2008.09.04 XMing down Track No. 4

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I took quite a lengthy ride on the Savoy Express last weekend. I’m talking about Track Number Four.

When my parents bought their new car last year, it came with a subscription to XM radio—the satellite radio service that offers dozens and dozens of programming choices.

The choice for my parents is easy. They go for the 1940s, the music they listened to when they were in their 20s.

“You’re on board the Savoy Express, rolling across the land on Track Number Four.”

I drove my parents to Suttons Bay for Ben’s wedding. That’s when I had my ride back to the 1940s.

I’m visiting the XM website now and a preview from the Track Number Four includes this song:

“There’s a true blue gal,

Who promised she would wait.

She’s a sunflower

From the Sunflower State.”

According to the big list of everything they play, that song must have been Russ Morgan performing “Sunflower” from 1949.

I heard a lot of old tunes on our long trip up north, but a couple stood out. I still remember the racy lyrics about “pettin’ and getting’” on the beach. I’ve been unable to track down the lyrics from that one, but the situation was this:

They were “pettin’ and gettin’” on the sand, but eventually the tide came in and they had to arise and move back up the beach a few feet to prevent getting wet.

I’ll bet the parents of the kids listening to that song in decades past were horrified by the subject matter: What’s wrong with the kids these days? How can they allow such smut? The downfall of society as we know it. That sort of reaction.

A Google search doesn’t help me out on this one, but looking through the master list of XM songs, I wonder if it might be “Celery Stalks at Midnight” by Will Bradley or “Why Don’t We Do This More Often” by Kay Kyser or maybe “Summer Souvenirs” by Larry Clinton.

The other song that stuck in my head had lyrics something like this:

“Everything that’s bright and gay

Reminds me of you in every way.”

I told that to my son and my daughter’s husband. They didn’t seem too impressed with my sentiments toward them, but it reminded me of reading years ago how angry many people were when the word “gay” was appropriated to describe a sexual preference.

They felt the word had been stolen from them, and now I have a clearer understanding of their case. It was once a rather popular word in song lyrics.

Wait, I just tracked down that song. The Savoy Express plays two versions and it was either Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey performing “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

“I’ll be seeing you

In every lovely summer’s day

In everything that’s bright and gay

I’ll always think of you that way. ”

Every now and then there are news breaks on the Savoy Express. Maybe a report on the ups and downs of World War II or an update on Thor Hyerdahl’s raft Kon-Tiki from 1947. I like those. An instant history lesson from radio voices of the past.

Somewhere up around Mt. Pleasant, perhaps, my father thought I’d heard enough of the 40s and he turned off onto a different track: “The 50s on Five,” then he moved it on up to “The 60s on Six.” He was doing me a favor—giving me some music from when I was growing up—but there wasn’t much I enjoyed from the few we heard. I didn’t even recognize some of them and a couple of others I never liked back in the 60s.

Before long we returned to the 40s and that was OK with me. So much of it sounded really familiar though I wasn’t even alive in the 1940s. Maybe my parents played records of these old tunes. Maybe they were still on the radio in the 1950s.

Shep Fields, Red Norvo, Bunny Berigan, Blue Lu Barker, Slim and Slam, Tiny Hill, Dolly Dawn, Cats & the Fiddle, Cootie Williams, Red Foley—they’re all strangers to this “youngster.”

Track Number Four also includes some music from the 1930s and even a little jazz from the 1920s. That stuff sounded really familiar. It suddenly hit me: This was the music used as the background in all the cartoons I watched when I was a kid. I was on Track Four when I was eight years old.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016