Sunday, February 17, 2008

The song never forgets...

Those of you who read my Shopper column this week ( will know about my recent visit to Lost and Found Records in North Knoxville. Yep, they still sell (and specialize in) those classic vinyl albums.

My visit made me think about being 5 years old -- and about the Oak Ridge Boys. One of my fondest memories is of Dad bringing me that Oaks album ("The Oak Ridge Boys Deliver!"). My all-time favorite song was "Ozark Mountain Jubilee."

My goal in life wasn't to become a firefighter or a police officer. Nope, I was going to be an Oak Ridge Boy when I grew up. Sad, huh?

It's funny how music can take you back. I've often said that songs have the best memories. You might have forgotten the moment. But the song never does. Trisha Yearwood, the country singer, had a great tune out a few years ago about that very thing.

Whenever I hear William Lee Golden's bittersweet lament to a Missouri childhood, I think about living in the house on Norris Freeway. I recall little pieces of time.

The Fisher-Price record player. Watching the 45 rpm single circle round and around. Waking in the mornings and fighting with all my might not to take a bath. Playing the 8-track out in the laundry room.

I was nuts about music even then. Mom says I could sing Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" when I was 2 years old. Somebody has a tape of it somewhere. (Geez, talk about blackmail material.)

Tunes can be bittersweet. They remind you of the one that got away, or the one that never was. Happy spring evenings, cold winter nights, the fact that 10 years (or 20) have slipped by in a blink.

Vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD, digital -- the source doesn't matter (although I still prefer the LP sound). The music remains, the tunes are forever. Time marches on, memories fade, lovers fade away, friends forsake or depart.

But the song never forgets.

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