My addiction to music began when I was about 10 years old, with my first transistor radio, listening to the WMCA Good Guys (on the air from late 1960 to 1970 out of NYC). The constant rotation of the Top 40 insured that I learned all the lyrics to “Wooly Bully”, “Help Me Rhonda”, “I Got You, Babe” and dozens of others. That’s when Cher became my idol.
I have a friend who says, “Nothing returns a memory as clearly as a song.” In other words, by listening to a particular song, you can be immediately transported back to a certain time and place. Depending on the track, it’s an almost visceral reaction – at least for me. Some of the songs that trigger memories for me are:
> “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters (1964)- going to Seaside Heights (the Jersey shore) during the summer while in grade school.
> “Turn the Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson (1976)- listening to that played almost continuously on the jukebox during my college years.
> “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones (1978) – studying all night, taking exams, and then sleeping for days – my grad school experience.
I have a vinyl collection of 150+ albums that the casual observer would seriously question: How can I go for The Doobie Brothers and Harry Belafonte? Why do I like both Bob Marley and Queen? And what about Bette Midler and The Talking Heads? OK, I’ll admit it – I went through all the possible musical phases as I grew up: bubblegum, folk rock, the British invasion, the girl groups, Motown, rock ‘n roll, reggae, disco (loved it!), and on and on…
My record collection is special because of the memories those songs evoke. I enjoyed playing them 30 years ago, and I enjoying listening to them now.