10 07 2014

July always reminds me of the sounds of summer and that definitely includes music and lots of it. Growing up in North Jersey, whenever we could go to the beach back in the day- or venture to the local community pool- everybody would have their radios by their side and most of their stations were tuned to Music Radio 77WABC. Growing up we all had our favorite songs and many of us kids would sing along religiously with our transistors glued to our ears. And for me, when the notes from the songs like “Up On The Roof” by The Drifters, or “Penny Lane” by the Beatles or “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes” by Edison Lighthouse or “Joy To The World” by Three Dog Night came soaring over the airwaves- I turned the volume up as loud as it would go. I knew all the words by heart and I would get out to the local record store and buy that 45 as fast as I could raise 69 cents! And then every Tuesday night I would wait for Cousin Brucie to count down the top songs of the week to see where my pick hits landed on the survey.

I thank God for music and I couldn’t imagine what this life would be without it. Many times I believe that the Lord has given me a special melody at just the right time to remind me that I am not alone or a ballad to give me the much needed strength necessary to face the next mountain to climb or storm to survive or provided me with a triumphant tune to celebrate the victory. I have certain songs that I will forever associate with a certain moment and a specific place in my adventure. Maybe you have the same! All I have to do is hear a few notes from the classic Bobby Helms version of “Special Angel” and tears fill my eyes as I am whisked back to that night when my Dad shocked my Mom by taking her in his arms and relived their wedding day as they danced together on that anniversary in our living room as if they were not surrounded by 6 kids at! And when the Righteous Brothers’ song “My Soul and Inspiration” plays- I am once again singing that song with my brother to my new girlfriend at that time- the very woman who would become my wife- my Terri! I could go and on. How about you?

But I also have certain songs that are my favorite to hate. When I was a disc jockey on the radio, these were the certain tunes that I could not wait to use my explosion special effects upon and blow to smithereens with pieces of the vinyl flying everywhere! Records like “Feelings” by Morris Albert, “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot, “YMCA” by The Village People, “Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary McGregor and Pat Boone singing “Ain’t That A Shame.” Let just say that Fats Domino would agree it was a real shame anybody let Pat Boone near his song!

Two songs that would cause both my eyes and stomach to roll in disgust were one, “Mac Arthur Park” by Richard Harris. This never ending saga of an overly melancholy someone who left a fresh baked cake out in the rain and the recipe is now lost forever and how that should cause dismay and despair in my life is beyond me. Go to the nearest bakery and eat it inside and all should fine! And two, in the sad story of “One Less Bell To Answer” by The 5th Dimension, the woman is now complaining because her man has left her and she now has one less bell to anser and one less egg to fry! No wonder the dude left! What grown man is supposed to survive on one egg??? Had she had enough sense to scramble or fry a few more or make the poor guy an omelet now and then, chances are real good he would still be there! And as a bonus bogus lyric that so many people wrongly think is such a wonderful happy little ditty because it is entitled, “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine.” If you listen carefully to the words- this chick has already made up her mind that she does not believe in commitments and so if you are choosing to be with her- don’t get your hopes any higher than one year because as soon as 365 days go by, she is hitting the highway! It makes me want to scream and I usually do.

How about you? What are some of those songs that for you cause you to experience the same sensation as if I was to scratch fingernails on a blackboard or chomp my corn on the cob right in your ear? Be honest. Email me at I would love to know the records you love to disdain and why. I would also, on a positive note, love to hear about those special ones that will always bring a sincere smile or sentimental tear. Don’t be shy. I promise I will not get mad at you unless you start picking on Barry Manilow songs. If you do that- I will probably not be sending you a Christmas card any time soon!

Have a safe and meaningful summer. Make some wonderful memories and concentrate on relationships over projects and things. And don’t forget to add some music to your day. Good or bad- they all come back and tell the story of the way we were and the kind of people that we are now! Rock, Country, Gospel, Classical or Soul- play it like you mean it and sing it from the heart!



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