Here are some of the standouts from my childhood and preteen years:
Smile a Little Smile for Me - The Flying Machine
I remember hearing this song on the car radio when I was five years old. It was a dark night, and we were on a familiar farm road, but driving away rather than to home. My mom loved this song, because her name is Rosemarie, but also because her dad- my Grandpa Koerner- had died recently, and it helped to ease her sorrow. Even to this day, I still have a hard time listening to it without crying, for my mom's pain and my sadness- some of my fondest and earliest memories are of my grandpa.
I Think I Love You - Partridge Family
This album must have been a Christmas gift, because I remember holding the brown covered LP in my Aunt Judy's living room. I loved the show, had a major crush on David Cassidy, and wanted to smack Danny in the head.
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
The Beatles were a major staple in the Koerner family, and my cousin Michael was the biggest fan. He taught me to play this song on the piano- the first real song beyond "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul". I envied the fact that he inherited Grandpa Koerner's trumpet- even though I was too young to play it.
Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
Holy Toledo!! I can't believe that our mom and aunt didn't go nuts, considering how often my cousins and I would belt out this song at the top of our lungs. As many as six kids, singing and rocking along. Our rendition definitely rivaled our never-ending competition on who could sing Herman's Hermits "I'm Henry the VIII" the fastest and loudest.
Incense and Peppermint - Strawberry Alarm Clock, Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells
Again, I spent a lot of time at my aunt's house, and my cousins Barbara and Jerry's bedroom was total flower power. Bright yellow smiley faces, neon pink and green colors filled the "big kids" room.
Friends - Bette Midler
In 5th grade, I was in choir and this was a fun and uplifting song to belt out at the top of our lungs. I can still recall our music room, which then reminds me that "Kung Fu Fighting" and "The Hustle" were popular songs then as well. We would practice the hustle and other new dances as much as possible.
Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John
Slumber party at my best friend Rhonda's house, who was the biggest Elton John fan. We danced and sang until all hours of the night, and nobody wanted to fall asleep first for fear she'd be the victim of a practical joke. I will always associate the Captain Fantastic album cover with Rhonda.
Strawberry Letter 23 - Brothers Johnson and Keep It Comin', Love - K.C. and the Sunshine Band
These songs remind me of the bat mitzah celebration Sarah Robertson had at a popular disco. Of course, it was a Saturday afternoon private party since we were only thirteen years old. The floor would pulse with multi-colors, and the fog machine added to the disco scene.
To be continued...