Great Plains Wondering: Music is an important part of life
Music. It can soothe the soul, take us on a journey, lead us into temptation and inspire. Music has the potential to lift us. Conversely, if we’re not careful, loud music can cause hearing loss. As Billy Joel once sang, “I get attacked by a kid with a stereo sound/I don’t want to hear it but he won’t turn it down.” We all have different tastes in music, and, hopefully, our musical preferences broaden as we progress through life. I know that I didn’t appreciate jazz or classical music that much until I went to college.
I grew up in a household where my father typically listened to country and western artists, like Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, while my mother usually put on a folk or pop album, like the New Christy Minstrels, Peter Paul and Mary, John Denver, or Bread, with Kenny Rogers and Mac Davis thrown in for good measure. When we moved to Cherokee, Oklahoma, from Pratt, my father installed a central stereo system with overhead speakers in the house he built there, so I got to hear whatever my parents chose to play.
By the time I was a teenager, however, I was more prone to say, “I know it’s only rock n’ roll, but I like it.”
I stayed alive through the disco era and sometimes wondered who I was, along with Don Williams, and, like him, believed in music.
Back in the day, I attended concerts at the Kansas Coliseum (probably lost some hearing there), and even got lost after one, heading back from Wichita to Alva, Oklahoma, when I almost ended up in Winfield. Journey, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special and Styx are some of the coliseum concerts that come to mind.
Along with Michael Martin Murphy, I ran calling Wildfire. I had a Rocky Mountain High listening to John Denver and experienced a few
Endless Summers with the Beach Boys. I even discovered the Beatles on an 8-track tape somewhere along the way. Those were the days.
While live music is always best, recorded music on a quality sound system is a close second. In any case, may your summer listening be filled with tunes that lift, inspire and take you to a better place. Or, as Tito Puente put it, “Oye como va, mi ritmo.”