This post has two purposes. To tell you what Danielle and I did last night for this artificial temporal delineation called “New Year’s” and to tell you another New Year’s related story that involves reconstructing an old memory. First things first…
Most of you know that I listen to jazz, swing, big band, Dixieland, and blues – and all crossovers of those things. Primarily I listen to 30s and 40s stuff on the 40s Junction channel on SiriusXM in the car, and elsewhere I listen to the same stuff on Prime, etc. When at home I usually am listening to the same music on vinyl. That’s my music, and although I like a lot of other genres, if I’m picking the music, that’s what we listen to. Anyway, the punks who make decisions on SiriusXM decided to axe the 40s Junction channel during the holidays and they replaced it with yet another Christmas Music channel. This started even before Thanksgiving and they promised to bring my channel back after Christmas – which they did.
Over the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we listened to the Classic Radio channel with old shows, or we listened to the Sinatra channel. All of that is to say that the 40s Junction came back the day after Christmas and it came back better than before. For a long time, I’ve been saying they needed a “show show” like what they have on the other channels, where they have an expert on there as a DJ who tells you stories and talks about the songs and the artists, etc. They recently announced that on 40s Junction they were going to start a show like that with Les Brown, Jr. called “The Bands of Renown” Most of you probably do not remember Jr’s father Les Brown and his Band of Renown.
Anyway, they started that show at around 8 pm our time on New Year’s Eve and it was fantastic. We ran around Brownwood earlier and a friend asked me “What are y’all doing tonight?” and I said, “We’re staying home.” “Why?” she said. Me: “Because we’re old.” And we did. Stay home.
We watched most of a movie (bad choice – mine) and didn’t finish it. Had some drinks and at 8 pm put on the Les Brown, Jr. show and it was sooooo good. Wonderful.
This brings me to the second part of this story… (and we’ll loop back to this one. It’s all planned out.)
For most of my life, I had a memory of someone important dying when I was 10. I remembered it so clearly. It shook me. I knew people died, of course, because both of my grandfathers were dead, but this was someone dying that really rocked me. I remember crying about it in bed and going to my parent’s room and telling them I didn’t want them to die ever. I remember being scared about it and thinking “how can this person die?” But I could never for the life of me remember who it was that died. And here’s the weird thing… my brain attached the Barry Manilow song I Write the Songs to that death. I mean, Barry Manilow didn’t die when I was 10, but somehow those two things: that death and the song I Write the Songs were attached in my brain.
Then sometime last year I was picking up some vinyl records and I saw a Guy Lombardo album. Man! I remember Guy Lombardo! We watched him every year for New Year’s Eve. This was before Dick Clark and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. I remember getting to stay up and watch Guy Lombardo from a ballroom in New York City. Like the Waldorf Hotel or something. Me laying on the floor and loving that music. I got the album and went home and listened to it. A ton of memories came flooding back and I had to look up Guy Lombardo online. Well, you guessed it. He died in 1977 when I was 10 years old. Oh my goodness, I thought, could this be it? Then I went on YouTube and watched some of the videos from his New Year’s Eve shows and I particularly watched the one from New Year’s Eve 1977, the year he died. Guess what? They did a Guy Lombardo version of Barry Manilow’s I Write the Songs and that show. No doubt about it. Yep. That was it. Then the whole memory was just reconstructed and there it was. I was devastated by the death of Guy Lombardo at age 10.
So, back to last night and this artificial temporal delineation called “New Year’s Eve.”
We listened to the Les Brown and his Bands of Reknown New Year’s Eve show on Sirius and it was so very good. And at some point, I went to bed. (There’s a whole other story about how Danielle has begun liking this music too, and how I love that, but we’ll tell that later.) When D came to bed she brought in her phone with the SiriusXM app and she had it playing the Les Brown New Year’s show and I thought “Wow, this is so cool.” And I woke up at my usual time at 3 a.m. and it was still playing. And that was cool. Then I remembered hearing it throughout the night and even could recall some of the stories. We don’t listen to music all night. Ever. But we did last night and it was great.
So, the Les Brown and His Bands of Renown is going to be a regular weekly show on 40s Junction on Sirius, and I’m very happy about that. Y’all should check it out.