a musical childhood

I used to be so much better about keeping up on current music. Introduce DJ-less radio, Pandora, iPods and NPR and new music rarely sticks. Something about announcing the band and title at the end of a song made it stay with me.

I’ve always been a big fan of the classics, and it dawned on me the other day that C is growing up listening to the same music I did. Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who. Great stuff. Pandora makes it incredibly easy to stream a great variety of classic rock from the sixties and seventies. So, when C asks for music, or asks to dance, it’s pretty likely that’s who we’ll put on the stereo.

Even though I grew up in the cassette tape generation, a lot of the music I listened to as a kid was on LP or eight track. Because that’s what my parents had. As a teenager, I started to appreciate the subtleties of music recorded on vinyl, and began to grow my own LP collection. When I was a kid, we had a record player in our living room. One of those large all in one stereos that doubled as a side table. The record player was in the center, sunken down and hidden beneath a wooden lid. When closed, the top was flush. The speakers on each side were disgused behind lattice woodwork. A storage area in the center to house records.

I retained bits and pieces of memories listening to music as a kid. Saturdays mornings in the living room – windows open, a slight breeze, sunshine streaming in through the sheer curtains and the stereo playing. It’s mostly a nostalgic feeling, and the music triggers those feelings more than me trying to recall a specific time that was spent listening to music. My thought is that it was so common that it was just a standard thing, with nothing monumental to remember.

I do have one specific memory of that record player, though. We’d just been to McDonalds for the very special treat of a happy meal. The contest at the time was a little different; it was a rather flimsy record disc with the McDonald’s song on it. Remember that one? You listened to your record and found out if you won. We didn’t, but it was fun, all the same.

My Dad had an eight track player in his van. I remember his collection of eight tracks. They were so cool to me as a kid. The fact that you couldn’t see how they worked made them that much more interesting. They were on the way out, which made them feel special. Rare, unique. I bet he still has them in a box somewhere.

I wonder what new technology will be around when C is thirty. Will she reminisce about the days we listened to CDs? Or MP3s? Or when we streamed Pandora together? Will she remember the clunky computer we had connected to our flat screen LCD TV and laugh about how retro it all was? Probably.

Funny how fast times change.


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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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