Began! Started! Opened up a new world for me! I’m sure that’s not what you were expecting to finish that phrase. In 1971 Don McLean gave us the song that you heard in your head when you saw that phrase. “American Pie” has become one of those epic songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” that you are just not cool if you don’t know every word. The early 1970s was a fabulous time to be a kid. Vietnam was still going on, and people were still angry about it, but I was a child, I had no idea.
In 1972-73 my family was living in upstate New York, I was in second grade. I learned a few things that year. I learned that a boy named Danny liked me. He even gave me an antique cameo ring so that I would be his girlfriend and marry him… some day. I was never sure where he got that ring, but my mom had it cleaned up and wore it for years. I learned that I was smart; they sent me to a third grade class for reading and math. I learned that I could sing; I was selected for an all-area children’s choir. And I learned that there is not much you can put in an Easter basket if the child cannot have chocolate, peanut butter or eggs.
The spring of 73 gave me a weird skin rash. I would be fine in the morning, but by 10 or 11 am, I would have a nasty rash all over me. My classmates would point it out to the teacher because I tried to hide it. I loved school… no really… I LOVED school, and I just didn’t want to be sent home every afternoon just because I had a rash. They tested me for all kinds of allergies. I had a long list of things I couldn’t eat. My mom even had to rewash all of my clothing and bedding in DREFT. It was Easter time, and there would be no chocolate bunny, peanut butter candy, or hard-boiled eggs for me.
The Easter Bunny (mom) got creative that year, and instead of all of the treats, my basket contained a record album. The OSMONDS. It was my first real, grown-up, record album! I had many records made for kids, but I had nothing like this. I listened to that record on repeat – which then meant: play side A, flip it over, play side B, repeat. I knew every single song: “One Bad Apple,” “Sweet and Innocent,” “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” and my favorite was their Motown medley. I would sing each one, and what was apparently strange was that I could hear every part. I could separate the melody from the harmonies. I could pick one harmony line and follow that one with my inner ear. It opened up the world of music for me. It also started my imaginary, child-like love affair with Donny Osmond, but that is another story.
My friend, Pam, tagged me in that FB game, you know the one, so-n-so challenged me to post one album cover a day for seven days. No explanations. Ok! I’ll play, but you are going to get an explanation. The OSMONDS was in my mind my very first album It was the collection of songs that sparked the love for vocal music in me. I love what voices in harmony can do. Oh, and if we are ever singing in the car, don’t sing my part!