Thursday, August 6, 2015

Feels so Good on a Magic Carpet Ride

Music makes the world go 'round and no doubt there have been minor skirmishes over what the best genre is, who the best artists are, who the best writer is (or was), etc. To each their own.

I was raised reared in a house with a lot of music. Aside from my Mama's personal piano concerts many afternoons, accompanied by her tumblers of bourbon and ginger ale, my Daddy had music going all the time. When they built our home in the early 60's, much to my mother's dismay, he installed (what was at that time) a state of the art sound system that piped music and radio into every room in the house. There was a centralized intercom system that allowed him to send tunes of his choice or programs from local radio stations throughout our home. 

Dad loved music - all types of music. So my early introduction was eclectic. He loved traditional country music - Hank Williams (Sr), Porter Wagoner, and Johnny Cash. I learned to dance to the big bands. There were LPs of Latin tunes, some classical, gospel, and R&B. When "Light" country came out, I learned all the words to songs by Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson, and the like. 

It was not unusual to walk into our den to sounds of Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. Dad's collection of Broadway show tunes were some of Mama's favorites. Dionne Warwick, the Carpenters, Tom Jones, BJ Thomas, and  pretty much anything Burt Bacharach wrote was very popular around the house. 

I always equate special memories with certain songs - tunes  I remember playing in the back ground during a given moment of my life. The evening I attended my first prom as a sophomore - I remember "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Croft. I can remember hearing "Tryin' to Get the Feeling" by Barry Manilow (I know, I Know it is what it is) playing as I waited up stairs for a special date to pick me up. Anytime I hear "This Girl's in Love" or "Lazy Crazy Days of Summer" I think of special times with my Daddy. "Mona Lisa" reminds me of trips to the beach. And Roger Miller's "King of the Road" brings back memories of the many cocktail parties Mama and Daddy had when I was little.

As I got older, I brought Carolina Beach music home and that was thrown into the mix. Daddy always told me, "There is so much more out there, so many more styles and artists." I found that hard to believe. We always had so much music, and Dad's collection cut such a broad swath I never thought much about it. I never cared for "acid" rock or hard core rock and roll, but like anyone of my age I grew up on the Doobie Brothers, Rod Stewart, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones 

But I remember walking into a fraterny house one crisp fall afternoon my freshman year and hearing this wonderful horn. The music blasting from the windows was unlike anything I had ever heard. When I finally found the source, I was introduced to Chuck Mangione and his fluglehorn. Suddenly the lovely notes of "Feels so Good" would forever take me back to porch parties with dear friends. 

I am so grateful that as I get older there are these magical notes that trigger those memories and take me back to those times long gone. Music is the magic carpet that allows us to have those feelings - just a few times more, if only in our minds. So in my dotage all it takes is a few notes of an old tune and those memories tumble back from the recesses of my mind. Just hearing that flugelhorn brings back that crisp fall afternoon like it was yesterday and that is about as magic as it gets.

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