowie's Serious Moonlight tour and did not hear well for three days.
In 2003, my wish was to see only two concerts (in my lifetime): the Eagles and Springsteen. Thanks to the friends who made that a great year!
Last year I saw more concerts than ever:
Appel Farms- Aimee Mann and Loudon Wainright
XPN music festival including Wainright and the Indigo Girls.
Jack Johnson & G Love
James Taylor
Blue Oyster Cult
Chicago & Earth, Wind and Fire.
Joan Jett
Andrea Bochelli
Jim Brickman
Live 8 Yeah!
Am I forgetting a few?
All time favorites: Springsteen, Eagles, CSNY, JT and my new interest in Jack Johnson.
There isn't much music I don't like. Cannot oblige the old torch and twang of my parents fave, country!.
I can wholehartedly endorse Queen Latifah, I mean Dana Owens, you know the rapper,the actress the great singer!
What am I listening to now, Dave Matthews. Can't wait for more summer concerts under the stars!