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October 26, 2021

Worthy to Print Column | Rock ’N’ Roll Forever

If you have been a reader of my scribbling, you are aware that I’m not a huge fan of the computer age. I use it often, but I sure hate to. It seems like I’m always having a problem with an assignment or order or anything that I try to accomplish. However, for the past few nights it has proven to be a treat. A real treat! 

I had a problem with an order that I placed with a company that took my order and said “thanks,” but did not send the product or even tell me when it could be sent. I have been waiting for about 30 minutes, so I thought I would just sit down and tell you about the good things that have happened to me in the past week or so.

I love old-time rock ’n’ roll and a lot of the old-time country and western singers and groups. My bride presented me with an iPad a few months ago and I have been using that to watch programs while lying in bed. Most of these are so trite and boring that I find I can drop off to sleep while watching a lot easier than just trying to sleep. 

Then, she was so sweet and gave me a set of these “earbuds.” These are like the old stick-in-the-ear buds that everyone used to wear around except they have no wires, pretty cool little boogers. Of course, these are a lot more efficient in that the music is like you are there. I still fall off to sleep, but Lorraine makes sure I don’t roll around with these in my ears.

That’s not the only thing that I like about this setup. I like that I can just go on to YouTube and play the music that I love, and when I check in the next time there are a lot more of the songs that I treasure. I didn’t know where to hear these songs before I started using the gifts that Lorraine gave me. These are songs that Mom and Dad would put on the AM radio we had and turn it up to about 12 so the noise would vibrate us out of bed. If that wasn’t enough, one of them would fill a wash pan up with cold water and come in and throw it on us. 

I didn’t know how much these songs meant to me until I sat down and remembered how Mom and Dad got us up. In any case, the two gifts that my loving bride presented to me sure brought back memories. Last night as Lorraine made her final walk around of our backyard (she does this just about every night), I saw her through the screen and she rushed over to me. “What’s wrong, honey?” she asked. I looked at her a little baffled because I was feeling great. I was listening to songs that I hadn’t heard in many years and yet I knew all the words to the renditions. “Are you all right?” she said with a puzzled look on her face. “You’re crying!”

Indeed I was crying. Not the crying that I would fake when my pop decided a little discipline was in order, but the crying of tears that I couldn’t even feel. I reached up and felt the dampness on both my cheeks. I should mention here the power music has over our lives. It was after I married Lorraine that I found out a lot more about music than I had ever known before.

I would like to mention that she has taught me so much about singing, playing and listening to music since we have been together. I simply know that music has a power over our lives. My great-grandson is going to be 2 this week, and even at that age if we play some good old R&R, he starts bouncing around like he knows what it is all about. When our boys were young and giving us heartburn when they should have been sleeping, we could always put on a CD by The Platters singing “Only You.” They would drop into a sleep I could only envy. Music is truly magical.

Every boy I knew when I was young wanted to be like Elvis. Before him the music that I was forced into listening to was good old country and western. It’s kind of like the bumper sticker I saw some time ago: “There are only two kinds of music, Country and Western.” I didn’t care for it at the time, so I didn’t follow the music genre very much. Heartache and losing the one you love wasn’t something we thought about. A secret kiss with our mouths closed was about as much as we knew about life. Besides, you just couldn’t dance to Pat Boone singing “Footsteps in the Sand.” 

Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and the music they made just exploded in the heads of teenagers. I remember how they burned rock ’n’ roll records or rolled over them with a steam roller. In retrospect, I guess that was supposed to discourage us kids from listening to the “hip shaking music.” This was an era where kids and parents learned an awful lot about human nature and about themselves.

Parents were afraid of what they didn’t understand and they sure didn’t understand finding their thrill on Blueberry Hill. They were used to a waltz beat, “1-2-3, 1-2-3” played slowly, and rock ’n’ roll was 2-2 or 2-4, a much faster beat. It actually captured you and let you jump around to relieve the tension. I’m not a student of music. I’m sort of “if I like it, I really like it.” In fact, if you ask my sweet bride what kind of music I really like, she will tell you, “Rock ’n’ roll.”

Those were the words of war between fathers and mothers against the kids. It is the kind of music I really like in my new earbuds. So not only does my wonderful wife know what kind of music I like, she can also tell you my favorite method of exercise is by dancing. My favorite songs aren’t country and western, they are rock ’n’ roll. I’m not a student of dance, I am a fan. I didn’t even know what a Hound Dog was while Elvis was singing about that. However, I knew I wasn’t ready to go walking on the beach with Mr. Boone.

God Bless.

George Worthy
Gonzales Columnist

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