Yes. Yes, That’s Right, Yes.

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mrpeenee is of an odd age. At 57 years, I am exactly in the middle, the very median, of the Baby Boomers. We invented the world, you know.
Still, my odd age means I am (just barely) young enough to have missed out on really being a hippie since the high water mark of that golden era was 1969 when I was being tortured as a big sissy in junior high. By the time I escaped to college, all things hippie-ish were sort of stale and fading in the rear view mirror. Disco and cocaine and Saturday Night Live had all entered with a bullet and were moving up fast, but my contemporaries and I were sort of musically stranded as teenagers. What were Billboard’s Top Ten songs the year I graduated high school?
1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree » Tony Orlando & Dawn
2. Bad Bad Leroy Brown » Jim Croce
3. Killing Me Softly With His Song » Roberta Flack
4. Let’s Get It On » Marvin Gaye
5. My Love » Paul McCartney & Wings
6. Why Me » Kris Kristofferson
7. Crocodile Rock » Elton John
8. Will It Go Round In Circles » Billy Preston
9. You’re So Vain » Carly Simon
10. Touch Me In The Morning » Diana Ross
Dear god. No wonder I was so glad when punk rock and then New Wave finally showed up.

Nevertheless, there were some saving graces, wildly divergent though they may have been. I loved the bass heavy funk that eventually morphed into disco even if I was way too white, David Bowie (god love her,) and the Who.
Also, the bizarre musical noodling of Yes. Heeheehee, so self-important and ridiculous. I’ve been listening to them again this afternoon, wondering who I was forty years ago and struck once again by the wonderful illustrations involved in their cover art. The world may or may not have improved, but trading twelve inch album covers for bits of memory on a hardrive still seems harsh to me.


About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

26 responses »

  1. As a fellow SF Bay Area resident, I suggest 103.7 fm, a local oldies station. They play the types of hits you mentioned. They also play “The Pina Colada” song and occasionally move into the eighties, Happy Gogos. I am too young, of course, to rememebr this stuff, I just like retro music.

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  2. Oh, don't feel too bad, Caro – the top song the year I graduated was “Bette Davis Eyes,” and it doesn't go uphill from there. We were a little too young for hardcore punk, and then all of a sudden we were racoon-eyed, streak-haired New Romantics. Hardly knew what hit us. I probably still have a boatnecked, striped T-shirt and a pair of parachute pants in storage in somewhere…

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  3. Have to agree with Jason. Even with Wings and Tony Orlando I have to say it's a much better listing than the sad musical legacy the kids are inheriting these days. What will they listen to at reunions? Rhianna? Brittney?

    My top 10

    01. Every Breath You Take » Police
    02. Billie Jean » Michael Jackson
    03. Flashdance… What A Feeling » Irene Cara
    04. Down Under » Men At Work
    05. Beat It » Michael Jackson
    06. Total Eclipse Of The Heart » Bonnie Tyler
    07. Maneater » Daryl Hall & John Oates
    08. Baby Come To Me » Patti Austin & James Ingram
    09. Maniac » Michael Sembello
    10. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) » Eurythmics

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  4. I'd like to recommend a doc film I saw recently, appropriate to the era, “Still Bill”. It's the story of Bill Withers, of 'Ain't No Sunshine' and 'Just The Two Of Us' fame. He's a great guy, and you don't need to like the songs to love the pic. Trust me, you'll end up wishing he was your Dad.
    And, yes, 57 is odd. As is 49. And 21 too. Oh, this could run and run.

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  5. You think you've got it bad?? The following dreck was among the top 10 hits the year I escaped high school:

    “Tonight's the Night” — Rod Stewart
    “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” — Leo Sayer
    “Torn Between Two Lovers” — Mary MacGregor
    “Don't Give Up On Us” — David Soul (yes, he of “Starsky and Hutch” fame!)
    “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)” — Bill Conti
    “Da Doo Ron Ron” — Shaun Cassidy
    “How Deep Is Your Love” — The Bee Gees
    And (drum roll, please) the worst of all, the Number 1 song of the year:

    “You Light Up My Life” — Debby Boone

    If it weren't for the “Hotel California” album by the Eagles, I don't know if I would have survived that year.

    And, if Debs' suggestion whets your appetite, look up WXRT on Google and stream their program “Saturday Morning Flashback”. 'XRT is a Chicago album-rock radio station that's celebrating it's 40th anniversary. The program runs from 8 to Noon Central (6 to 10 Pacific), and covers the best music from a given year — along with top news stories, movies, TV shows, worst music, rock obituaries, etc., from that year.

    Oh, and don't knock Ms. Flack's song too much. Remember, it was used in one of the scariest movies of the year — Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, “Play Misty for Me.”

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  6. Oh dear, you definitely win the Top 10 List of Shame award. I remember a road trip in an old Datsun with a radio capable of finding Hotel California (this was when it was new) at any and all times.

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  7. Oh, thank you. Thank you. You like me, you really like me!! (Wipes away tear, pulls notes from sleeve.) And which Academy do I get to napalm for this unlovely award?

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  8. Or will you be reenacting the scene with the breakdancing Gremlin?

    Will J, you are not so sad that we will feed you after midnight.

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  9. I'm sure I purchased a book of Roger Dean album cover art at some point at a yard sale. And I have (and play from time to time) both the Fragile album AND the Close to the Edge album. And no, I'm not giving you the long distance runaround. They really ARE on my playlist along with some other prog rock.

    As for The Who, Mistress MJ insists that you watch a documentary entitled, “Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who.”

    Meanwhile, I'm naming an entire wing of the Infomaniac Villa of Queens Old Homosexuals' Haven Retirement Home after you and Norma.

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  10. We all have these moments.

    I for one was in high school during the apex of 70s disco and then its great, and amazingly FAST fall from grace, which was followed with a vacuum populated by Andrew Gold, Dolly Parton's pop years and, who can forget (as hard as we try)Van Halen.

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