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Thread: The Earliest Song You Can Remember

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Default The Earliest Song You Can Remember

    Yesterday I was driving, listening to the Beatles channel, and one of the DJ's was interviewing Steven Van Zant, and he asked Little Steven when he had first heard the Beatles, and Van Zant started talking about how every kid of his generation had gone to bed with a transistor radio under the covers, and he had heard "I Want to Hold Your Hand" first.

    That got me to thinking....what's the first song by a professional musician that I can remember hearing. I remember the first song I ever bought, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band on a 45. But, what's the oldest song....not the artist....the song itself, that I can remember hearing, not owning.

    My parents were professional beekeepers until I was 9 years old, and we traveled the country from March through September to pollinate groves, orchards, fields, and crops and to make honey. All those miles in the 1970's and early 80's saw lots of CB traffic and visits to Radio Shacks to fix the CBs and self-installed 8-track players. We had 8-tracks in both trucks, and I'd ride with my daddy (as I called him back then) and my mom at other times. Their CB handles were "Bee Man" and "Scooby Doo" the latter, my mother's, chosen against her will after a serious crying fit by me. I can't recall what handle she had wanted, but, she was a good mom.

    Anyway, when I was in high school, most contemporary music wasn't very good. There were some exceptions: Tesla, the Georgia Satellites, REM, U2, INXS, Depeche Mode, Guns N Roses, Extreme, Naughty by Nature, the Jeff Healey Band, but it wasn't until I was piloting my 1984 Ford Escort L (Diesel) north on I-575 just south of the Bells Ferry exit when I heard the opening chords of and drums of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" come across the airwaves of 99FM (before 99x) that I got back into contemporary music like I had been. Don't get me wrong--I know all of the popular songs from back then, and I owned a lot of the CD and cassettes, but it didn't fulfill me.

    That lack of fulfillment in music led me back to the rock and roll of my parents. Remembering how much I liked the music of the early 1980's (Michael Jackson, Journey, Prince--especially Prince!), I wanted soulful pop/rock. Finding the simplicity of the 1950's too cutesy for my tastes, I meandered through the kind-of boring early 1960's until I found Motown. The Four Tops, The Temptations, The O-Jays. Then the Beatles. When I lived in Rabun County, Georgia as a little boy, I had a record player in my room, and many a night my mom would put on the A side of Abbey Road so I could hear "Here Comes the Sun" and "Octopus's Garden" before I'd go to bed, sadly, I don't remember her every turning it over so I could here their masterpiece (The non-stop "Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard," "Polythene Pam," "She Came in through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," "The End," "Her Majesty"). She also made me listen to that 8-minute cover of "Eleanor Rigby" on Vanilla Fudge's first album on my record player...a lot; she could be a bad mom too. But, those aren't the first songs I remember.

    When I got through all of the 1960's bands---I had my Zeppelin phase, my Pink Floyd phase, my Doors phase, my Hendrix phase, my CCR phase (that cover of "Heard It through the Grapevine" is so dang good), and even my Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and Young) phase---I moved into the Eagles and to Fleetwood Mac. Now I didn't ever get into Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. That Fleetwood Mac of "The Green Manalishi" and "Black Magic Woman" and "Rattlesnake Shake" is astounding and in my Top Ten Bands of all time. No, I got into the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nix "Never Goin' Back Again" Rumours Fleetwood Mac, but what messed me up was that as I listened to the songs, I knew the lyrics and rhythms to songs that I hadn't ever heard before, or so I thought.

    The same thing happened when I listened to the Eagles. Every stinkin' song...."Take It Easy," "Take It to the Limit" "One of These Nights" "Lyin' Eyes" "New Kid in Town" "Heartache Tonight" "Hotel California" "Witchy Woman" and even the not-so-common stuff like "Bitter Creek."

    See, all those miles and miles and miles lapped up in the service of comb and hive were accompanied by the tunes of Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Gordon Lightfoot, Badfinger, Johnny Cash and whatever else my mom and dad had on 8-track or that we could get to tune-in on the radio when we were near a town or city. I soaked it all in, probably even when I was asleep, which if I was anything like my children are in the car, was a lot of the time.

    So, which song is the earliest one I can remember? The song that always comes to mind, when I think back to my earliest memory in my life...I'm in the truck with my mom, windows half down, wind blowin', in the bee business....runnin' down the road with a bee caboose for our load, got a world of honey bubbles on our minds, looking for a grover, or a field of clover, but it's so hard to find.

    "Take It Easy" recorded by the Eagles, but written by Jackson Browne

    The next one I can remember is "Sister Golden Hair" by America

    So, what are your oldest memories of songs by professional artists? If you feel like telling the story, cool. If not, cool.
    Last edited by wuapinmon; 02-01-2018 at 09:26 AM.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    Black Sabbath Iron Man - Brother used to start the record then he would turn out the lights and shut me in his room. The beginning scared the crap out of my tiny tot self. A few years later I loved the song.

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    The first songs that I remember listening to that were current and not my parent's old stuff: Kim Carnes: Bette Davis Eyes, Joan Jett: I Love Rock and Roll, J Geils: Centerfold. I started listening to Casey Kasem's America's Top 40, and those were #1 songs I think in that early period. This was around 81. I was about 10. I had no older siblings to guide me, so I had to figure it out on my own. The first album I bought with my own money was Journey Escape right around then.

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    In 7th grade, my school bus driver, a bleach-blonde who wore more foundation than an NPR show, played a cassette tape with that song on it every afternoon. In the morning, we'd get Bon Jovi. But, the afternoon was all Sabbath's Paranoid. "Iron Man," like AC/DC's "Back in Black" is just part of me. Once you hear it a few times, and enjoy it, it just takes two, maybe one, drumbeat, to recognize it.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay santos View Post
    The first songs that I remember listening to that were current and not my parent's old stuff: Kim Carnes: Bette Davis Eyes, Joan Jett: I Love Rock and Roll, J Geils: Centerfold. I started listening to Casey Kasem's America's Top 40, and those were #1 songs I think in that early period. This was around 81. I was about 10. I had no older siblings to guide me, so I had to figure it out on my own. The first album I bought with my own money was Journey Escape right around then.
    My grandma gave me an alarm clark/radio for Christmas in 1981, and I listened every night to fall asleep, so I knew all of that stuff. When we moved down out of the mountains to Atlanta, after they gave up beekeeping for computers, Atlanta had this station that would play rock, pop, rap, and reggae called Z93 (back then). So, I had all kinds of stuff coming through my little alarm that I'd not heard up in Rabun County. The next year, she gave me an LP of "Chipmunk Rock." It had a few of the ones you mentioned on it. I wore that disc out.

    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    Was it tied to a memory of a place, a mission farewell, or just a general thing?
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    In 7th grade, my school bus driver, a bleach-blonde who wore more foundation than an NPR show, played a cassette tape with that song on it every afternoon. In the morning, we'd get Bon Jovi. But, the afternoon was all Sabbath's Paranoid. "Iron Man," like AC/DC's "Back in Black" is just part of me. Once you hear it a few times, and enjoy it, it just takes two, maybe one, drumbeat, to recognize it.
    Iron Man is instantly identifiable by that opening guitar riff.

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    CS Institutional Memory Jarid in Cedar's Avatar
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    Striving for mediocrity Art Vandelay's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is the first. But nothing reminds me of being very young as much as either of these songs.


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    Scooby Doo theme song
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    Explosivo Commando's Avatar
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    I remember being in my room with a radio or somebody's radio listening to the hits at the time, which seem to have been disco-tinged; Funky Town, Call Me, Macho Man, Physical, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, etc. as well as random butt rock from my older brothers and hearing my mom's Neil Diamond and the Muppet Movie soundtrack on 8 track. Since memories don't form until age 3 or 4 it would have been around 1980-81, so it seems about right. I have oddly pleasant, fond memories of those songs.
    "I'm anti, can't no government handle a commando / Your man don't want it, Trump's a bitch! I'll make his whole brand go under,"

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    Reach out, i'll be there - the four tops.

    my dad was a big Motown guy, so Motown was my introduction to music as a young kid going hunting and fishing in the pickup with dad. that particular song stands out as one I vividly remember.
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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    As if anyone needed further evidence of my advanced years, my earliest memory of a recorded song was of The Ballad of Davy Crockett which topped the charts back in the early to mid-50s. When I was three (coincidentally, the same age at which Davy killed him a b'ar), I would put on my coonskin cap and faux leather vest, grab my rifle, and stand by the record player, listening to that stirring anthem over and over and over.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Super Trooper - ABBA

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    As if anyone needed further evidence of my advanced years, my earliest memory of a recorded song was of The Ballad of Davy Crockett which topped the charts back in the early to mid-50s. When I was three (coincidentally, the same age at which Davy killed him a b'ar), I would put on my coonskin cap and faux leather vest, grab my rifle, and stand by the record player, listening to that stirring anthem over and over and over.
    PAC, aka, King of the Wild Frontier!
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    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymountainrain View Post
    Reach out, i'll be there - the four tops.

    my dad was a big Motown guy, so Motown was my introduction to music as a young kid going hunting and fishing in the pickup with dad. that particular song stands out as one I vividly remember.
    That's a great song to have as your first memory. I can hear him belt out "to cherish and care for you" with all that power without having to even look it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Commando View Post
    I remember being in my room with a radio or somebody's radio listening to the hits at the time, which seem to have been disco-tinged; Funky Town, Call Me, Macho Man, Physical, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, etc. as well as random butt rock from my older brothers and hearing my mom's Neil Diamond and the Muppet Movie soundtrack on 8 track. Since memories don't form until age 3 or 4 it would have been around 1980-81, so it seems about right. I have oddly pleasant, fond memories of those songs.
    "Physical" is the first music video I can remember watching.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    Scooby Doo theme song
    Little Mac is very excited by this development.

    Quote Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
    My father, who never ever sang, sang this to my mother when she was in the hospital with a ruptured gall bladder when I was 9 months old. She told me that story every.single.time it ever came on the radio. I used to hate it for that reason. Now, I like it, since I've got to listen to it without her telling the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    As if anyone needed further evidence of my advanced years, my earliest memory of a recorded song was of The Ballad of Davy Crockett which topped the charts back in the early to mid-50s. When I was three (coincidentally, the same age at which Davy killed him a b'ar), I would put on my coonskin cap and faux leather vest, grab my rifle, and stand by the record player, listening to that stirring anthem over and over and over.
    I have my mom's 45 of that song and I played it all the time on my record player. I also used her plate and cup when I was kid. I think they got broken with my sister, but I thought it was so cool to have them. I remember it had the Alamo on the plate and a bear and the outline of Tennessee on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    Super Trouper - ABBA

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    So, I didn't know this song. I'm so very sorry.
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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Ring of Fire--Johnny Cash and June Carter
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    lollygagger hostile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    Scooby Doo theme song
    I was wondering if TV songs count. If so, theme song from Sesame Street.
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    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    That's easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hostile View Post
    I was wondering if TV songs count. If so, theme song from Sesame Street.
    Ooh good one. That, Mr. Rogers, and the theme from the Electric Company and Captain Kangaroo-- however those go. I don't remember those last two, but I do remember watching them and hearing the songs.
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    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    As if anyone needed further evidence of my advanced years, my earliest memory of a recorded song was of The Ballad of Davy Crockett which topped the charts back in the early to mid-50s. When I was three (coincidentally, the same age at which Davy killed him a b'ar), I would put on my coonskin cap and faux leather vest, grab my rifle, and stand by the record player, listening to that stirring anthem over and over and over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    Scooby Doo theme song
    Quote Originally Posted by hostile View Post
    I was wondering if TV songs count. If so, theme song from Sesame Street.
    If those count, I'd probably have to say The Ballad of Davy Crockett or the theme from Mighty Mouse. I wanted to be Mighty Mouse when I grew up. 'Here I come to save the day!' (although that's the only part of the song that I remember)

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker View Post
    If those count, I'd probably have to say The Ballad of Davy Crockett or the theme from Mighty Mouse. I wanted to be Mighty Mouse when I grew up. 'Here I come to save the day!' (although that's the only part of the song that I remember)
    Same as Andy Kaufman.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando View Post
    Ooh good one. That, Mr. Rogers, and the theme from the Electric Company and Captain Kangaroo-- however those go. I don't remember those last two, but I do remember watching them and hearing the songs.
    Anyone remember Zoom on PBS from that era? I have never forgotten their jingle to have kids write into the show:

    Write Zoom! Z double-O M, Box 350, Boston Mass 02134. Send it to Zoom!

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    Strikes and Gutters chrisrenrut's Avatar
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    First real music I remember is a mash of Christopher Cross (When you get lost between the moon and New York City, Sailing), The Carpenters, Air Supply, and other soft hits from the mid-70's. That would border on child abuse now, but what else would faithful mormon newlyweds listen to at that point?

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    UofU/BYU mixed marriage Scott R Nelson's Avatar
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    The first one from the radio was Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary. That's the one that got me listening to the local rock and roll stations - KMUR and KNAK. Then I bought a transistor radio and was tuned in from then on until I left for my mission. When I got back in 1974 I wondered what was wrong with me that the popular music didn't sound good to me anymore. I eventually figured out that the problem was the most of the music sucked by then.


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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    Anyone remember Zoom on PBS from that era? I have never forgotten their jingle to have kids write into the show:

    Write Zoom! Z double-O M, Box 350, Boston Mass 02134. Send it to Zoom!
    Yes and it was spoken like a Southie.

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    lollygagger hostile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaka View Post
    Yes and it was spoken like a Southie.
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