Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2008-04-23

Wednesday Night Lights: Feels So Good

A few weeks ago, I claimed writer's block and wrote about places to find inspiration. I also claimed that I had half-formed thoughts on: "absinthe, Chuck Mangione, science fiction, baseball, and syrup." Some of that was true, some of that was grabbing disparate things in my mind and stringing together an absurd combination of things. OK, I threw in syrup at the end for no reason, but the other ones I had thoughts/post ideas about.

Growing up, we had a giant Magnavox record player cabinet sitting in our family room. Every Sunday, my father would load it up with four to six albums (linked for you young'ns) and sit and read the paper and work on the floor. The albums would fall one by one onto the turntable. Once they were done, we would fight over who got the chance to flip the stack over and play the other side of the records.

Of course today I look back at this fondly. It was a time when my father was around (as a partner in a large accounting firm, he was very busy) and we all loved that. But it wasn't like we could interact with him. He had work to do. And often when he was home, it was time to do chores around the house he wanted done. Nonetheless, there was something serene about lying on the family room floor and reading while my father worked.

The soundtrack of these Sundays was an eclectic mix. My father's listening tastes runs in streaks. We all remember the eras that made up the 1980s: Julio Englasias, Willie Nelson, and Kenny G. By the time he got to Leon Redbone, it was CDs and I was in college.

But the 1970s! Oh man, there's a whole bunch of music that I have an overly fond nostalgia for because of these Sundays: Peter Frampton, Chicago (there was a set of the first five albums), Jesus Christ Superstar, the Young-Holt Unlimited Trio, Supertramp, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, and Chuck Mangione.

Oh Chuck was the man. We heard him more than anyone else. I hear the opening fl├╝gelhorn notes of the song "Feels So Good," and I could be four years old again. I was more excited than I should have been when I got a copy of this for myself a few years ago. Sometimes when I'm working on things late at night, I use the album now to clear my mind and help me focus on the task at hand.

There are times when I'll hear a song from these Sundays, and I get transported back to those times. Last night American Idol did an Andrew Lloyd Webber night, and when I heard "Jesus Christ Superstar" I was four years old again in front of that big old Magnavox. Whenever I hear songs from Frampton Comes Alive, I know all the words, I know all the musical phrasing...but I couldn't tell you anyting about the album sitting here in my chair. I'd have to hear it, and then it would all be there.

For my wife, it's country music. She knows every (and I actually mean every) country song from the 1950s through the 1980s. It's eerie.

How about you? What music reminds you of your childhood?

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4 Comments:

  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger Jack said…

    Olivia Newton-John, Linda Rondstadt, Barbara Mandrell, Waylong Jennings, Styx, ELO, Angel In the Centerfold, Carpenters...Howzzat?

     
  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger The Curly BookWorm said…

    A mix of Country music from the 60s & 70s courtesy of my Mom and Do-Wop music from my Dad.

     
  • At 9:58 PM, Blogger John Klima said…

    Awesome! I'm going to do a follow-up post about a thing my family calls 'hunting songs.' To elucidate a little, up where we would hunt there were only a few stations, and they REALLY repeated music. So, certain songs became songs that reminded you of hunting trips. Like Naked Eyes' "Promises, Promises."

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    Following up on the last comment:

    Every time I hear Paul Young's "Every Time You Go Away," I am nine years old, in the family station wagon on the road trip to end all road trips.

    I swear that song was the only thing on the radio in the summer of '85.

     

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