Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Retro Shuffle

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This is the kind of music I got to listen to when I was a kid. My dad liked The 5th Dimension, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash, Petula Clark, The Seekers, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. The local radio station in our patch of 1960's rural New Hampshire, WLNH, couldn't decide what its demographic should be, so they played music that would offend as few people as possible. Their aesthetic was muzak-y movie themes, smoothed-out covers, and, inexplicably, Tom Jones. I added others to the list just for fun: Tammy Wynette is always good, and Neil Diamond just makes me happy, as does Dolly Parton and her awesome guitar playing.

When we were little, my sister and I liked to sit next to my dad's stereo, one of those wood-cabinet deals with speakers in the front and a top that opened to play records or the radio. If you looked in, you could read the record labels in the bright light of the slide tuner. We liked to lean against the speakers, with the backs of our heads or one ear at a time against the soft fabric webbing, and let the music vibrate our little bodies with its big stereo sound. We didn't always understand what the songs meant, but we loved the way those voices and orchestras wrapped around us. I sent this playlist to my sister the other day so my 3-year-old nephew can blow his little ears out on the same stuff we did.

Up Up And Away /The 5th Dimension
King of the Road /Roger Miller
Help Yourself /Tom Jones
Color My World /Petula Clark
Dr. Zhivago (Laura's Theme)
Jolene /Dolly Parton
Ladybird /Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
Stand By Your Man /Tammy Wynette
Georgie Girl /The Seekers
Theme From A Summer Place /Percy Faith
If I Were A Carpenter /Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
Cherry, Cherry /Neil Diamond
Sundown /Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood
It Ain't Me Babe /Turtles
Don't Think Twice /Peter, Paul and Mary

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