Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A 1976 Jukebox

Ah, 1976.

The first Cray supercomputer was presented, Steve Jobs formed the Apple Computer corporation, President Ford was a failing (and often falling) president (dodging assassins) but some unknown guy named Carter hot on his heels, terrorists were people like Patty Hearst, and by the middle of that summer, everything which was being sold in the U.S. was stamped Official Bicentennial Collector's Edition. I recall having a bicentennial high school yearbook (yes I am old) which had lots of red, white and blue over all the pages, one of the ugliest things I had ever seen, but what I recall most of that book which has now turned to moldy paper was that all the cheerleaders in my school had signed it and that seemed Very Important At The Time. I'm sure that was only possible due to the fact the school had less than 300 students and I was persistent nerd.

(Digression: do students get yearbooks anymore, or do they get some kind of disc or memory stik or something? Surely they don't still make them do those weird poses leaning against some imaginary fence row or leaning on a plastic tree. Do they? Surely they just upload a pic from their web page ...)

I say all this to paint an image of a time over 30 years past, the ancient past to some. For the last few days I was listening to some fine old music from that year. Some local diners had these big neon-light-covered machines with small vinyl discs inside which held recordings of music, all huddled around an enormous spindle, and you could drop a coin in a slot and listen to 3 or 4 songs. Some machines held over 50 songs. Imagine, 50 songs in one machine ...

So listening to some of the songs I liked, I thought that today, they sounded kind of ... well, disco-centric. True, there were some tunes that year with "disco" in the title. And yes, I did have a t-shirt with the words "Afternoon Delight" written across it, not because I liked the song. I liked the euphemism. And I remember that back in that year, I was pretty sure this is the car I would own:

I can't even afford one now. And all those cheerleaders are grandmas with dusty trophies somewhere. Thank god I am still young and vital.

Anyway, thanks to computers, I can make my own ersatz jukebox, with some songs of the time, some which were pure disco, some not, and thankfully by year's end I had that Ramones album to tide me over the oddness of disco. I do recall owning the album by Kiss, Destroyer, but I never really liked it although I did like the album cover a lot for some reason. So here you are, an eclectic 1976 musical compilation. (Note: I omitted the country music songs which were always on jukeboxes back then as a requirement of being in Tennessee. None are below. You'll have to wait until I do a post about country music.)

SeeqPod - Playable Search

1 comment:

  1. SWEET!

    Speaking of yearbooks, you should waste some time at http://www.yearbookyourself.com/