The oldies station


I recently overheard a young girl refer to Houston’s local Lite-FM-Easy-Listening-Safe-For-Work radio station as “oldies.” I chuckled under my breath, blessed her sweet heart in my mind and fought hard not to turn around and lecture her on pop music nowadays and how it’s fundamentally impossible for me to believe that Ludacris and Pitbull can be featured in so many songs.

I was also a touch annoyed by the way this darling whipper snapper threw around the word “oldies” like she really knew what it meant. I have an entire playlist on iTunes that is dedicated to oldies. It’s full of Buddy Holly, Dion, the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack and a ton of boy/girl groups that put “the” in front of a random noun.

The Four Seasons, The Four Tops, The Dixie Cups, The Drifters and The Ronettes.

When I got into my car, I turned on Sunny 99.1 to see what was playing. HELLO MADONNA! And I’m not talking about her new random stuff that makes me concerned for my well-being. I’m talking about vintage “True Blue” Madonna! I sang every word. It was glorious.

I was wrapping up the final, “True love. Oh baby. True love. Oh baby,” as the DJ morphed right into freaking “Total Eclipse of the Heart!” I was in heaven. Bonnie Tyler’s raspy voice. The crescendos! And what’s this? POISON! Why yes, I would like for you to give me something to believe in!

Just as Bret was about to do that little “huh” before the last chorus, a strange question creeped into my subconscious. When did this song come out?

I need you to prepare yourself for the rest of this post. It’s going to be a tough read, but we’ll get through it together. I promise.

Poison’s “Something To Believe In” came out in 1990. That was 24 years ago.

I’ll give you a moment to digest that sentence.

A quick Google search slapped me in the face with these cold hard truths:

Madonna’s “True Blue” came out in 1986. Ronald Reagan was president.
Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” came out in 1983. A tank of gas was $0.90.
The Boss’ “Dancing in the Dark” was in 1984. Another five years, and Taylor Swift will be born.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” came out in 1982. That was the year Brooke didn’t let anyone between her and her Calvins.

Are we still breathing? In through the nose. Out through the mouth.

Here’s the real question. How many (groan) decades must go by before said decade is considered a candidate for the oldies group? I’m going to go out on a limb and say three decades is the oldies mark. That gives me a few more years before I have to start stashing Werther’s in my robe pocket and yelling for kids to get off my lawn.

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October 22, 2014 5:20 pm

Thank you for encapsulating what I’ve been feeling for a while now. The DFW “oldies” station 98.7 KLUV used to play the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I was 3 at the start of 1970 and my musically formative years really were the 80s. Who could forget The Hoodoo Gurus, Echo & The Bunny Men, The Cure? Many I am sure because I had a love of the more “alternative” flavored music. That’s not to say that I don’t have ticket stubs from Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Billy Idol. But I digress. Said station is now playing the hits from the… Read more »

October 23, 2014 8:17 am

Oh my word. Thanks for the slap in the face first thing this morning! OUCH. Those are not oldies, they are goodies. My parents’ music of the 60s are oldies. Wake up Little Suzie and My Boyfriend’s Back.

But wow, just wow. I feel super old now. Glad to know I’m not alone, ahem.

October 23, 2014 9:02 am

Hahaha! This post could not have come at a more perfect time. I was in a small group training session with a personal trainer on Tuesday. “Everybody Dance Now” came on and one of the other girls in the group said “This is a good playlist today”. He puts together a new playlist for us each week. He replied “Yeah, I was going through my music and found some really good old stuff”. I was all “Hold up Sparky, what do you consider old?” He got a funny look on his face and I said “The 2000s?” He said “Yeah,… Read more »

October 23, 2014 9:57 am

Sirius XM has the right idea — 50’s 0n 5; 60’s on 6; 70’s on 7. Then the listener can decide what are “oldies” 🙂

The other day I introduced a friend I’ve had since junior high — and that we have been friends for over 50 years!!!! Try that one on 🙂

October 23, 2014 11:46 am

Come on Eileen! I was in college when that song came out and I felt like I was living the line, “we are far too young and clever.” Thanks for the memories!

October 23, 2014 5:56 pm

Lincee, I must say that I disagree….Anything from 30 years ago was awesome and still good tunes to listen to. I would say anything from the 70’s and older is “oldies” I tell my kids ALL the time, they don’t know what they are missing by not enjoying music from the 80’s and 90’s!!!! Kids these days!!!

October 23, 2014 9:08 pm

You. Are. Killing. Me!! Total eclipse do the heart!!!! Love!!! And none of those songs are oldies. I am going to agree that 30 years makes an oldie because in the 90’s we said 60’s stuff was oldies. 😉

October 30, 2014 11:35 am

Lincee, Does the fact that this generation calls them oldies make us old? OF COURSE NOT!! The other day I was so excited to see The Breakfast club on cable TV. I told my 14 year old daughter OMG this is one of my favorite movies, after she rolled her eyes I realized that is was aired on the AMC network as in American Movie Classics!! I thought it couldn’t have been THAT long since it originally aired, then the witty announcer during the commercial break clued me into the fact that it originally aired in 1985 & I thought… Read more »

December 3, 2014 11:57 pm

Classics, yes! Amazing, wonderful, timeless? Yes! Oldies? Can’t be. If “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is an oldie, then we’d have to re-classify all music from the 50’s & 60’s (which is also wonderful and timeless). Gosh, I really want to listen to some music now!

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