Friday, April 20, 2012

rockin' to the oldies

I used to work at a design firm/service bureau where the radio provided background noise all day. After a while the radio soundtrack doesn't just become he day's soundtrack, it begins to infiltrate your consciousness. As people would walk through the central work area they might start humming whatever tune was currently playing. They couldn't help it.

Soon different factions formed, one that wanted pop hits, one rock, one hip hop, and of course, the fabulous hits of yesteryear. I soon became known as "the person most likely to turn off the oldies station." In fact I actually won a little "statuette" at a company party to commemorate the fact. Yet here I am, in the car, listening to The Four Seasons.

Vintage Advertisement 1940s Car Stereo
Vintage Advertisement 1940s Car Stereo, from Christian Montone, Flickr

Living in southern Florida, there are a ton of radio stations that play some mix of older tunes, as there are a lot of older folks who want to hear the music of their youth. There's the real oldies — '50s and '60s hits, stations that feature a "mix of yesterday and today," and even one that plays tunes from my misspent youth every weekend — "totally '80s."

I find myself flipping back and forth between contemporary and the mix of '70s, '80s, and '90s music most of the time. I still tend to avoid any station that would play "Leader of the Pack" and its ilk. But it is nice to hear my mom, who has dementia, humming along to something, recognizing some of her old favorites, like the Bee Gees, the Eagles, and the Steve Miller Band. It's also funny to hear my daughter singing along to Pat Benatar and Journey as well as Ceel Lo from the back seat. She may be the only 8 year-old around who loves Justin Bieber and K. C. And the Sunshine Band. Music helps time become more fluid.
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