Monday, January 25, 2010

My Music History - Where It All Began

If you've spent any time around me, you no doubt know that I am very passionate about music. I spend countless hours listening to music, playing music, reading about music, and discovering music. The other day, I started trying to figure out when this all started.

The first memory I have of being drawn in by music was around 1983 when I was 4 years old. My grandparents were buying a new car, and I got to tag along for the ride. We were excited about the new car, but I was most excited about the upgrade in the sound system. Their current car at the time had an 8-track player, and most everyone had started listening to cassettes by then.

We decided we'd need some tunes for the ride home, so we stopped by the local Wal-Mart. Anytime you needed new music in Booneville, MS, Wal-Mart was and still is your only option. I still remember how much easier it was to shop for cassettes than CD's. All the artists' names were right there staring back at you, and I learned quickly how to find my favorites. We settled on Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits and were on our way. I had no idea at the time how much it would add to the "cool factor" of my first musical adventure to be able to throw in Willie's name.

We got to the dealership, and soon we were off in a brand new blue 1983 Pontiac Bonneville. Careful not to touch the velour seats with my shoes, I climbed into the front seat. Right in front of me was the stereo. An AC Delco unit with a chrome knob on each side, six chrome buttons for the station presets, and a dial that went left to right and indicated the radio station. I popped the new cassette in and my journey began.

As we rode home to the sounds of "Whiskey River," "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain," "Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground," and 'On The Road Again," I was drawn in like never before. From that day on, I always rode front and center with full control of the tunes. It was my first experience being able to listen to what I wanted without waiting for the radio DJ to play it.

I rode thousands of miles in that car, and a big part of my personality was formed. My grandparents were young enough that they were usually mistaken for my parents (this thrilled my grandmother), and they were always on the go. I treated the car like it was mine, and would scold any one who dared put their feet in the seats. I remember how my granparents would enjoy it when I sang along with their favorite songs. I also remember how they tolerated some of my personal music choices (I was really into 80's hair metal for a while). Most of all I remember the good times we had.

They kept that Pontiac until 1991. By that time, I was completely infatuated with music of all kinds. That infatuation continues to this day.

If you've been reading this blog, you know the music that I am currently enjoying. Now you know where it all began. I'll be filling in the gaps with my future posts (I'll also write about the present). If you have any early musical memories, feel free to share them in the comments section.


  1. What a great post, Jonathan. Love the imagery. Have you heard of the 33 1/3 series of books? I was just turned onto them by a FB friend and plan to check one or two out at the library this week for Jeff.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. I haven't heard of those books. I'll check into it.