Behind the Scenes: Musical Memory


All right, let’s see a quick show of hands – who knew that John Travolta recorded a single a couple of years before the “Grease” soundtrack? Anybody?

I snapped this picture last month during a road trip to Wisconsin. That’s 15 hours each way, in case you want to know. We rented a car and the rental had XM satellite radio, so during the time our youngsters were doing other things and therefore did not notice that it wasn’t on Radio Disney, my husband and I had fun flipping through the stations. Due to our (small) age difference, he preferred the 80s channel (and Hair Bands! Seriously?), while I loved listening to the 70s channel (and Love Songs!) and strolling down memory lane.

My stepsister had this particular John Travolta single and we played it over and over (and over and over). As with most of the other singles she or I owned, I knew every note, every word, every nuance of this song, so I recognized it as soon as it came on.

When I was young, one of my main sources of entertainment was the radio. On Saturday mornings I’d listen to American Top 40 and actually write down the name and artist of every song. I loved to stick a blank cassette in my little tape recorder and try to record my favorite songs when they came on. I used multicolored markers to write song lyrics on notebook paper and post them on my bedroom wall. I sang to myself while sitting outside on the swing. I imagined myself in the songs, as the writer or the subject, and took them to heart. Even as a child in the elementary years, the music stirred something deep inside me. Today I can still be moved by music – the right combination of words and melodies is simply exquisite to me.

And despite the fact that some days I can’t find my car keys, I knew every. Single. Word. of that song.

Today I’m linking up with the wildly fun crowd at, where we tell you the stories you can’t see in the pictures. Come on over and join us!


8 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Musical Memory

  1. Oh I think my friend that we were definitely cut from the same cloth!!! I used to do the same thing… capture Casey Casem’s (sp) Top 40 every Saturday morning. My dad was very musical so there was always music and homemade mix tapes. I had a very similar experience this past Saturday with XM radio when Peter Cetera belted out Glory of Love. For about 4 minutes it was 1986 and I was staring at my Ralph Macchio poster wishing I could have starred along side him… My friend and I both loved it so much we rewound it to sing it at the top of our lungs again… and you know what amazed me? I haven’t heard that song in YEARS and every words came flying back like it was yesterday.

  2. I was — and still am — the same way, friend! I know I’m younger, but we still had walkmans when I was in junior high, and I remember not having money to buy the tapes or CDs, so I would tape them off the radio when I caught them. “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” – Martin Luther — he was a lover of music and preached its importance in our lives. I love how music and lyrics move us deep in our souls — and how they stick with us, buried in our memories even when we can’t remember where we put our keys 😉 Love to you today!!!

  3. I’m a music lover…it amazes me how many lyrics I remember, but yep. Totally lose the car keys a dozen times a day. 🙂 Such a fun post, friend…thanks for this! Have a great week! 🙂

  4. Me too! LOL! I was raised on radio! Love this… (and I even remember the song!) – As a child of the 70s – but teenager of the 80s – I would be a happy happy girl with either station choice!

  5. Love music!! I used to love listening to Casey Casem’s top 40 every Saturday! I was a child if the 80’s and teenager in the 90’s, but I grew up listening to oldies…my dad would give us quarters in the car if we could guess the artists that would be playing on the radio!! But no, I did not know John Travolta had a single before Grease!! Also, glad I’m not the only one always losing my keys…(or my shoes…or my brain)! 😉

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