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June 2, 2008 [ More archived home pages here ]

Love: From Vinyl Through the Digital Era


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Today's song is Let There Be Love by Natalie Cole, released in 1993.

I grew up in the era of Rock-n-Roll. The first song I ever associated with puppy love was Oh Carol, by Neil Sedaka. A pretty girl in my elementary school class bore that name and along with other guys in the class, I "loved" her. I was ten years old. One time at a classmate's party she asked me to give her a kiss. I did and in doing so, thought my prayers were answered. Such was the power of that moment and the music of that day.

I remember Elvis being shown on TV on on the Ed Sullivan Show. My older brothers were teenagers and had a record player and many 45 rpm and 33 rpm vinyl records. Radios were mostly AM in my youth, I didn't know what I was missing in sound quality and it didn't matter anyway. My body moved with the beat of The Twist by Chubby Checker just the same.

I received a 8-transistor radio for my 11th birthday in 1961. Like many other kids my age, I could tune my radio to the most popular Chicago radio stations and hear the top 40 tunes. Janie Grant's, Triangle had a special destiny for me.

There are plenty of thunderstorms in Chicago every year. The static created by the lightning would occasionally interrupt one of my favorite songs just when it came on the station. The 45 rpm records cost $1.00 back then when a dollar was more like $20.00 today. Listening to the radio was the way to go for me and most of my friends.

The songs of the early 60's weren't all Rock-n-Roll. There were songs about peace and thoughtful philosophies too. The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons always seemed to have the most popular songs out until The Beatles arrived.

I Want to Hold You Hand dominated my head when it first came out. I really liked this girl named "Christy" in 1963. It took me six months to get enough courage to hold her hand. I was a slow learner and there were no Rock-n-Roll songs for slow learners. Slow learners became dreamers and I was slower than most.

The popular music of the middle 60's changed all that. Protest songs, songs about drugs and sex, songs about breaking free moved the slow learners into the fast lanes. It's funny how the fast lanes always brought us to long stop at a parking lot at one of the Chicago beaches (shown below).

There we learned lessons that are not taught in school. And music of the late 1960's and early 1970's still streamed out of those AM radios and played on the vinyl records on the old record players from so many years before. Occasionally somebody had an 8-track player, used by couples for those long desired uninterrupted sequences of time...

The young women wanted to be free and modern. Guys didn't mind letting them lead the way. Those same young women taught the guys a thing or two the guys didn't already know. Everyone was journeying into new territory and the music that sold the most, such as, Light My Fire by The Doors (and later by Jose Feliciano), encouraged those joint explorations.

It is the music of the 1960's and early 1970's that I continue to identify with the most. I like many types of music, but that era is my core. Now my music is on CD or in digital format on my computer or in my iPod. I have one 45 rpm record in my collection from 1968 (shown below). There is no record player or even a stereo to play it. Instead, I have a version of that song in iTunes and it works every time when I want it.

My wife and I have our special tunes that we link to the time we fell in love together. I have songs I used to sing to my daughter when she was a small child and I danced with her to the music. New music is appreciated, but I am very selective to anything outside of my core era.

The technology changes, new styles come along, new notes are strung together in various tempos. The basic human need to externally express what is within through music remains a constant. From vinyl to this digital age the beat goes on, on, on, on ...

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I published a new short story, Smiles Across The Heart.

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Sherry and I saw the new movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We've seen every Indiana Jones movie from the first one and enjoy all of them.

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This coming Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy. June 6, 1968, the day he died was a sad day for me and America. We lost someone who would have changed the course of American history dramatically had he become President. It was the last American assassination that decade which killed three people total. The loss of those lives will never be forgotten by those of us alive then.

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Extremely funny straight-man, Harvey Korman, passed away last week. I saw him and Tim Conway several years ago when they performed together in nearby Escondido, California. I laughed so hard at them that night my side hurt. Thank God for TV reruns with he, Tim, and the rest of the Carol Burnett Show cast. I think we need all the laughs we can get nowadays.

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Here is another inspirational story of a Switcher.

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Found on the web links for June 1, 2008 [ Link since removed ]

Don


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