When I was 8 years old, my parents both worked. I’d walk home from school, let myself in the house, call my mother and let her know I was alive. I was – what was called – a “latchkey kid.” And then – being instructed not to watch television “except for Cubs games” – I went down to the basement to play with toy soldiers, work on my stamp collection (my grandmother had bought me a small album and a bunch of foreign stamps) or read a book about rocks and fossils. And if the Cubs weren’t on (which was most of the time), I would put old records on the record player.
I listened mainly to big band music — Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and so many others (that’s all we had). I would sit and sing – memorizing the songs I heard as I played. Today – I sing some of those songs to my granddaughters – from a memory of sixty plus years ago. Three of the favorites are “If that phone ever rings and it’s you” “The Wiffenpoof Song” and “The Hut Sut Song.” You want to hear what I listened to when I was 8 years old?
Give it a whirl:
If That Phone – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFNqTrf6pdw
The Whiffenpoofs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJVUTHLFdQ0
Hut Sut Ralston – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kKU1S0lWxo
And then came “Oh Shenendoah” – which won the fraternity sing eleven years later at Augustana. That song I sang to Lauren every night from that first night home from the hospital. And which was played for the Daddy Daughter dance – at her wedding (see August 14, 2011). Sweet memories. Sweet dreams. . . . .