Oldies but Goodies

One thing I’m definitely thankful for about Denver is that they have a good oldies station.  Most of the time I listen to ESPN radio, with hard rock my usual backup.  Some times I’ll get tired of both of them though, and see what else I have for my pre-sets.  One of those is an oldies station.

El Paso didn’t have one – at least, not that I ever found (maybe AM, but who the hell listens to music on AM if you’re not on a roadtrip?).  And that’s a damned shame – even if you just play the big names, like the Beatles or the Beach Boys, there’s some really good music that’s getting forgotten about.  And that’s to say nothing of all the one-hit wonders or smaller time groups.

So this morning I got to rock out to “Hang On Sloopy”, and it really took me back.  Growing up, I listened to very little other than oldies whenever I was staying with my mom.  Sure, as I got older and got a CD player of my own (remember the Sony Discman?  And how if you looked at it wrong it would either skip or open?  Good times…), I started listening to my own choices – classical music, alternative rock, “regular” rock, a little of the mainstream punk in there for good measure (i.e. Blink182’s Dude Ranch and Greenday’s Dookie).  But whenever we would drive somewhere, it was almost invariably some good old surfer music, or doo wop, or motown playing on the car’s radio.

And of course we’d always sing along when we knew the words.  Neither of us could sing to save our lives – I believe my mom was the first person I heard say “I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket” – but that wasn’t the point.  We weren’t auditioning for American Idol.  We weren’t trying to impress each other – we had no reason to – or practice for an upcoming concert.  It was just the two of us, sailing on the Sloop John B with Brian Wilson or Leaving on a Jet Plane with Peter, Paul, and Mary.  She’d “sing” in her gravelly voice, and I’d voice the melody as best as I could, skipping the words because I hadn’t really learned them most of the time (that’s a skill that served me quite well in high school choir, by the way).

So, for the moment at least, the greatest thing about living in Denver isn’t the job, or the scenery, or the people.  It’s once again turinging on the radio and hearing Three Dog Night sing about throwing away the cars, the bars, and the wars.  What else could you ask for from your radio anyways?