I’ve Got Rhythm

…But Sometimes I Need Quiet

By Jeff Salter

Our Topic

Any activity for which I like music accompaniment? Different music for different activities?

Back in the Old Days

Growing up, I always heard music at home. My mom was a music major [LSU] and loved the classics. My dad enjoyed those and also liked soundtracks from many of the major Hollywood musicals. These were played often in our household until my brother and I graduated to “rock-n-roll” and we (and, later, my sister) began buying cool albums and singles.

Interestingly, back in the days before we had radios in any of our family vehicles, my father used to sing to us as he drove. He had a nice tenor voice – not professional quality, but very good – and had memorized numerous ballads which we (kids) loved to hear… over and over. [When I see my younger grandkids play the Frozen DVD a dozen times in nine days, it takes me back to how often we might hear some of my Dad’s songs over the course of a family driving vacation.]

In fact, after I’d married and we had our own kids – in the earliest years of their lives – I continued this tradition: I’d sometimes sing in the car (no radio yet) to entertain them. I make no particular claims for voice quality, but I knew a few songs – mostly from the Beatles – and the kids seemed to tolerate them well enough.

After we finally acquired vehicular radios, I used to listen to music a bit while driving — but in the past 20 yrs or so, I hardly ever turn on my radio / CD player. I’d much rather THINK.

Writing

As authors in this group blog, one focus of this topic naturally has to be about whether we use music in our writing. Swimming against the current, I definitely do not. I need total silence, or (at the most) white noise — when the weather’s nice, I like the outdoor sounds of nature… when it’s not, I don’t mind the neutral racket of the HVAC unit.

music

Nowadays

So, are they any activities that I pair with music?

Well, in church, I love most of the hymns — to me, that’s part of the worship. And at other times during the week, I’ll find my mind “humming” hymns.

When I’m shopping with my Mom in Kroger on Senior Discount Day, I enjoy the Golden Oldies which they play over the P.A. system. [Just wish they wouldn’t interrupt the good songs with announcements.]

When I’m exercising at the ‘Y’ three days a week, I enjoy SOME of the tunes they play – but I don’t know which station it is. Some is from the Golden Oldies, but some from the 70s and 80s.

Question

What about you? Is music part of any routine of yours?

[JLS # 251]

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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9 Responses to I’ve Got Rhythm

  1. How great that must have been for your dad to sing while on trips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jbrayweber says:

    Love your fond memories of music growing up.

    I have a love for the music my mom would play around the house, old country stars like Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers. We even listened to The Four Seasons.

    Ah…but I am a child who lived her teen years in the 80s. I am a die hard rock n’ roll, heavy metal, hair band kinda girl. Nevermind that I played the violin. I spent hours upon hours doing nothing but listening to songs. I’d even write down lyrics when the albums’ liners didn’t come with the words. At any rate, I have an ear for music, the chords, the rhythm, bass, beat. I loved music so much that I graduated from the Art Institue of Houston with a degree in Music and Video Business. For three years, I bumbled around the Houston music scene as a band manager, writing articles for the local rag, booking bands at clubs, running the VTR during club concerts for an access cable show, running lights during shows, promoting, etc. And all for a pittance and little to no respect because I was a girl. It was a tough business, but I have a lot of cool memories.

    Nowadays, I still love music, still love rock, even today’s alternative rock, and I still love to sing, though I can barely carry a tune. Give me a drink or two, and I’ll hit the stage at a karaoke bar, too.

    Jenn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      sounds like a fascinating life — and I’ll bet you met all sorts of interesting people. Certainly, you’ll have stories to tell your grandkids.
      Do you still play the violin, Jenn?

      Like

      • jbrayweber says:

        HAHA! Some of those stories are for adults only, and many of the people I met were jerks. I did have some great experiences, though.

        I do not still play the violin. But I do still have the instrument. Maybe some day I learn to play the guitar.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When I need a jumpstart, I listen to two things: the wildest 50’s tunes (Little Richard, Elvis, et al) and Mardi Gras music… always guaranteed to shift me out of neutral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      well, as a long-time radio man, you’ve certainly had your choice of a wide range of music. So if those are your go-to genres, they must be fantastic.
      That said, I like the softer stuff from the late 50s and always found the Mardi Gras stuff a bit too “festive” for me. Ha.

      Like

  4. Oh,I have to stop myself from singing along at Kroger on Senior Day, since I usually sing in the car with the oldies station!
    Nice memories, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patricia Kiyono says:

    So, it sounds like either you OD’d on music when you were young, or the memories are so sacred that nothing can compare. Glad to hear you still listen to hymns at church! And I totally agree about the PA systems in the grocery store – they always cut in during the good songs.

    Liked by 1 person

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