Thanks for sticking with AM, Then FM as real life, of late, has kept me from listening to tunes, writing about them and sharing them as much as any of us would like.
You go through life, and it takes on certain rhythms. But not this year.
This year. for example, will be the first time in 12 years that we won’t be in Duluth, Minnesota, on an early September weekend. The NorthShore Inline Marathon and my high school class reunion fall on the same weekend. I’ll always choose the latter over the former. Yet the marathon has, for a dozen years, defined my spring and summer workouts and been our favorite fall vacation. Not quite sure what will replace it.
For 30 years, May has been the time to start playing softball. I’m back out there at first base. But even though I worked out during the winter to prepare for it, I increasingly have a sense that I’m closer to the end of that than I would like. Just not feeling it.
If you’re a regular visitor, you know my dad, who turns 85 in a month, is no longer driving. We go out most mornings, stopping most often at the convenience store for lottery tickets and then the grocery store. Still haven’t settled into a rhythm on that, either.
So today, when my brother calls to say he’s quit his job of 20 years and is looking for a new gig, his news becomes just another wave to ride. A wave created by a boulder tossed into the pond instead of a pebble.
The point of all this is not woe is me, woe are we. Please, no. This is nothing compared to what some other families face every day.
Rather, it’s simply that at a time when the only certainty seems to be uncertainty, the music is still there. As it was today, after I’d heard my brother’s news, after I’d driven Dad on his rounds.
There, on the soul station on the satellite radio in the car, completely and delightfully at random, was a song that absolutely made my day. Perhaps it will make yours.
Sock it to me!
“I Turned You On,” the Isley Brothers, from “The Brothers: Isley,” 1969. It’s out of print. This tune is available on “The Essential Isley Brothers,” a 2004 greatest-hits compilation.
Turns out, in 1969, the Isleys were another family going through a year when the only certainty was uncertainty. After a decade on four different labels, they’d charted a new course, going from Tamla (part of the Motown empire) to their own T-Neck label.
“The Brothers: Isley” was the second of two albums released that year by the Isleys. The first, “It’s Our Thing,” had the hit single “It’s Your Thing” on it, and both did pretty well in the charts. This LP was less successful, but “I Turned You On” also did well in the charts.