Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, December 31, 2016

what's playing

  This being the last day of the year I find myself reflecting. I would think that is what most of us are doing. Well maybe those that are looking forward to tonight's celebration are not, they are busy looking forward. But I have been there and done that. I received a gift for Christmas called Google Home. It is an electronic device that streams internet music for me and answers some of my questions. It is quite a remarkable little device when you think about it.  Anyway, I have been playing classic country music on it while writing these posts. As I listened to those old familiar songs I do look back. I have come to the conclusion that for the most part I have lived my life much like those songs. I've become a classic myself ! The ideas and life experiences written about in those songs are mine.
 At an early age that is the music I heard simply because it is what Dad was listening to. The blue collar crowd he belonged to listened to that. Oh, they weren't cowboys. Now cowboy music is different from country, but you have to be an aficionado to understand that. Cowboy music is western and country is everybody else. Interesting is the fact that the very first cattle ranch in America was in my hometown. So I guess it is accurate to say I am descended from the original cowboys. But like many I strayed from those roots when I became a teenager. It was that rock and roll music what took me astray. For a few years that music filled my head with all kinds of crazy ideas. Hippie ideas. Lucky for me I joined the Navy when I did and it got me straightened up a bit. At the very least it forced me to act right. I was still listening to that music alright but it was being tempered by regulations, restrictions and going out to sea for six months. Then it seems like rock and roll went away and something called disco took its' place. By then I was too old for that nonsense and the old rock and roll just wasn't doing it for me. If you listened to that people thought you were just an old hippie, which I wasn't. So I couldn't identify with the hippies or the disco bunch.
 Well that happened about the time that " outlaw " country music was so popular. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and the leader of the pack, Hank Williams Jr. And I adopted that, believe me when I tell you I embraced it. Yes those where the days of Jack Daniels, pick up trucks, and out all night. Figured I was country. You didn't need to be a cowboy to be country, just act like a redneck ! That was an easy role to play. What I was, was a fool. Lived a bunch of those songs. Finally Hank sang, All my rowdy friends, and it was a song I could relate too on a personal level. It wasn't just a tale, it was what I was feeling.  It was time to settle down. I went back to those roots. Those old songs my Dad listened to and found I was home.
 Now I admit I do like to go back every now and again and visit those other places. A little classic rock and roll does soothe the soul every now and again. Makes you feel young. A little reassurance that I am still " cool. " Yes and that outlaw country music was the soundtrack for a while. I was a bit of an outlaw myself during those years. I'm not quite ready to tell those tales just yet, nothing much to be proud of except I survived it. And most importantly I didn't hurt anyone else along the way.
 I have arrived at the classic portion of my life. Those old songs do hold much wisdom in them if you listen closely. Those songs spoke of the mistakes we all make. Wrong turns and wrong thinking. Merle Haggard, Hank Sr. , Conway , Buck Owens and the like. Those old songs usually placed the blame right where it belonged, on the person singing the song. Songs like, It wasn't God that made honky tonk angels. George Jones was the master of that. I will say this much, those songs have much more meaning when you are sober ! Hank Jr. was right, cornbread and ice tea has took the place of 90 proof. Thankfully I never took the pills, might have if I was a hippie though. So I have been spared much by listening to the music.
 The music that these kids are listening to has got me worried. I'm just not sure what it is supposed to be. This pop-country stuff is all about selling the record not teaching a lesson. All the artists sound alike and the shows are similar. Lots of noise, smoke, pyrotechnics and auto tune. And whatever that Rap crap is supposed to be, I just don't know. I've been told it is social commentary but no body seems to agree on what it is saying.
 What will the kids of today have to fall back upon ? Kids nowadays get to listen to whatever they want. It wasn't that way for me until I bought my own radio. Even then I could only get a few stations and if Dad didn't approve you weren't listening to them ! Same with buying records, they had to be parent approved. Now I admit my folks were a bit more lenient than others I knew of. I had records from many artists and genres. You might hear Carol King followed by James Brown. That is when I was a teenager. As I said I do visit that time every now and again. I just wonder what all these kids running around with those ear buds in are listening to. They can't hear what is playing in the background. In my experience the background sets the stage. And as Shakespeare pointed out, we are merely players. When these kids reach my age what will they be listening to ? More importantly perhaps is the question, what will they be playing.