Which Ones Hold Your Memories? by Rich Paschall

A lot of people have a song or two that are special to them.  It might be their prom theme song or other high school or college dance song.  It might be their first dance from their wedding.  It just might be the song that was playing when they met or when they first realized they were in love.

The special song could be one remembered from a rock concert or play.  It maybe the one that was on the radio when you were off on a road trip.  You know the one!  Everyone sang along at the top of their voices.  When you meet now and hear that song, everyone sings it again, just like 20, 30, or even 40 years ago.

Here is my top ten list.  They all hold special memories and if I was to write this tomorrow, the order might change completely, except for number one.  That would stay the same.  First I have some honorable mentions from recent years.

I have seen Maroon 5 in concert a number of times in recent years, but I really like Sunday Morning for a memory it evokes.  I also love David Archuleta’s Touch My Hand for the thoughts it gives of being on stage but singing to just one person.  Hunter Hayes touches a chord with the recent Invisible.  I mentioned it previously here.  I will also add One Republic’s Apologize, as in “it’s too late to apologize.”

10.  Ferry Cross the Mersey, Gerry and the Pacemakers.  This 1965 hit seemed to play constantly on a road trip to Galena, Illinois.  You had to love top 40 radio in those days.

9.  Sister Golden Hair, America.  This 1975 number one hit was a favorite of Chicago radio personality Larry Lujack.

8.  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Chicago.  Recorded for the band’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority, 1969, it was released as a single the following year.

7.  Save The Last Dance For Me, The Drifters The 1960 hit came back around a number of times and by several artists.  If you saw the final episode of season one of Queer As Folk, no further explanation of its meaning to me would be necessary.

6.  Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys  I guess I could have picked several Beach Boys Songs for this spot, especially Heroes and Villains.  They recall a particular era for me.

5.  Color My World, Chicago.  Again off the “CTA” album.  It was a popular theme for dances, proms, weddings.  The late Terry Kath did lead vocals on the hit song.  These days original member and trumpet player Lee Loughnane sings it.  Here it is founding member Robert Lamm on vocals:

4.  Horse With No Name, America  It is a favorite of my closest friend and it became our road trip song.  This 1972 hit was written and sung by band member Dewey Bunnell.

3.  That’s Life, Frank Sinatra, 1966  A friend who ran karaoke often asked me to sing it.  If she had no one to start off her show, she would just announce that I would be starting and play this, even if I was not going to sing anything.  I ended up singing it a lot:

2.  Cherish, The Association.  A friend asked me to write a lyric for his sister’s wedding song.  Someone else asked me after the wedding how I thought to rhyme cherish with perish (as in, “their love will never perish”).  Listen and discover:

1. Beginnings, Chicago  I saw them in concert at DePaul University when the first album was hot and the hits were being released one after another.  This was the theme of many dances and certainly many weddings and proms.  I can not adequately explain the memories that go with this song.  From my seat on Chicago’s lakefront:

Add your favorites in the comments below.  Maybe we will sing along with you.


      • There are times when I wonder how we ever managed to study, it seems that we spent countless hours learning songs, playing them over and over and over to get the words right, to the point where we could match every one of them perfectly.

        I remember how shocked I was when I realized that “Live on Bandstand” meant the performer was there, but the music was canned, and artists were lipsyncing their own records.

        Liked by 1 person

          • and when you consider that it was going to be impossible (and amazingly expensive) to get a 30 piece orchestra and reverb machine onstage, or five back up singers, lip syncing was mandatory. Not only that, many of the early singers did NOT have voices that projected well. I remember one girlgroup called the Teddy Bears who had a single big hit, and little breathey voices. Turns out they had such weak voices the studio had to ramp up the sound equipment to even hear them.
            Not exactly live performance stuff.

            And what kids then wanted, too, was the exact and I do mean exact sound they heard on the 45–anything else would have been sacrilege.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Yesterday, the Beatles. Stops me dead everytime I hear it, even now
    Baby Boxer and Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel
    Twilight Time, the Platters, first LP I ever bought
    Donna,– Ritchie Valens, we ALL sang that one, lol
    A Thousand Miles Behind–Dylan

    Liked by 2 people

        • Judy, Rich and company. I keep revisiting this one. I could easily have “favorite” lists by the decades from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s — somewhere there the music died for me except for folk and C&W. What a great topic!!

          Liked by 2 people

          • I now and then have occasioin to visit YouTube and read some of the comments–many of them are kids, some in their early teens, who listen to ‘grampy’s music’ and love it. Often it is elvis, or the everlys, or the beatles.
            What that tells me is, this music, what was once ‘our’ music, is universal, and timeless. If you want to put it in perspective, Think about us, as teens in the mid fifties, or early sixties, listening–and reveling in–music from 1910–that’s how much of an equivalent time gap there would have been, for us, if you compare the ages of these kids today listening to music of 40 and 50 years ago.

            A year or so ago I was involved with an online game called RailNation. Its a heads-down serious kinda game, yet someone started a topic, in the middle of all that grim game play, called “favorite rock music” and by the end of the week there were 500 posts in that topic alone. And he introduced me to Dire Straits, whom I had heard of, vaguely, and Mark Knopfler, whom I hadn’t. Im glad he did.

            And if it wasn’t for You Tube a lot of these bands would be unknown today except in our memories and on our old 45s.

            Yes, thanks, Rich, for this.

            Liked by 2 people

      • Great list, terrific idea.
        A random few: “For Sentimental Reasons” (Our wedding song), “As Time Goes By” (Obvious), “September Song”, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “Stardust Memories”, “When I Fall In Love”, “Yesterday, When The World Was Young”, “Over The Rainbow”, “Autumn In New York”, “Moonlight In Vermont”, “Moon River”, and so, so many others.
        We just watched the PBS “American Masters” doc on Fats Domino. That cues another list of faves including “Blueberry Hill”, “Ain’t That A Shame” and all the classics from the generation of Fats, Elvis, The Beatles, The Platters, Holly, Nelson (Willie and Rick), on and on and on.
        Play it again, Sam!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your songs fit my generation – some other things timeless favorites of mine – Wooden Ships by CSN, We Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who , God Bless the Child by Blood Sweat and Tears , and of course Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven

    Liked by 4 people

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