Turn Down For What!

Last week it was Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen”; today it was Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage.” Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

The beauty of songs is their unique ability to remind us of people and places that in some cases are deeply hidden in our memory banks. I love that about music!

The Whispers’ “Rock Steady,” which is played so often that one would think it‘s a top-ten hit, reminds me of my brother-in-law. And just to keep it in the family, I learned that his son (my nephew) likes Klymaxx’s “There’s a Meeting in the Ladies Room.” And he’s eight!

The aforementioned “Fantastic Voyage” always reminds me of my older brother, Joey, who lives half a world away in the Azores; and “Caribbean Queen” reminds me of my other brother-in-law.

Of course, sometimes only places come to mind: Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and “Rick James’ “Super Freak” remind me of the one semi-miserable year I spent at Branham High School; Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” habitually makes me think about summertime at my aunt’s house in Chihuahua, Mexico; Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” reminds me of being home sick from school.

And what’s a memory without a boombox? Blowfly’s’ “Rap Dirty,” Peaches & Herb‘s “Reunited,” and Kano’s “I’m Ready” remind me of walking around my east side neighborhood with a few friends and a humongous radio!

I think of my parents when I hear Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Unfortunately, I don’t think they listened. Fortunately, they found love in others.

It’s hard not to think about my dad’s wife when I hear Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.” She lost hers when she was a little girl. I believe they’ll dance again.

Some songs mean so much to me, like Luther Vandross’ “Superstar,” Teddy Pendergrass’ “Come Go With Me,” and Switch’s “I Call Your Name” that my memories are accompanied by a host of emotions.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my wedding song, Etta James’ “At Last.” I love my wife.

I can go on, but I’ll simply offer this: the next time a song reminds you of some place or someone, turn it up … and allow the music to fill your mind and feed your soul.

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