Elevator Music

I was not a normal child. I did not listen to a lot of popular music when I was a young teen. In fact, the radio in my room was always tuned to WYEZ, the local easy listening station. And by "easy listening" I mean elevator music. Partly because I liked being different, I suppose, but mostly because I couldn't understand damn thing the heavy metal/glam rockers of the 80's were singing about. The popular music of the day just tended to make my skin itch. By the time I was an older teen, say 17 or so, I did move on to the Beatles, some Steppenwolf, and U2. But I still didn't listen to the popular station. It's funny though, I recognize many of the hits from the time and they always make me nostalgic. I must have gone to a lot of dances.

Anyway, back to my abnormality. Yes, my music tastes ran to Henry Mancini, James Galway, and the like--think "Baby Elephant Walk" or "The Girl from Ipanema" or "Sounds of Silence". It was there that I first heard Simon and Garfunkel too; a big influence on my young musical tastes. And it was where I first heard Roy Orbison sing "Crying". I remember being chilled and goosebumply when I first heard this song. I was shocked when I saw Roy on tv--absolutely nothing like what I imagined.

I've been working on Roy Orbison's "Crying" lately. It has the most beautiful chord progression I've come across yet: D D+ G Gm. There is just something about the D, climbing to augmented D moving into G and resolving in a minor that just feels sooooo right. It is such a moving song, deceptively simple but packs a wallop. But it is so damn high! It is songs like this that occasionally make me sad I'm not a tenor (but not for very long...long live the power of Baritones).

I wish I could define this music from my childhood better. More than that, I wish I knew more of the artists that I listened to. Alas, WYEZ moved to an all talk format and was off the air six months later.

I need to get a record player and retrieve my LPs from storage. . .

Edit: FWIW, I guess the trade name for these stations was Beautiful Music


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