Music Strikes the Memory Cord

Music soothes my soul.  It fixes me when I feel broken, but it also transforms me to another time and place.

My friends have called me the Rain Man of Music—at least for the 80’s.  It seems like almost any song that comes on the radio I can tell them who sang it and the year that it was popular.

What they don’t understand, is that that part of my life is defined by short increments of time and where I was living at that moment.

So when I hear John Waite sing Missing You I know it was 1984 and I lived in Nebraska.

When you drive back and forth across this great county four times in two years, you kind of remember what was popular on the radio.

It’s the same thing about the years prior to that. I know if I was living in Wood Haven at Griffiss or in rural Westmoreland when I heard it on the radio.

The music magically transforms me back to that time and place…so I rattle off the year.  The fact that I usually know artist and album title is just weird…or it could be because when I arrived in Offutt, so did MTV and I was glued to it.

If you ask most people when a song came out, they aren’t as quick to answer.  Perhaps because most of their life was spent in the same exact place from day to day and it just all rolled together—they never made that connection.  Maybe I’m just obsessed with music.

On that same note (ha-ha Pun!) If you ask most people to name their favorite song, they’ll usually come up with the most recent one that they enjoy.  If you ask their favorite song of all time—they can’t do it.  Some have one, but most can not narrow it down.

I have one though . . .

In 1984 my father had relocated to Offutt AFB without us.  We would come later after housing was settled and school was out for the year.  He came home just one time to visit in those few months that we were without him.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

We had a nice little Bar-B-Que on the back deck of our Westmoreland home.  As my dad stood over the grill, WOUR played on the radio.  I very sweetly mentioned that I would like the song about the ‘sister’ to come on the radio, because I loved it.  The very next thing to come on the box?  Night Ranger’s Sister Christian.  We laughed at amazement—I of course, thought I was psychic.

From that day on I have always declared Sister Christian my favorite song of all time.

“You’re motoring
What’s your price for flight?”

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