Category: Tunes

Texas Trip Tunes

Tired, busy and the winter doldrums have put a damper on my rambles, both outdoor and blogging. Lots to catch up on in terms of a 2020 recap with 2021 off and running and halfway to February. First up, is an overdue “Trip Tunes” post.

A round trip work drive to south central Texas as 2020 drew to a close provided more than a little time to tune in to the radio dial. And since I took along some fishing gear and even caught a bass, well, it qualifies for the final “Trip Tunes” feature from 2020. I actually only heard one of the following on the radio but years of listening brought several other apt tunes to mind.

And the Top 5 goes a little something like this…

5. Little Rock – Colin Raye (1994)
“I think I’m on a roll here in Little Rock.”
Several of the tunes on the list weren’t actually heard on the radio but rather in my head as I trekked south out of the Midwest via some previously unseen roadways. In fact, I’d never been to Arkansas; close on Table Rock Lake, Missouri but no cigar. Two passes through the state’s capital city had me wavering between this cut and the 1986 Reba McEntire hit of the same name. In the end, Colin Raye’s lyrics were more on the mark as I did a lot of rolling to the tune of 2500 miles behind the wheel.

4. Texas Women – Hank Williams, Jr. (1981)
“They may be from Waco or out in Lampasas but one thing about it they all come from Texas.”
Me and this tune go back to the 80s when my buddies and I used to listen to a decent dose of Bocephus. This cut came to mind as I passed a highway sign for Lampasas and crossed the Lampasas River. For all these years, I had no clue where Hank was singing about so it was a fun kind of light bulb moment as I made my way through The Lone Star State. While I still find the rhyme a bit of a stretch, I can now indulge in a little mental cartography and get his drift.

3. It Came Out of the Sky – Credence Clearwater Revival (1970)
“Whoa, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline”
This is the lone tune on the list that I actually heard on the radio. The CCR hit catalog provides ample cuts for classic rock/oldies stations but this one was breath of fresh air. A cool, deep cut out of nowhere gracing the airwaves in the dark of night somewhere near the Arkansas/Texas border. It’s always kind of fun to hear a lyric with a local flavor and even more so when you are about eleven hours away from your home a little east of Moline. UFOs were a hot topic back when I was a kid and the fascination has been rekindled with recent talk of “classified government documents” possibly being revealed.

2. East Bound and Down – Jerry Reed (1977)
“The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there’s beer in Texarkana.”
Well, 1977 was quite a year at the movie theater with the likes of “Star Wars”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Oh God!”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Slapshot”, to name a few. And then there was “Bandit” and “Snowman” looking to deliver a load of beer on an interstate adventure with Buford T. Justice in hot pursuit. Jerry Reed (aka Cletus “Snowman” Snow) did the honors in co-writing and performing this cut from the highway hit comedy “Smokey and the Bandit.” Although I was south bound, this tune was playing on the soundtrack in my head as I crossed the Arkansas-Texas border at Texarkana.

1. Guitar Town – Steve Earle (1986)
“I’m just out of Austin, bound for San Antone with the radio blasting and the bird dog on.”
As I found myself in the geographical position noted above, I couldn’t help but think back to wearing out the cassette of Steve Earle’s debut. This title tune served as the lead track and there wasn’t a bad cut on the album, start to finish. A great listen made even better in the middle of nowhere in the 80s at a place called Green Oaks with my buddies. A campfire turned bonfire, just a couple beers and a boom box with Guitar Town at high volume was just the ticket for some Knox College Siwash students. Oh yeah, a picnic table and a little air guitar were also right on the money as the beers and the nights rolled on.

I sure dig my tunes but plenty of 2020 fishing recap stuff is in the works. It’s just a struggle to find the time and the energy to get it done. But, open water fishing will be here before you know it (a little wishful thinking), so I’d better get on the ball. Stay tuned and talk to you later. Troy

Five Fine Prine Fishing Lines

Dedicated to Fred and Mike for all of the hours of Prine CDs in the QC Lab.

One week ago, the world lost a legendary singer/songwriter with the passing of John Prine, the former mailman from Maywood, Illinois. I was introduced to his music once upon a time in the National Seal Company Quality Control Lab probably about 1991. Sadly, the pair of co-workers responsible for my fandom are no longer with us either.

Prine left a mark that leaves this fan looking for a way to say “Thank you”. But just how does an outdoor blogger work in a tribute to such a man?

Well, if anybody can work in an outdoor related tangent…

I give you my Top 5 John Prine fishing lines.

“On the dock the fish were stinkin’, I simply didn’t have a care.” – He Forgot That It Was Sunday (1995)

“We’ll whistle and go fishing in the heavens.” – Fish and Whistle (1978)

“Trying to save our marriage and perhaps catch a few fish.” – Lake Marie (1995)

“You oughta see his wife, she’s a cute little dish. She smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish.” – It’s A Big Old Goofy World (1991)

“I eat fish to pass the time away, ‘neath this blue Canadian moon, this old world has made me crazy, crazy as a loon.” – Crazy As A Loon (2005) (Note: above strip pit is a spot I named Loon Lake, story for another day)

If you don’t know these songs, I’d encourage you to look them up and give them a listen for a Prine primer. If you already know the tunes, I encourage you to listen again. Only a minute sample of his craft but it gives you a feel for the diversity of his catalog and the creativity in his storytelling.

Our lives are made up of a collection of stories and Prine’s lines covered all kinds. The ones we are fond of telling as well as the ones we’re better off keeping to ourselves. His songs make us grin or grimace, bring a laugh or a tear, put you on the edge of your seat or make you squirm in it a bit. And sometimes he covered all of those bases in the span of less than four minutes. One of a kind, whose tunes and tales regarding the human condition will live on and on. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/7 – Part II

The Top 5 spans the 70s and provides a nice retrospective on the range of offerings that the decade had to offer. From ballad to singer/songwriter love song to rocker to disco/funk to new wave/post-punk. If you didn’t like the genre of the song on the radio in the 70s, well, just wait until the next one…

5. Boogie Nights – Heatwave (1977)
This funky groove was one of the trio of Heatwave hits that also included “Groove Line” and “Always and Forever.” All were written by the band’s English keyboardist, Rod Temperton, who claims my title of “I sure didn’t expect that” among songwriters (guess which guy in the lineup above). Just for fun, do a search for the guy who also wrote Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall”, “Rock with You” and “Thriller.” And there was also George Benson’s “Give Me the Night”, “Stomp” by The Brothers Johnson, “Baby Come to Me” from Patti Austin/James Ingram and “Yah Mo Be There” from James Ingram/Michael McDonald. Awesome and unexpected.

4. Message in a Bottle – The Police (1979)
This trio was hitting their stride with the release of this cut as the first single from their second album. Strange to think that in four short years and three more albums, it would all be over, arguably right at their peak. The members would go on to individual successful endeavors as well as earning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction as a group. The lasting impact of a band that released five albums in just under a five year span not only amazes but also begs the rock and roll cliché’, “What if?”

3. Without You – Nilsson (1971)
Harry Nilsson took this tune penned by a pair of members of the group Badfinger to the top of the charts in early 1972. Numerous other artists have recorded versions of the cut over the years as it is just one of those tunes that some find bears repeating. Personally, I find the Nilsson recording by far the best and despite some fawning over Mariah Carey’s version, not a fan. Of her or the song, both are too much. Anyway, if there was such a thing as a make The Beatles jealous song, this is it (only make believe though as I realize there is no such thing).

2. Let It Ride – Bachman Turner Overdrive (1974)
Led by a somewhat different looking stout pair of Canadian co-vocalists, BTO flat out rocked. This cut is a prime example with bassist C.F. Turner belting out the lead vocals and the band cranking out a rhythm that just chugs along full speed ahead. It is one of those songs where the pace, tone and vocal perfectly reflect the tune’s title. Or, maybe it is the other way around. Whatever the case, I could listen to this one all day long.

1. I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song – Jim Croce (1974)
When it comes to the singer/songwriter niche, it’s tough to find anyone who did it any better than Jim Croce. Not only love with songs such as this classic but also as a humorous storyteller offering up characters like Leroy Brown and a “five foot six and two fifteen bleach blond mama with a streak of mean.” Impossible to say where Croce was at his best but this Top 10’s Top Tune is among his many candidates.

Tourney time tomorrow night as Lure Lunacy resumes with Sweet 16 matchups. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 3/7 – Part I

Okay, let’s shifts gears from my blend of basketball and bass fishing to my blend of tunes and bass fishing.

Yes, folks, Trip Tunes returns for another year, albeit in belated fashion. Perhaps you recall my less than impressive performance during my first fishing trip of 2020 back on March 7. While it only produced one bass, it did result in the Top 10 Trip Tunes selection that comes your way over the next two days.

For anyone new to the series, I still roll with the radio about anywhere I go and that includes the drive to and from the fishing hole. When it is all said and done I pick the Top 10 cuts that graced the airwaves and pass along not only my countdown but also my two cents regarding each tune.

And it goes a little something like this…hit it!

10. Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas (1975)
While I was familiar with Bruce Lee and used to watch Grasshopper snatch the pebble from his Master’s hand, I wasn’t really a Kung Fu kid. Regardless, this one-hit wonder that went all the way to the top of the charts was right on target for an eight-year old armed with a radio on the nightstand. Still gets folks going all of these years later and I will always remember a friend and co-worker from the 90s expertly hitting each “Huh!” and “Ha!” along the way. R.D., if you’re out there, quite a treat.

9. Cruel to be Kind – Nick Lowe (1979)
For music fans of my age range, MTV was a revolution. Not only was I introduced to a wider range of tastes but I also got to actually see the performers performing. So many more than The Midnight Special, American Bandstand, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Night Flight, Saturday Night Live or Fridays could provide. Artists such as Nick Lowe were among the initial batch of video offerings that continue to entertain nearly 40 years later. MTV would eventually go down the tubes but I’m proud to say that I knew MTV when it used to rock n’ roll.

8. Hurting Each Other – The Carpenters (1972)
What do you get when you combine top notch songwriting, exquisite arrangements and one of the top female vocalists of all-time? Well, you get The Carpenters, who compiled three Billboard chart toppers (15 on the Adult Contemporary chart), five number two hits, several Grammy awards, 90 million records sold, television shows and a Hollywood star. For those who find it not cool to be a Carpenters fan, you are missing out. And while I’m at it, I also dig Barry Manilow, Air Supply and The Village People.

7. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (1969)
While we are talking top vocalists, I’d rank B.J. Thomas right up there on my list of male singers. “Raindrops” and “Hey, Won’t You Play…” are fixtures when revisiting the soundtrack of my childhood courtesy of a transistor radio or wood panel station wagon dial. Over the years there’ve been more than a few rainy days on the water where I’ve found this tune creeping into my mind. A welcome treat when I get into that wonderful zone of escape where “nothing’s worrying me.”

6. The Love You Save – Jackson 5 (1970)
I challenge you to pull any version of this tune up on the internet that features some live footage of these performers and not find yourself smiling. Better yet, not find yourself moving, or even pondering dancing. Heck, I’m smiling now just thinking about that little eleven year old performer getting down. Interesting lyrics too, as they reference Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and Christopher Columbus. When this tune hit the top of the charts in 1970, my household consisted of the Jackson 4. A few years later it would skip right past the Jackson 5 as we welcomed two at a time.

Been a while since I got distracted on one of these remotely fishing related tangents, kind of missed it. Lucky for me, I get to do it again tomorrow with the Top 5. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 8/31 & 9/1 – Part II

Round two of the recent radio trip down memory lane, so read on.

5. “If You Want My Love” – Cheap Trick (1982) – The guys from Rockford, Illinois just aren’t heard from enough on the radio. Seems like it’s either “I Want You to Want Me” or “Surrender” and that’s about it. So, when you get one like this love song you’ve got to turn it up and sing along. Be careful though trying to get too close to Robin Zander’s delivery as you may hurt yourself. Probably best if you’re riding solo too, at least if your vocal talents rival yours truly.

4. “Don’t Ask Me Why” – Billy Joel (1980) – I still recall getting the “Glass Houses” 8-track from the Columbia House Record and Tape Club. How cool was it to pore over the ad in some periodical as you narrowed down your dozen selections for a mere penny? My folks and some mowing money covered the rest of the “contract” helping to fill several old wood grain cassette and 8-track storage boxes. As far as this tune it was one of many favorites on that “Glass Houses” album back in the days when you listened to those 8-track tapes start to finish, mid-tune skips between programs and all.

3. “Takin’ Care of Business” – Bachman Turner Overdrive (1973) – Rock and roll at its finest with this enduring tune from some north of the border rockers. Apparently, they weren’t fishermen as evidenced by the lyric, “If it were easy as fishin’”. Then again, perhaps it’s either tongue in cheek or maybe I just take this fishing thing to seriously or perhaps I just need some more practice to make it easier. Whatever the case, BTO always provides an enjoyable musical escape as the boys just turn it up and let it ride.

2. “Fox on the Run” – Sweet (1975) – Who knew a “fox” wasn’t exclusively a red furred, bushy tailed canine? Not the eight year old kid who was digging this tune along with other Sweet favorites like “Little Willy” and “Ballroom Blitz.” Some darn good glam rock from the radio filled days of my youth featuring entertaining and varied genres on the airwaves. From song to song in 1975 you could hear singer/songwriters (ex: James Taylor), art rockers (David Bowie), crossover artists (Freddy Fender), soft rock balladeers (Barry Manilow), hard rockers (Doobie Brothers), funky folks (Ohio Players), comebackers (Neil Sedaka), disco beginnings (K.C. & the Sunshine Band), instrumentalists (Average White Band) and even novelty singles (Ray Stevens). Yet more reasons it was good to be a kid.

1. “Hey Nineteen” – Steely Dan (1980) – “Way back when in ‘67” begins this cut from the duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker with an assist from an ensemble of polished players. Well, that year was when it all started for me, literally. Which put me at 13 when this tune peaked at #10 on the Billboard chart. At that time, I represented the youthful disconnect that the singer observes in a young lady from the younger generation. Now, 39 years after the release of the single, the shoe is on the other foot. I suppose at this point I relate (or is it resemble) some lyrics from the second verse. “She thinks I’m crazy but I’m just growing old.” Now, that’s the mark of a great song, a different interpretation at a different stage of life.

Ah, these are fun for me, brings back lots of memories when assessing each of these three or four minute escapes courtesy of the radio dial. But up next, it’s back to contemporary memory making with another trip to Lake Storey. Hope you’ll tune back in for the latest fishing report and talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes 8/31 & 9/1 – Part I

For better or worse, here we go again with another trek into some tunes from a pair of fishing drives back on August 31 and September 1. First half today and the Top 5 tomorrow.

10. “California Girls” – David Lee Roth (1984) – Once upon a time MTV played music videos and some were better than others in terms of being attention getting. As a 17 year old kid headed down the home stretch of high school I must say that some of the extras in this shoot were extra eye catching. And looking back now, I still think, “Boy, I bet it was pretty cool being David Lee Roth.” Energetic and fun, he does it up right with this remake of The Beach Boys classic.

9. “Macho Man” – Village People (1978) – If you were a 10 or eleven year old kid like I was when these guys hit the scene you know you liked this one. This cut along with “In The Navy” and, of course, “Y.M.C.A.” all had that hook and had you singing along. I suspect you still do, it’s okay to admit it. It is kind of wild to look back and realize that those three tunes all hit the airwaves within slightly over a year before radio airplay pretty much left the fellows behind. But if you are old enough to have had an ear on the radio as the 70s were drawing to a close, these cuts are stuck in your head. I admit that I’m chuckling a bit at the thought of “Macho, macho man” pestering you the rest of the day.

8. “Clap for the Wolfman” – The Guess Who (1974) – Was there anybody cooler than “Wolfman Jack” back in the day? His gravelly voice, cool delivery and hip lingo left quite an impression during his gig on “The Midnight Special” and other various television appearances. And this seldom heard gem from The Guess Who features a collection of rambles and phrases form the subject of the song such as “she was diggin’ the cat on the radio”. Having been raised on the radio, “The Wolfman” and Larry Lujack and John Records Landecker of WLS were my vintage of disc jockeys. The term and role of DJ has since evolved and expanded as my kids now call a guy with a marshmallow head a “DJ.” Kudos to his creativity but for crying out loud he doesn’t even speak. Nope, these days I get my fix with the likes of “Uncle Tim” and “Mamma C” and “Tazz” on Vintage Radio WQUD 107.7FM out of Erie, IL. “Vintage Radio”, huh? Guess that means I’m old and in this case older is better, of course.

7. “Creeque Alley” – The Mamas & the Papas (1967) – This autobiographical romp through some folk, pop and rock history is a fun four minute journey. I’ve long marveled at how songwriters can tell a story that covers all the bases and hits you with a hook all in the span of a what was generally considered a radio friendly length (roughly 3:45 in this case). For this tune to tell its tale there’s an interesting batch of rhymes like “Mugwumps, love bumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps.” Add a little name dropping with McGuinn and McGuire, as well as Zal, Sebastian and the Spoonful. Throw in a fishing reference in “tryin’ to get a fish on the line” and finish it off with a catchy hook that concludes with “everyone’s getting fat except Mama Cass.” Of course, the basic musical accompaniment, blend of voices and shout out to “California Dreamin” just flat out hit the spot.

6. “Hungry Heart” – Bruce Springsteen (1980) – I dig many things lyrical and a killer opening line certainly gets your attention. “Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack, I went out for a ride and I never went back.” Yikes, that’s pretty heavy, leaves you wondering if you really want to stick around and see where this thing is going to end up. Of course, you can’t resist the infectiousness of this tune from “The Boss” that reinforces the turmoil with phrases like “took a wrong turn’, “don’t make no difference”, and “we ripped it apart.” Gotta like a lyricist who can turn a two syllable word into five and make it work, “Everybody’s got a hu-u-un-ga-ry heart” (something like that).

An interesting mix as usual, nothing like surfing the airwaves on the way to the fishing hole. Sometimes almost wish the ride was a little longer when the tunes are hitting the spot. Okay, maybe exaggerating a bit but I’m sure fellow music fans know how it goes. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 6/21-22/19 Part II

An interesting blend of the 70s graces our Top 5. Per an internet search it appears that we have, in order, the following genres: Soft Rock, Baroque Pop (never heard of that one), Hard Rock, Jazz Fusion and Rock. Perhaps a little too categorized but suffice to say that 70s radio still rules in my book.

5. I’d Really Love to See You Tonight – England Dan & John Ford Coley (1976) – I always liked this mellow tune and find it fun when a song features one side of a phone conversation (see also “Operator” by Jim Croce or “Telephone Line” by ELO). I also enjoyed the late “England” Dan Seals as a solo artist who had great success on the country charts in the 1980s with tunes like “Bop”, “My Old Yellow Car” and “Everything That Glitters Is Not Gold” among others.

4. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) – Edison Lighthouse (1970) – Kinda hip, kinda groovy, kinda 70s, this one has always struck a chord with me. It’s one of those songs that I could listen to over and over and always leaves me wishing it was a little or a lot longer. No doubt it could use an additional verse or even another round of the same stuff. An interesting detail on this cut is that the singer, Tony Burrows, contributed vocals to a batch of other one hit wonders including “Beach Baby” (First Class), “My Baby Loves Lovin’” (White Plains) and “Gimme Dat Ding” (The Pipkins).

3. Beautiful Girls – Van Halen (1979) – Now if you say that the Van Hagar incarnation of this band was better, we’re going to have an argument and I give you Exhibit A to begin my case. “Well, I’m a bum in the sun and I’m having fun…” Rock and roll at its finest and funnest, classic VH with a shout out to lovely ladies. “On top of the world” indeed. Hey, wasn’t that phrase recycled down the road? Not bad, but not as good.

2. My Old School – Steely Dan (1973) – There’s no such thing as a bad Steely Dan song, some are just better than others and this is one of them. Clever as always and an entertaining blend of ambiguous and obvious in the lyrics. I’m always entertained by unique words in songs and the fellows work in “Oleanders” and “Guadalajara” into this tune, pure genius.

1. Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1976) – Written by Bruce Springsteen and recorded to perfection by Mann and his troupe. Darn near gibberish at many spots along the way making me wonder not only exactly how one would write something like this but also how it works on the ear and beyond. Took me many years to get that “revved up like a deuce” thing right too.

Another fun tangent for me and coming your way tomorrow is the regular Friday Flashback. Hope you’ll tune in and talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 6/21-22/19 Part I

Here’s another batch of trip tunes gleaned from several hours of surfing the airwaves during the back to back round trips to the fishing holes on June 21 and 22.

10. Legs – ZZ Top (1984) – So, ZZ Top of the 80s had the trademark coupe in several of their frequently played MTV videos, including this cut. Never really been a car guy so luckily this video also featured some attractive young ladies. Which, as a 17-year old guy, were more my speed. Always liked the older ZZ Top stuff better but hard to deny the impact of music videos on selling some records. 35 years later I still find the video a treat and even sport a modest ZZ Top look of my own from time to time.

9. Enough Is Enough – April Wine (1982) – It’s always fun when you hear a cut on the radio that makes you say, “Wow, I haven’t heard this one in ages!” And even better when you think, “Oh man, is that April Wine?” And it is. A fun tune and rewarding to know that my musical memory is still pretty spot on.

8. We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel (1989) – Somewhat panned by critics, I particularly enjoyed this song being a trivia, history, education, encyclopedic kind of guy. The entertaining ride through 40 years of world events, pop culture and personalities was not only a hit with this listener but also managed to top the charts for two weeks in December of 1989. Although this song would likely not crack my Top 20 Billy Joel favorites it’s always worth the stop on the radio dial just to see how well I can sing along with the rapid fire history lesson. Quick, name the first and last individuals mentioned in the lyrics.

7. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot (1976) – Speaking of history lessons, this somewhat haunting tune was a favorite of a nine year old kid intrigued by the tale and honestly a little creeped out by the musical interpretation of the tragic event (my original 45 pictured above). A legendary song from a legendary Canadian artist, the tune narrowly missed reaching the peak of the Billboard chart hitting number two behind Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night.”

6. Centerfold – J. Geils Band (1981) – Well, you’re a fourteen year old boy and this video hits your favorite channel, MTV. Instant favorite, one of those drop what you’re doing clips. Runners-up to the lovely young ladies that grace the screen are lead singer Peter Wolf’s dancing and the drum surface actually being milk. Distant runners-up, by the way, but entertaining and memorable nonetheless.

Top 5 up tomorrow with a full dose of the 1970s. Talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 6/11/19 Part II

Here we go with the Top 5 which fittingly finishes with a little Father’s Day flourish.

5. Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash (1982) – Thanks to the Netflix series, Stranger Things, this tune has been introduced to a whole new generation. Our kids included as they eagerly await season three of the series slated to kick off on July 4 (although we’ll have to wait for the video release). It’s always cool to hear your kids get excited when an “oldie” comes over the airwaves or when you hear them singing such a tune out of the blue.

4. You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac (1977) – Back in fifth grade I had a favorite album, something called Rumours, perhaps you’ve heard of it. This tune featuring the vocal stylings of Christine McVie was the fourth single release and is one of those tunes that has grown on me over the years as a change of pace from the always enjoyable Buckingham\Nicks leads. Good stuff when you’ve got three varied vocalists to choose from when creating such memorable music.

3. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis (1987) – The mid to late 80s were a great time to be a country fan. Acts like Alabama, George Strait and Hank Jr. were well established and a new batch of traditional artists in Randy Travis, Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam were hitting the scene. The former of that trio was my favorite, what a voice, and tough to find a better love song than this one. I was able to hang onto country music as the 90s dawned with another trio of artists hitting the scene in Clint Black, Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt. I suppose I am getting old now as I can’t stomach most of what’s out there these days as “that ain’t country.”

2. December 1963 (Oh What A Night) – The Four Seasons (1976) – As a dedicated eight year old listener to Chicago’s WLS I was quite fond of this often played track. I knew a little of The Four Seasons from a few 45s around the house but this one had a different sound and vibe than “Sherry” and “Rag Doll.” Sounds like a whole new act for much of the song with Frankie Valli taking a backseat.

1. Cats In The Cradle – Harry Chapin (1974) – Fitting for Father’s Day, I caught this tune as I was just reaching the gate at the fishing hole. A little stiff after the hour plus drive it took several steps for my gait to resume a normal feel. Made me think of all those times Dad said, “one of these days you’ll see…” I’m starting to understand and as I reached to unlock the gate, I thought, “my hands are looking more like Dad’s.” Of course, my hairdo has long begun resembling his as well, my floppy hat now serves as sun protection on the fishing hole instead of hair. Like Chapin sings, “I’ve grown up just like him” but ideally in a bit better way than the lament in the lyrics.

Until next time, solid Top 5 Update tomorrow, Happy Father’s Day to the Dads out there and talk to you later. Troy

Top 10 Trip Tunes – 6/11/19 Part I

Haven’t done one of these since March so here we go again.

10. Children of the Sun – Billy Thorpe (1979) – If your criteria for a “one hit wonder” requires a Top 40 hit, well, this one does not qualify…barely. The popular rocker from down under managed to fall one spot short as this cut peaked at #41 in September of 1979. Not sure where I was hearing this tune but I was spending plenty of time with WLS and Q93 dialed in as the 70s were ending and the teenage years were about to begin.

9. Dumas Walker – Kentucky Headhunters (1990) – So many songs take me back to a specific place and time and this is one of them. Me and my buddies’ road tripping up to Sheffield, Illinois to hang out with the Hansen brothers at their small town saloon known as “R&J’s.” Some of the rest is a little blurry but this entertaining and catchy country cut went hand in hand with just a few cold ones back in the day.

8. Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne (1980) – For better or worse, I was more in tune to Top 40 radio as the 80s dawned as opposed to some of the edgier stuff at the local Co-Op Records store on Henderson Street in Galesburg, Illinois. Fortunately, I had a buddy who would crank a few albums such as Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz which contained this interesting tune. And speaking of albums and record stores, internet search engines just aren’t the same as flipping through those racks of eye-catching designs.

7. Rag Doll – Aerosmith (1988) – With an unlikely assist from Run DMC, the bad boys from Boston saw a dramatic resurgence in popularity. For my money, this one was the best of that bunch. Joey Kramer slamming drums kicks this one off and it never stops movin’ with Steven Tyler’s incessant lyrical banter and some cool slide guitar from Joe Perry rolling along. Music is a lot of things and one of those things is fun. This jam definitely fits the bill.

6. Rooster – Alice in Chains (1993) – This gritty ditty hits home with the late Layne Staley’s vocals knocking it out of the park on guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s tribute to his Vietnam veteran father. Another song that takes me back to a place and time, 12-hour shifts in the National Seal Company quality control lab with the radio running all night long. Good times with good co-workers including a Middle Eastern fellow who used to croon this tune with an entertaining Iranian accent.

It’s tough to beat the “solitary” drive to the fishing hole while sharing time in the company old friends found on the radio dial (and yes, my truck still has a tuning dial). Old stories abound as I head out looking for some new fish stories. More tunes tomorrow. Talk to you later. Troy