Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Day the Music Died

Okay, the title of this post is an overstatement, but I did sort of feel like that yesterday while I boxed up records and cassette tapes to donate--or maybe to sell; I haven't decided yet. Whatever their final destination, they all hold precious memories, and it's hard to let go of things like that. I had to remind myself again and again that the memories are in the songs themselves, not in the recorded media, and the songs will not be lost to me.

I counted as I boxed and came up with 175 singles, all of which were accumulated between late 1970 and sometime in the mid-80s. All of the 45 rpm records I'd bought before 1970, a stack about the same size as this one, were given to a neighbor when we moved from Texas to Florida and didn't have room for them in the small utility trailer we towed behind our station wagon.

Here's a small sample of the 45s:

The albums we owned did make it into the trailer for that Florida trip, so some of the 105 albums I boxed up yesterday predate 1970. Only a handful of them were purchased after 1980.

By the time my husband and I separated in mid-1980, we'd been buying cassette tapes instead of vinyl albums for a while. When we divorced, I got all the albums and he got all the tapes, a decision based once again on which medium would take up less space in the moving trailer. I continued buying tapes on my own, even bought them for several years after everyone else had switched to CDs. Being compact in size, all but a few of the tapes made it into this photo:

I did get with the times eventually and now have a nice-sized stack of CDs. I'm keeping those for now, even though I've uploaded all the best tunes from the CDs to my computer. There, they're stored alongside hundreds of iTunes selections that include many of the songs from the singles, albums, and tapes I'm finally ready to give up. The best part is that all the digital tunes don't take up even an inch of space in my house. Isn't technology amazing?


This week's Saturday Song Selection is from the tape at the upper right-hand corner of the cassette-tape photo above (you can click on it to enlarge it). This one reminds me of a time when I was between relationships. I wasn't at all unhappy, but I wasn't yet resigned to singlehood status, either. I fully expected to fall in love again before too long; that's the way it had always happened before. I'd listen to music while I busied myself around the apartment, and this song always made me imagine that the kind of man who would bring me a broken arrow and a bottle of rain might be very much to my liking. I guess I'll never know for sure; I never met a man like that. I stopped looking years and years ago.

The song is "Broken Arrow," written and performed by Robbie Robertson.
Thanks to TheUnderground5150 for posting this beautiful video on YouTube.
Click here to read the lyrics.

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