From early childhood I've always been fascinated by Jukeboxes. Maybe it's the drop of the coins. Jukebox In My Mind plays all my favorite memories. I hear the song play and it's an instant reminder of good times with good friends. A simple look back to those vinyl record memories of days past.
At the time it was not my intention to write stories based on my vinyl record collection. Twenty years later I would do just that. Jukebox In My Mind is a smooth, yet danceable or just easy-listening song that can highlight many a romantic mood.
It became the theme for my stories and over the years it has been easy to get pleasantly lost in one's thoughts. Come with me and let's reminisce about old friends and lost loves. Together we can share in a sentimental sea of nostalgia. In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox, and it's playing all my favorite memories. And I can't stop the jukebox in my mind. A great song that says it all.
I've been asked more than a few times over the years if the stories I write are true.
Indeed, many of the stories are written based on where I was or what I was doing at the time.
I look back on my youth and recall some of those original songs that continue to be favorites more than sixty years after their first release. Los Angeles' Cleve Dncan and the Penguins bringing back those "Memories of El Monte" and their anthem, "Earth Angel," originally recorded as a demo in a garage in South Los Angeles as the "B" side of the record.
The Penguins' only hit, it eventually sold in excess of 10 million copies, and in 2005, would be chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.
The song made me appreciate more, the original Doo wop sounds that emerged during the early 1950s. I was actually into rockabilly and country with Elvis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash leading the way around the mid-fifties. As I began to enter my teens the street corner-style harmonies that were seemingly everywhere in 1958 came a whole lot closer to defining the true doo-wop experience. Girl groups, most notably The Shirelles and The Crystals, continued to knock down gender barriers, advancing their cause in the wake of The Chantels.
No longer was doo-wop the exclusive domain of African-American youth. 1958 saw a strong influx of young Caucasian groups who embraced the legitimate sound. The Elegants, Capris, Skyliners, and Dion and The Belmonts were all dedicated R&B fans. They too provided an intimate soundtrack for lovers, unlike the white pop cover groups that seemed to be everywhere only a short time earlier.
Many who write and share their memories grew up during this wonderful time in history. For each one it's a sentimental longing for the past, and another reason I continue to draw on the Jukebox In My Mind for many of my related stories.
And, so it goes....In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox, and it's playing all my favorite memories...
When I write a story, I break down the fourth line of the first verse, "To the days when you were mine," to include not only the girl, but my first car, a classic blue '57 chevy. On any given night me and my friends would spend countless hours at our favorite Drive-in restaurant. Top ten hits played over the speakers while pretty girls circled the cars delivering Burgers and Fries and cherry pies in a world we used to know. Special times indeed. For me each one holds a memory; of a person, a time, a place.
Starting with the first verse, it's the fond memories that allow me to pull it all together, and in turn, create a much easier path to the stories you read on these pages.
In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox
It's playing all my favorite memories
One by one they take me back
To the days when you were mine
And I can't stop this jukebox in my mind
Visitors who respond with added memories from the Big Band era of the 1940's, remain a genuine plus for my stories. One such song is "Dream," a 1944 cover song by Roy Orbison released in the early sixties.
The facts surrounding the songs require more detail and research; who was the songwriter, the vocal backing groups, and the session players who turn ordinary songs into hit records. But it's the Jukebox In My Mind that will ultimately determine if a particular song will make an interesting page that others will enjoy reading.
Remember the line from this 20 year old song...'Cause I've got friends in low places, where the whiskey drowns, and the beer chases my blues away.....And I'll be okay!
Over the years I have been fortunate to have friends that I consider more than just "Okay"......those I allude to as my friends in high places, the friends I grew up with, and those special friends I've never met.
You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your friends. (unknown)
My DJ buddy, Ned Ward, often plays songs on his weekly radio program that connect with my vinyl record memories. Along with suggestions and added song details from his gifted producer, Mr "B," Ned's popular Country Doo-Wop show makes it easy to write stories about songs many can identify with.
My friend, Randy McNutt, author and record producer from my hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, provided me with needed information on music history, and contributed immensely to my Soul Serenade page, often ranked #1 on google as the best Soul Serenade cover song story.
In addition Wayne Bullock,
a band member with R&B great, Lonnie Mack, and a former classmate
of mine, relayed first hand information on this great Soul Serenade
classic. His B3 organ solo is a very special part of the song.
Bill Moore, my first newsletter subscriber nearly ten years ago, sent me dozens of original 45's and LP's. He shares song ideas and old memories that I turn into stories about the times we both grew up in. The Don & Juan song, What's Your Name, is just one example.
Because of our music connection
it's easy to communicate with these special friends I've never met. I’m
thankful and glad that each one has allowed me to become part of their
But it's the friends from our Hamilton, Ohio neighborhood of Lindenwald, (pictured above) that provide me with endless childhood memories that make life easier and more enjoyable as we still maintain contact well over a half century later. For now anyway...
Heaven knows I love old melodies,
They were meant to ease the pain...
Sometimes it's the pain of losing old friends as time passes on. Those are the memories attached to the songs, and the sole reason....I can't stop this Jukebox In My Mind.
Alabama is a country music band from Fort Payne, Alabama. They originally began by singing for tips around Myrtle Beach.
The group was started in 1969 but failed get a recording contract until 1977. It was their blend of contemporary and traditional country and southern rock that turned them into one of the first successful groups in the mid-1970s and beyond.
The band was founded by Randy Owen and his cousin Teddy Gentry. They were soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook. After losing 4 previous drummers, drummer Rick Scott left the band in 1979 and was replaced by Mark Herndon, a former rock drummer who helped give Alabama their signature sound.
Emerging in the late '70s, the band had roots in both country and rock, however, there is no denying that Alabama is a country band. Before Alabama, bands were usually relegated to a supporting role in country music. Alabama took it to the next level.
A sleek country-rock sound made the group the most popular country group in history, selling more records than any other artist of the '80s and earning stacks of awards, thanks to the hits "My Home's in Alabama" and "Mountain Music." Alabama would go on to sell millions of records.
"Jukebox in My Mind" was released in July 1990 as the second single from their album "Pass It On Down." The song was written by Dave Gibson and Ronnie Rogers. It was a number-one hit in both the United States and Canada.
If you enjoy Alabama, plus you tend towards a romantic nature, then you'll likely want to add this one to your collection.
It was simple and good back then never thinkin' it would end. Cruzin' the drive-in restaurants where guys with ducktails met gals with pony-tails. It was Burgers and Fries and Cherry Pies in a world we used to know. Read my Burgers & Fries story here.
A truly beautiful song with words that reflect the long lasting meaning of love.
"But just tell me you love me and you are only mine...
And our love will go on 'til the end of time." Read more...
This Darling Lorraine page returns to 1959 and the remarkable story about a determined song writer. Includes memorable video clip with original lead singer. Read more here.
The song "Dream" reminds us of those glamours movie stars of the '40s, '50s, and early '60s. The one thing they all shared was a level of glamour we still aspire to today. This is a song everyone should have in their music collection. Read more...
Pink Shoe Laces was a cute #3 hit song for 13 year old Dodie Stevens in 1959. Forty years later she performs with her daughter in a 1999 special called "Rock-n-Roll Graffiti" and...WOW! Read more.
Many consider "In The Still of The Night" to be the anthem of Doo Wop oldies and it would be hard to argue that point giving the year the song was originally released, 1956. Read more.
"I don't usually contact doo wop article authors as I rarely find much of value in the articles, but your article struck me as sincere, genuine and respectful."
Producer, Audio Engineer
"In The Still of The Night"
Read the story here.
If you lived and breathed in the fifties those songs of the past reminds us of our connection to innocence and the fabulous harmonies of these four pretty gals.
More than 60 years later the emotional power of these two songs still resonates with listeners, and as a result, still remain current. Read more...
This 1960 teen love song was a short song with a long-lasting heartbroken message. One of the more romantic teen ballads written at the time. Read More...
The true story of a teenage crush and how a young man was inspired to write his song about the girl he left behind. Read the Fireflies story.
The Fireflies 1959
"You Were Mine."
Make believe you're the FBI agent saving this "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" from that nest of bad guys. Read more.
"Looking For An Echo" is street corner music with soul. A time when the ability to sing was mandatory. Read more...
"We practiced in a subway,
In a lobby or a hall
Crowded in a doorway
Singing "Doo-wops" to the wall"
Wanna return to that feel good music era? Come with me and relive yet another great time in history when "One Fine Day" lit up the summer of '63. Read more...
Just creamy harmony and seamless pleasure returns you to the days when easy listening was called "dinner music."
Another beautiful love song from 1964. Read more.