The week after the Fourth of July has always felt to me line the first *real* days of summer, where from here on out life is all working for the weekend. No more big plans, no more holidays (which is a blessing) and just getting into the groove of summer and enjoying it as best I could before September arrived and it was back to school. And, like so many other patterns which are imprinted in our early lives, this one persists well into middle age.
1977: Elvis Presley, “Way Down”
I…am certain that I have never heard this song before, which leaves me feeling conflicted. On the one hand, Elvis recorded A GREAT MANY songs and I am not an Elvis superfan. On the other hand, IT’S ELVIS! HOW COULD I HAVE NOT HEARD THIS SONG?
So perhaps I did at some point, though the immediate hit of nostalgia brought with it memories of the soundtrack to Grease, which I heard a lot of in third and fourth grade. Maybe there was some Elvis on rotation in there too.
Elvis died in August 1977, a little over a month after this song hit the charts.
1982: Haircut One Hundred, “Love Plus One”
This is definitely another song which only appeared in my life thanks to Pandora. I have no associations with this song which don’t involve sitting in front of a computer and writing code. That said, “Love Plus One” is a lot of fun.
1987: Cutting Crew, “One for the Mockingbird”
When “Mockingbird” charted I was working in a pickle factory for minimum wage ($3.35/hour) and hating every minute of it, as well as loathing most of my coworkers, who were not having any more fun than I was. I mostly listened to the oldies station on the drive to and from work, which in 1987 meant songs from the fifties and sixties, with the occasional early 1970s super-hit. I do not remember “Mockingbird” at all, though I had heard “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” which was blessed with a lot of air time. If I did hear “One for the Mockingbird” it was early on a Sunday morning while milking cows, which I was still doing even with a summer job, in an effort to save every penny for my first semester at Grand Valley.
1992: Elton John, “The One”
Though I have no specific memory of this song, (and not much of the associated album, also titled The One) I don’t see how I could have NOT heard “The One.” Wikipedia says this album was John’s first after completing drug and alcohol rehab, and certainly feels more introspective and down-to-earth than his previous studio album.
1997: Trisha Yearwood, “How Do I Live”
“How Do I Live” is beautiful, and it is certainly the only Trisha Yearwood song I have heard before, and I only heard this because of it being one of the high points in the otherwise completely mediocre Con Air. Which means I probably didn’t hear it until well after the movie was released to home video and I rented it from Blockbuster sometime in the early 2000s.