This is one in a series of short snippets detailing my musical journey-starting with my early introductions to music and culminating with what I am listening to today.
Like many children, I swore that I would never listen to my “parents’ music.” I think that sentiment especially held true in my generation’s reaction to country-at least in these here parts. And if I were to ride anywhere with either my mom or dad, I was certain to hear the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and many other artists of the day, blaring from the radio. After a steady diet of songs about cheaters cheating, dogs dying and fiddlers fiddling all week, I would often accompany my folks to local restaurants and other establishments to see either country artists or cover bands that included hillbilly songs in their repertoire. There was really no way of escaping it, though I tried to wash my brain with rock and roll every opportunity I had. But my efforts were futile, as I would find these ditties playing on my internal jukebox. Even worse, there were many entertainers who experienced crossover success and therefore MY stations were playing these tunes! I think it was around this time that I started purchasing 45s and cassette tapes of my own to turn to, since my stations and parents were “failing” me.
I entered my teenage years armed with about 100 cassette tapes, none of which were country. I can’t recollect what happened to the 45s, though the Mega Music Massacre of ’87 would have sealed their fate anyway.