When music was music
I know this article probably pertains to folks my age, but every once in a while I hear a tune that was popular in the ’40s or ’50s and immediately it takes me back to where I first heard it and the memories that go along with it.
I asked my wife what the song “Don’t Fence Me In” reminded her of and immediately she replied, the Happy Hollow, Cokes and hamburgers. The Happy Hollow was a favorite hangout on Delaware Street, right west of the Barnes and Collard Chevrolet dealership. Another favorite there was “Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola.” Hearing the Andrews Sisters singing any song now makes my toes tap, and I just have to stop and listen.
We did not have a radio hanging around our neck or earphones back then, but we had record players and beautiful jukeboxes in all the restaurants and places where teenagers would be. The top tunes back then had melodies that we could remember, and they were songs that we would never forget regardless of our age.
In 1947 I bought an Emerson portable radio that I could carry around. It weighed about 10 pounds. We could buy sheet music with the lyrics that we could memorize. Music stores had all the records and a small closed booth that you could take your favorite in to listen to before you bought it. The 78s were all the rage and I still have a box of them stored in the basement. Then came the 45s which were smaller in size.
When we were first married in 1950 our most proud possession was a large record player that was a lovely piece of furniture about six feet wide and had great speakers on both sides plus a storage compartment for records. Now you may see them in an antique store.
Several of my favorites from those days were “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole and “Harbor Lights” by Sammy Kaye. I could go on and on. They just don’t make music like that anymore …