Jan 3, 2018

The Soundtrack Of My Childhood

We just got an Alexa for Christmas. This has added a whole new dimension to our family time as we vie for her attention. We seem to all yell commands at her at the same time. such as: "ALEXA, PLAY ED SHEERAN, GOO DOLLS, LECRAE, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH" only to hear her to say: "Sorry, I don't know that one."(Welcome to my world Alexa - my people have been talking at me all at the same time their whole lives, they know no different.) Of course it goes without saying that we have to speak in all CAPS when we talk to her. We also have some mumblers in our group. Alexa really doesn't like mumbling. The joys of technology.

It's not like I didn't grow up without technology. We always had the latest greatest. My Bapchie was on the cutting edge of technology. She even owned a purple mustang that had an 8-track cassette player in the car. I LOVED it! Especially when I got to ride in the front seat and pick out any 8 track that I wanted. My choices varied between Conway Twitty and Polish Polkas. I still love Polka music to this day.

Needless to say, my parents came of age in the 60s and would have none of the classy polkas of their parent's generation. My Dad was super into his reel-to-reel player. I still have no clue how one works or what you do to it. We were never allowed to touch it. But we did get to listen to his favorite music that he so delicately placed upon the player and turned on for us to enjoy.

My Dad loves ohms and volts and amps and math and stuff like that. So this little device was right up his alley. All I cared about was singing along to my favorite songs. At the time they were the ones that our parents listened to such as:

"We Don't Need No Education" the 1979 classic by Pink Floyd. I personally loved it because of all the children singing in the background. I had no clue what it meant. I honestly just today looked up the story behind the song. Then there was the Eagles classic, "Hotel California" that was another one of the soundtracks of my childhood. My Dad was (and still is) all about Classic Rock. 

My Mom was in love with Neil Diamond. So I was too. His songs are so classic that even my kids now think they're cool. Alexa is very familiar with the phrase, "ALEXA, PLAY SWEET CAROLINE". I feel like a kid again when I hear this nostalgic music filling the air. 

Then there came a time in our lives when we were no longer allowed to listen to all this "secular music". We became "religious".  My parents boxed up their precious albums and reel-to-reel player and set them in the attic for years. Not knowing any different, I took up the "Christian Music Only" baton and would belt out tunes with Psalty the Singing Songbook on my brown Fisher Price tape recorder. As you can see, I'm still very technologically advanced.  

From here I still stayed with the christian music genre only. But I did upgrade my technology a bit. I was given this sweet boombox for my 16th or 17th birthday. Dual cassette player!! Twice all that 80s synthesizer, echoey music! That means I could slice my own cassettes and create unique tapes with multiple (christian) artists all on one tape - the genius of it (nowadays we call this a playlist). I even made my future husband a tape that I was very proud of.  I gave it to him as a gift when he moved to Ohio in 11th grade. 
I can't remember all the groups I included on the tape. But I do remember one group quite well. Its because they were THE COOLEST christian group a teen could listen to in the late 80s/early 90s. They were incognito christians. You couldn't tell from the name of their album, but once you listened to their lyrics, you knew you were getting preached to. I personally thought DC TALK was as cool as you could get. Our parents could be assured that there was no back-masking going on here.

Well that's all I've got on my little journey down my musical memory lane. I did take my uber sweet boombox off to college with me. Along with all my Precious Moments figurines. I wasn't popular in college. I grew up. I learned that pop music doesn't send you to hell. I eventually upgraded to a cd player, an mp3 player, itunes on an ipod and then an iphone. I never saw Alexa coming. But she's pretty cool to have around - if I can get a word in edgewise, that is. 



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