More More More – the 70s

Because we all know that all anyone did in the 70s was make out in the middle of a field.

It’s been a week now, and I’m still listening to the 70s A.M. Gold cds I picked up at the library. These cds are like crack, people. For real.

To share the joy, here are a few more choice cuts:

Jim Croce You Don’t Mess Around With Jim
Lord have mercy. If I had a dime for every time I heard this song… nevermind. I can’t help it – I love most of Jim Croce’s songs.

“You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” is a part of the lexicon; maybe not as prominent as “Stagger Lee,” but nonetheless one of those songs that you can’t remember not knowing, that you can’t imagine anyone on earth not knowing all the words to. It’s closest kin is Mark Twain. This sounds like the kind of stories Huck Finn tells.

Jim Croce’s delivery is awesome. He compels you to listen to him, to hang on every word. He’s a storyteller; the music is background, even when it’s good.

Jim Croce probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves. No one talks about Jim Croce when they talk about songwriters who wrote truly universal songs. Maybe because his premature death in a plane crash left us with so little of his work. Or maybe his songs are taken for granted. Maybe we’ve all heard them so much we can’t appreciate them anymore. What a shame.

The 5th Dimension (Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All

Like Jim Croce, the 5th Dimension are woefully underrated. They are undeniably associated with elevator music. A pop-soul confection, their sound is impeccably mannered, I admit, but like Dionne Warwick or even Glen Campbell, this is not always a demerit.

I don’t know what it is about this song that I like so much. There’s a yearning lilt to this song that makes it the kind of Muzak you actually look forward to hearing.

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show Cover of the Rolling Stone

And now for something completely different.

My mother had a large collection of 45s, mostly from her high school and college years in the early 70s, that she inexplicably hid from me. I have no idea why she mistreated me this way. I’d already worn out several of those suitcase-type record players by the time I was five, and spent hours lovingly caring for my own 45s the way most little girls cared for their baby dolls. I actually did my brother bodily harm once because he broke one of my Rod Stewart records. I could have been trusted, Mom.

Anyway, she hid these 45s from me, but would occasionally dole them out like the buried treasures I considered them to be. I remember distinctly the night she unearthed this gem. She brought it to me with a sly grin, and said, “here’s you a record.” Why she thought this was appropriate for a seven year old girl is beyond me, but we listened to it no less than about 15 times in a row, and I howled the whole time. I think she got a big kick out of how funny I thought it was. She did have to caution me not to sing the part about Cocaine Katie at bible school.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “More More More – the 70s

  1. Looks like you’re just getting started…welcome! Music Junkie @ Fusion 45

  2. dkpresents

    “I’d already worn out several of those suitcase-type record players by the time I was five.”

    That brings up great memories for me. Can’t say I’d worn out suitcase record players by the time I was five, but I was certainly spending a lot of time with them at that age. I believe my first model was a plastic Fisher-Price jobber. Luckily, my mom was foolhardy enough to turn her stack of 45s over to me. And the rest, as they say, is history…

  3. missrubyjones

    I had one of those Fisher-Price outfits. It didn’t last any longer than the Strawberry Shortcake or Smurfs models, though, lol.

    Lucky you. My mom was a record-Nazi. The only records other than my own that I had access to were the ones my brother and aunts discarded – lots of Donna Summer and Sweet!

  4. J.R. Clark

    I always felt the 5th Dimension modeled themselves as the African-American Mamas and Papas.

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