Birthday Music, Part I

So, this week marks the 44th anniversary of my birth. Those of you that know me personally know that my birthday is 9/11, yeah, THAT 9/11. While I’ve never been much for celebrating birthdays, I am inclined to do a little reflection and introspection as I mark another year in the world.

Today, I’m posting music from the 1970s. So much of my little world was surrounded by music, GOOD music, and although there is no way that I can write about all the songs I loved as a kid, I’ll share a few of my favorites here:

I fell love with Kool and the Gang on first listen! This song is still one of my favorites, and I’ll never forget hearing it in Mrs. Mathews’ 5th grade class. My best friend at the time, Pam, started the dance party (I was much too shy to get up), and Mrs. Mathews let us have at it for a few minutes. I loved her class, as this is where I was introduced to Edgar Allan Poe and “Annabel Lee.” I could listen to Mrs. Mathews read this poem all day. She had the most amazing southern accent, you know the ones cultivated by “southern gentility,” and at nine years old, I had no real notion of the race and class issues associated with that moniker; I just knew I loved her sing-song accent and that this poem made me cry because it was so sad. And besides, this post isn’t about that.

Another one of my favorites was “Takin’ it to the Streets” by the Doobie Brothers. I remember seeing them on the television show “What’s Happening” and that  two-part episode is probably my favorite. Rerun was trying to bootleg their music at a concert and of course got caught. I don’t remember much else about it, although you can watch it on Youtube if you are so inclined.

The last video I’ll post is one of a classic Jackson Five performance on Soul Train. It’s hard to believe that I was only four years old when this episode first aired. All I really remember is that my dad had this album on 8-Track cassette (look it up if you don’t know what that is), and I wanted an MJ afro. I had a LOT of hair when I was little, and I could hardly wait for my weekly wash so that I could pick out my hair when it finally dried.  I only had a little time before mama sat me down in front of the stove with the Blue Magic hair grease and straightening comb, so my Angela Davis /Michael Jackson afro was more of a fantasy than a reality.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some of my favorites from the 1960s. I was born on the tail end of that decade, but I’ve always felt like I was a 60s baby. I don’t know why, but I do know that 1969 was a pretty good year for me….

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