April 10, 2012

They Don't Write 'Em Like that Anymore

It is not a secret that I love music. I really love music, always have. I can't sing, but I do it  anyway.  I also play a mean air guitar. I play air guitar best to Sharp Dressed Man, by ZZ Top. At an early age I was rigging up any possible gadget to listen to music. It was really out of control many times, my grandmother flipped out one day in the garden, when I was singing, Your So Vain. She didn't like the part about,"your always where you should be all the time and when your not your with the wife of a close friend." Just like when I was reading The Nicky Cruz gospel book series; I asked her what SOB meant? Not very smart thing to ask my grandmother. Her next question was, "what are you reading?" Well, my question now would be, "how did you know?" They really were books about a street wise evangelist. She didn't get it. She had her own ideas and finding me reading or listening to something "off color" was a sure fire way for me to get scolded, big time. Being scolded by her always made me feel like an awful person. The listening to music by any means was something she had a hard time stopping. I would go out to the car parked in the yard and turn the radio on. It only took a few times running the battery down that my daddy turned me on to turning the key in the opposite direction to save the battery. Someone finally gave us or I found a white transistor radio. This radio looked just like the one that The Professor on Gilligan's Island used to try to get them off the island. I had this radio before there was FM radio, so AM is what I was stuck with. WKAC in Athens was my station of choice. It played the music of my day; Eagles, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Miller Band. The only thing is to pick up the station out of Athens the radio had to be turned upside down on the concrete slab, facing the front door and sometimes it would pick up the cracking noise that the electric fence charger made. Each time the red and green lights on the charger flashed there would be that annoying static that interrupted my music. My solution for this was to turn off the electric fence charger. The electric fence was to keep the cows that jumped the barb wire fence in the pasture. The answer to listening to music and keeping the cows from getting out was to listen a bit and check if the cows were close to the fence. The only way they would get out is if they got close to the fence and realized that they would not get shocked. This worked fine most of the time; but sometimes I just got all into what was playing on the upside down radio that I forgot to check where the cows were. That would be when they got out of the pasture. My grandmother was pretty smart and checked the electric fence to see if it was working. At times it was not, because it was unplugged. She wondered how in the world it got unplugged. It did not take too many times the cows getting out and the fence unplugged; me being the only person besides her at home, that she realized that it was me unplugging the fence. She then wanted to know why I had unplugged the fence. My answer was simple I had to listen to my radio and the fence charger noise was causing static noises. This did not stop me, I still did it even though she was on to me. I just had to be more careful watching the cows. I can still hear her yelling, "have you turned the fence off again." This was my signal to run and help get the cows back in the pasture. My love of music stopped getting me in trouble when I finally got a record player. Thank goodness for that old thing that I had to put a penny on the arm that contained the needle to get it not to skip. When we were young forty-fives were the Cd's of today. When we went to town, which was not very often, K-mart had records for 73 cents each. I saved my money for the latest that I had heard on the radio. One of the first records I got was Elton John Crocodile Rock. Sometimes my aunt would surprise me with one that she got in town. She did not do too, bad picking the songs of the day. Then came the day when I could get an album with more than one song. I was in pure heaven then. The whole Rod Stewart Tonight's the Night was my favorite. There was an insert of him dripping with water and no shirt. Man they don't make music like they used to. I really do have an open mind about today's music. Kid Rock Sweet Home Alabama; great song. Hey There Delila; great song. There is great music today, but the music of my day will always be greater. I have even turned my girls on to my music and they love it. They still remember me singing "Your So Vain" to them when they were little. Music another one of lives pleasures that I have gathered along the way. Music has a way of reminding me of people, places and special moments of our lives. The old songs we sang at church, the songs that were on an eight track tape during a date and songs remind me of many people that have touched my life. The Eagles remind me of Larry. The song "Play that Funky Music" reminds me of Mark. I still remember what I was doing the first time I heard "Rock Me Gently". "Walking In Memphis" will always be one of my favorite songs. "Brother are you a christian? Man I am tonight." My favorite line in "Walking in Memphis". There are certain lines in a song that are as inspiring as any great quote. Then some of the lines are just plain cool. "Turn the Page"; "when the sweat drops off your body like the music that you play." I love that!!! Life should be constantly set to music; like when you are in public places that have music playing. Even drugstore music is worthy of singing along to. Some of the best music is piped out on the streets in tourist towns. That is always great. It makes the fun of being on vacation rock.


  1. You and I have the same taste in music, and I agree...they sure don't produce music like they used to! I wish they did...and the "wild ones" back then seem very tame compared to today's mess.

    I read Nicky Cruz's "Run Baby Run" so many times when I was a kid. I loved that book...I also read the Cross and the Switchblade, but it wasn't as exciting, I didn't think, as RBR.

    I enjoyed this story.

  2. "Run Baby Run" was the best one you are totally, right. I think the SOB thing that I asked my grandmother about was in "The Cross and the Switchblade." There was a part where he was kicked by someone with a blade in his shoe. I remember the description of his wounds; the pain of his clothing sticking to it. I am so excited that someone else recalls those books.