Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What was on the radio the year you were born,American Idol fans?

Tonight's American Idol theme is a familiar one, pick a song from the year you were born. Judging by the youth of the current crop of Top Eight contenders,expect to hear quite a few tunes from the late eighties and the early nineties,folks.

However,it did get me to wonder what was hot on the music charts during the year I was born(1968,and yes,my birthday is around the end of April),so with the help of a trusty search engine and the good people who provide clips to YouTube,you can get an idea of what popular tunes may or may not have influenced me in the cradle.

SITTIN' ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY: I was delightfully surprised to find out that this Otis Redding classic came out in '68,since it's been a long time favorite of mine. Not as surprising as seeing how young Redding was when he first sang it-his voice held the strong cadences of an older,sadder yet wiser man. Many folks have done remakes of Dock of the Bay but Sara Bareilles really does it justice:

HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.: This song inspired both a hit film(made in 1978)and a TV series starring Barbara Eden as a modernized mom who gleefully turned the tables on the snooty locals who dared to look down on her way of life. It's a spunky little story song and I love the whole telling off the phonies off in public deal,particularly because I can easily picture my own mom doing the same thing:

VALLERI: I always did dig The Monkees,and while this wasn't on my personal pick list(Daydream Believer is number one in my heart),Davy Jones does the lead vocals here and as any Marcia Brady wannabe knows,he was the dreamiest:

MESSAGE TO YOU: While this performance clip is from 1973,the Bee Gees did record this song in 1968,first in England and then it appeared on their third U.S. album called Idea. The Brothers Gibb were major players in the musical background of my youth and now it's easy to see how those early seeds were planted:

HONEY: According to the Billboard charts,this Bobby Goldboro tune was at the number one slot for several weeks,including the actual week I was born. I've never heard of this song before and since it's rather depressing,kind of glad that I didn't sooner. A prime example of pop culture tastes changing over time(as well as hair styles):

DANCE TO THE MUSIC:Fortunately,I can round this up with a much livelier musical number,courtesy of Sly and the Family Stone. While there were many big songs out and about during 1968 from the Rolling Stones,The Doors and the Beatles,this one set the stage for large scale R&B pop music that took off big time during the 1970s. Much thanks and praise must be given to the Family Stone for bringing folks together,at least on the dance floor:

Please feel free to mention any of the songs from your own year of birth and don't be ashamed-after all,age ain't nothing but a number as they say!


Ladytink_534 said...

I adored Jeannie C. Riley as a kid! I still have at least three of her records.

I was born in '86 and there are several great songs that came out then:
Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days) by The Judds
Diggin' Up Bones by Randy Travis
You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi

Anonymous said...

Great post!! I can't help but participate.

I was born January 1st, 1975. That week the No. 1 rock tune was Elton John's version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The following tunes were hits throughout 1975 and are imprinted on my qsyche:

February 9 – 15 1975 Linda Ronstadt - You're No Good

February 16 – 22 1975 Average White Band - Pick Up The Pieces

February 23 – March 1 1975 Eagles - Best Of My Love

March 2 – 8 1975 Olivia Newton-John - Have You Never Been Mellow

March 9 – 15 1975 Doobie Brothers - Black Water

May 18 – 24 1975 Earth, Wind and Fire - Shining Star

June 1 – 7 1975 John Denver - Thank God I'm A Country Boy

June 15 – July 12 1975 Captain and Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together

July 27 – August 2 1975 Eagles - One Of These Nights

August 3 – 16 1975 Bee Gees - Jive Talkin'

August 24 – 30 1975 KC and the Sunshine Band - Get Down Tonight

August 31 – September 13 1975 Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy