6.20.2008

Sibling Assignment #67: Jukeboxes, The Perch, and "Hello, It's Me"

I gave this sibling assignment this week:
What songs take you back to a summer growing up? Share the song and the memories that are attached to it. You will find Raymond Pert's here and Silver Valley Girl's here soon.

Growing up in Kellogg songs tended to be popular for two reasons. They were played over and over again on KWAL in Osburn at night, or were played on the jukeboxes in different restaurants and cafes around town. When I think of the early seventies many songs that hold memories blend together into jukebox songs. These were the songs people could call out the number by heart and everyone would yell "Yeahhhhhh" and play that song. In high school the jukeboxes I loved were at Sunshine Inn or The Boat where we would go hang out and have fries on a summer week-end. As we moved to college, jukeboxes were also a big part of our favorite hangouts in Moscow when we returned early before classes began.
Songs we loved from the jukebox had to be ones you could belt out loudly with your friends. They also had to be songs that if you heard the first few bars everyone would know the song. This was when Dick Clark still had hits every Saturday. This was long before MTV. This was our karaoke back then. These were songs that remained on the same jukeboxes, waiting for you to return at winter break.
You could sing to "Tie a Yellow Ribbon "by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Everyone knew the lyrics and tune to " Billy Don't Be a Hero " by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. In 1972 the top two favorites for all of us were " Alone Again Naturally" by Gilbert O'Sullivan ( the anthem for the "no-date wonders" on Saturday night) and "Brandy" by Looking Glass. I think so many of these songs stayed with us because they never left the jukeboxes. When we were old enough the next year to go into a bar, Tony's had our favorite hits just lined up at the jukebox. We could sway and croon to "Precious and Few" by Climax, " Betcha By Golly Wow" by the Stylistics, and "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon.

Now there was other music going on during this time period. We loved Chicago, the last songs by the Beatles, Bread, Elton John, and America. Hard rock had a following also. Elvis was still hanging in there and the Carpenters were always good for some perfume bottle microphone harmonizing, but the songs that always remained were those sing-along jukebox songs.

When I left home in August to return to the U. of I. we loved to walk to The Perch. It was a small store, deli, cafe mix. The Perch had jukeboxes that seemed to have the same songs I remembered singing back home. There was a familiar feel to The Perch. When Madge served hot chocolate topped with vanilla soft ice cream we could listen to our old favorites.

The quintessential jukebox song of all time for me was "Hello, It's Me" by Todd Rundgren. It was always on a jukebox somewhere, particularly The Perch. Even when I listen to the lyrics today it takes me back to a time of summer romances that you thought might last, saying good-bye yet hoping to hook up again, and regretting later what you had or didn't have.


The Perch is still there in Moscow, but I doubt the jukeboxes remain. Todd Rundgren performed "Hello, It's Me" on Wolfman Jack's show "Midnight Special" in 1973 and here is the YouTube video. Whether this is your first time listening or you are enjoying a blast from the past.... here is "Hello, It's Me."

3 comments :

  1. "When will I see you again" (The three degrees) (;

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  2. oh how I miss the old fashioned juke boxes and the guy with the /DA who would put money in and come over and grab your hand to dance- Still take my breath away though he is long gone..

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  3. Kind of miss the old juke boxes and their little tabletop relatives. The last ones from that era that I remember were in a diner we used to go to. Now the "new" diners have them, but that's about the only place they can be found.

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