25 Songs That Define a Childhood

It was the 70’s… bell bottoms and feathered hair. It was the 80’s… country music and leg warmers. This is the Basecoat Collection: 25 songs that define my childhood. I am not saying I’d dust these records off and play them now between The Shins, R.E.M and Vampire Weekend… just that they hold some special meaning.

The Basecoat Collection

1. Fur Elise- (Bethoveen)
I asked if I could get piano lessons, with smiles my parents said yes. So every Wednesday, it was piano lessons with Dad. I wanted to learn this song, why? Because he did.

2. Mandy – (Barry Manilow)
Standing on the balcony of our tree fort at 8090 Marion. Belting out the words to my favorite song. I was three.

3. Angel of the Morning – (Juice Newton)
Afternoons with Mom and “Uncle Herb’s” Aunt Carol when my brothers were at school were very common. I saw this song performed live on television during morning programming, and I thought “Wow, those girls can sing!”.

4. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue – (Crystal Gayle)
13 Mile and VanDyke. It was then my Mom explained the wonderful concept of the metaphor. “Mom, how can brown eyes be blue?”, “Well Joey, she’s sad, and…”

5. Always On My Mind – (Willie Nelson)
This song was on the radio station when Dad helped me build Ekky’s bed in the garage. He sang all the words.

6. The Gambler – (Kenny Rogers)
7. Elvira – (Oak Ridge Boys)
8. Take This Job and Shove It – (Johnny Paycheck)
9. Bobbie Sue – (Oak Ridge Boys)

Songs that Dad used to sing in the garage while cutting blocks of wood that we so anxiously waited to basecoat with acrylic paint for my Mom. Thus the title of the list.

10. Big Girls Don’t Cry – (The Four Seasons)
Spinning 45’s was a favorite pastime on rainy days, and this song was on the top my playlist. So much so I bought the Four Seasons CD box and my first CD Player on the same day.

11. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – (The Tokens)
I’m still not sure what a “whimoweh” is, but I know what Chieftain Charades is.

12. Runaround Sue – (Dion)
While editing a birthday video for Uncle Joe and Aunt JoAnn with our vintage VHS camcorder I learned that this was one of Dad’s favorite songs. We played this song over, and over, and over that day.

13. Blue Suede Shoes – (Elvis)
Tupperware Party. Mom was asked who her favorite musician was. Blushing she said, “Elvis”, and all the other ladies responded with, “oooooooooooo!”.

14. To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before – (Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias)
I’m pretty sure Mom doesn’t like this song, and I think Dad used to tease her when he sang it.

15. Crazy – (Patsy Cline)
Every once in awhile Grandma Mayernik would play Patsy Cline and every one would stop and just listen.

16. I Will Always Love You – (Dolly Parton)
It was either this song or 9 to 5.

17. America – (Simon and Garfunkel)
While visiting Aunt Susie, and the DeLamielleure’s I realized Saginaw was in Michigan. I’ve liked this song ever since. FYI, in 2003, Joe DeLamielleure was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

18. Wonderful Tonight – (Eric Clapton)
There are songs that Dad always danced to with Mom.
There are songs that I always dance with Julie.

19. Eternal Flame – (The Bangles)

It’s weird hearing your parents sing songs that are from your generation, especially coming home after church.

20.What About Me? – (Moving Pictures)
I link this song with the only time I remember seeing my Dad cry.

21. Happy Days – (Opening Theme)
22. Laverne and Shirley – (Opening Theme)
23. Cheers – (Opening Theme)

Thursday night is not the same unless your watching television and giving or receiving a foot massage.

24. Unchained Melody – (The Rightous Brothers)
The movie Ghost. My, my, how many times can one person listen to the same song over and over in a car? Oh wait, Let me ask my brother Dan.

25. The Living Years – (Mike & The Mechanics)
I have never seen My mom and her sisters move faster the day this song was released. “Have you heard it?” “Who sings it?”, “Joey do you know?” I bought the 45 record for my Mom, and now play it on rainy days.

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