The Oldies

Today I was playing with internet radio while riding shotgun in the car. My choices to listen to ranged from southern Gospel to extremely rated R music. I scanned through the the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, finally settling on the 70’s. Nothing sounds better than Gladys Knight singing, ” I’m leaving…leaving on the midnight train to Georgia..another place in time…”.  There I sat, singing along at the top of my lungs to one of my most favorite songs, experiencing a world all of my own. The driver turned to me and said, “Seriously? This is not the 70’s.”  What can I say for younger people, who do not recognize raw talent, even when it’s sitting right there beside them, singing one of the best songs of the era????

Anyone who has ever ridden with me in MY car knows not to touch the radio. My station is locked to a local Christian station, that plays uplifting, inspirational and meaningful music.  I have learned two things in life. If you do not wish to be bothered on a plane, train, subway or bus, carry the Bible with you and sit with it on your lap. The people around you will pretend to be sleeping to avoid conversation. This also applies to Christian radio. Do you know how much money I save in the carpool? Nobody likes for me to drive.  They all feel more comfortable in their own cars, and I am happy to ride shotgun.

Back to my point. After about three songs from the 70’s, I decided I had tortured the younger driver enough, and began looking for something else. I noticed the stations. 60’s. 70’s. 80’s, 90’s. Why are the choices 60’s and above? What about the older generation that grew up on the 40’s and 50’s music? Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, Elvis, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino…..legends. Their music  paved the way for the music we all love today.  Why is it not played anymore?

The older generation that drives is limited to either playing their own Cd’s or, they must listen to whatever is on the radio. In a way, it seems almost selfish, that we as a generation, the Baby Boomers, outnumber the world and it’s our vote that counts. Radio stations know there is not enough listeners to support a station that is limited to a select few.

Music is a powerful tool for any of us. With dementia patients, it can regenerate memories, calm behaviors and decrease anxiety. Music is a great re-directional technique. When you or I feel stressed, we listen to the music that we associate with happier times, peaceful thoughts and inner calmness.  The same is true of using music for redirecting an Alzheimer’s patient. 

My dementia facility has radios located throughout. When I walk through the dining rooms, I do take notice of the pop rock, classic rock and lite rock stations that are playing for the enjoyment of the staff. I don’t know know of one resident, in my facility, who can tell you who Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Pink or even Bob Seger are. But, mention Bing Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller or Benny Goodman and the reaction is one of familiarity.  

Just think, one day our music of today will one day be replaced by another era. Decade after decade, we will drop off the station lists. Instead of the 60’70’s,80 and even 90’s, the  2010’s 2020’s, and 2030 radio will be the new wave.  Can you imagine being 75 years old, driving down the highway and listening to the music of the future???   Image We better start saving our Cd’s now!




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