The Class of ‘75 and the best music
Many of my high school classmates from the class of 1975, including me, are turning 60 this year. The only clever cliché that comes to mind about it is “We really did have the best music.”
Many believe that it all started in 1957 when most of us were born. Debut records from Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash signified the birth of rock and roll and a new kind of country music. I still listen to all of those artists on a regular basis. LPs from 1957 that I play include John Coltrane’s “Blue Train,” Miles Davis’s “Birth of the Cool,” Frank Sinatra’s “A Swingin’ Affair,” Ben Webster’s “Soulville,” and Billie Holiday’s “Songs For Distinguished’ Lovers.” There is an internet site where you can look up the song that was No. 1 on your birthday. Mine was “Tammy” by Debbie Reynolds. Go figure. She was an actress! I wish Buddy Holly and the Crickets “That’ll Be the Day” wouldn’t have made No. 1 two weeks earlier.
After having lived in Gypsum since 1964, where I was introduced to the Beatles and the Monkees, Glen Campbell and the Kingston Trio, we moved to Pueblo for the summer in 1969 and I was introduced to Top 40 FM radio for the first time. I cannot remember the station call letters but I do remember a couple of the DJs there. Some of the songs that stick in my mind from then include “One” by Three Dog Night, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells, “Get Back” from the Beatles, “Honky Tonk Women” from The Rolling Stones, “In the Year 2525” from Zager & Evans, and “Jean” and “Good Morning Starshine” from a guy named Oliver. Thanks goodness for the Beatles and the Stones to help me get through the summer in a strange town.
When I started high school in the fall of 1972 I was still listening to the Beatles and the Stones. I was also listening to The Eagles, America, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Allman Brothers, the Who, Mountain and Van Morrison. I remember the first time I heard Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes” and Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” — both were at a friend’s house. I have also given away multiple copies of Stevens’ classic “Tea for the Tillerman” as well as “Déjà Vu” by CSN&Y over those years.
By the time I graduated high school, thanks to many of my peers, I had expanded my musical world to include Dan Fogelberg, the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Pure Prairie League, The Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Marshall Tucker Band and many more. It was also a time that I was spending all of the money I had on LPs, much to the chagrin of my parents who wanted me to save money instead. I drained a $350 savings account in about a year. I clearly remember buying the Eagles’ third record, “On the Border,” at Mazzuca’s at 648 Main St., taking it right over to my friend Todd Crone’s house and listening to it.
We didn’t like it at first. It took a few listens, like it always does with great music, and now it is one of my very favorite records that I listen to regularly.
Did I say we had the best music?