Musical Memory Lane

Ask people what was the best decade for music and they pick the years where they came of age. At least, anecdotally, that appears to be the norm. The question is a great conversation starter, regardless of their answers.

While I love pop/rock from the 50s forward, the 80s were my favorite decade. However, I don't know that it's because that's when I really got into music. I think it's more of the influence of MTV.

Music videos brought a whole new level of engagement to the game. Reading liner notes while listening to an album and articles in Rolling Stone were no longer the only ways to get to "know" your favorite musicians and bands. While there was definitely some spin put on performers to make them appear personable, or not depending on the marketing benefit, it was that much easier to make an emotional connection when you could see them cavort across your TV screen.

The emotional connect was especially easy if the artist was hot like my fave of the decade. Dr. Noah Drake, himself.

I could listen to this album every day of my life and not be bored.
But, another reason I topped out in the 80s for pop/rock was that I segued to listening to country almost full time by the time the 90s came around. I've never really gone back so my knowledge of new pop/rock artists is limited to my trendier friends mentioning them or reading an online article when they do something outrageous a al Lady Gaga's meat suit.

This past weekend, I went to Tucson and decided on bypassing my usual 80s on 8 Sirius/XM station and settled on Prime Country. They play songs from the 80s and 90s so right when I was really getting into the genre.

It was amazing how easily the tunes that I first heard 30 years ago, and may not have heard for 15 years since, came back to me. In my four hours of total drive time, there were literally only a handful of songs that I couldn't sing along with. Fortunately, I was alone in the car so no one was subjected to my exuberant enjoyment. #notagoodsinger

Some of the artists are still popular. Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and George Strait are some examples. Some of the artists have either passed away or their careers have. And, some are still around but playing small venues and not getting a lot of radio play. The latter are what made it a musical memory lane. Those are just songs and people I don't hear anymore.

It was a fun way to pass the time and helped me not get irritated by all the driver who couldn't read the "Slower traffic stay right" signs. Oy vey, those people, they vex me!

As an aside, my car came with a free year of Sirius/XM when I bought it. Brilliant! Even though I only listen to about a dozen channels for the most part, I have chosen not to live without that first world luxury. It completes me.

Here's a little bonus quiz for you. Can you name each of these artists from their pictures?

The answers are:  Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, Clint Black, Don Williams, Conway Twitty, Johnny Lee, Mickey Gilley, KT Oslin, Randy Travis, Ronnie McDowell and Steve Wariner (one of my all time favorites)


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