While I have absolutely no musical talent and I can't sing to save my life, music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can always be found with my Ipod's earbuds in my ears, and I never drive anywhere without listening to music. So when trying to think of a fun subject to write about, music seemed like an obvious choice.
First up on my musical walk down memory lane is a trip back to 1972, which was the year I turned 4. If you were around in the '70s, you've probably heard of K-Tel records. Their commercials were everywhere on tv, and the albums, with their garish "only in the '70s" covers, were drug store staples.
I'm the youngest of five children and when I was growing up I spent most of my time trying to be just like my siblings. That included listening to the music they liked. While this often led me to great artists that I still love today, that wasn't always the case. It certainly wasn't when it came to my brother's K-Tel Believe in Music record, which featured 22 of 1972's biggest hits and stars. Original hits and original stars, no less.
I loved listening to this record and I was amazed when I found the actual commercial for it while doing a little research for this post. It makes me laugh that the announcer for the commercial yells everything he says. It sounds like he was trying to startle kids into buying the album.
As soon as I saw the track listing for the album most of the songs came right back, and the funniest one to me is Sweet and Innocent by a very young Donny Osmond, who actually appeared twice on this compilation. Osmond sang about a girl who was too young to know the score so he wanted her to come back when she was older. I have to wonder now just how young this sweet little girl must have been, since Osmond himself sang the song in a falsetto that made it clear he wasn't anywhere close to puberty yet himself.
My favorite song on Believe in Music was Cher's Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves. I thought the song was so dramatic, and I loved singing along with Cher.
In spite of my love for the song, I was very confused by it. The lyrics went way over my 4 year old head, particularly this verse:
Picked up a boy just south of Mobile
Gave him a ride, filled him with a hot meal
I was sixteen, he was twenty-one
Rode with us to Memphis
And papa woulda shot him if he knew what he'd done
I always wondered what the boy did on the way from Mobile to Memphis, and I couldn't figure out why the song was so vague about it all. Not even Cher singing later about being a "gal in trouble" and the song ending with the birth of a baby helped to clear up the mystery for me. By the time I was old enough to understand what the song was about, I'd lost interest in the record and it had taken up permanent residence in a box in my parents' basement.
What about you? Did you love any songs as a child that went completely over your head? If you were around in the 70s, did you have any K-Tel compilations of your own?
I'm sorry I have fallen so far behind on my blog reading, but I'm hoping I can get back on track with that this week as well!