Paige Sawyer: On the Road Again

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Paige Sawyer

Just the other day I read a quote “All it takes is one song to bring back one thousand memories.” Well I’m not sure about a thousand but a particular song will provide you with either good or bad memories that account for a particular time when that song or piece of music impacted your life.

Have you ever thought about how many different types of music there are? Today’s rock used to be called Rock and Roll. Country was known as Country and Western. Rap, Blues, Gospel, Bluegrass, Folk, Cajun, Reggae, Jazz, Soul, Psychedelic, Classical, Easy Listening, Big Band, Beach Music was originally called Race Music, Punk, Tex-Mex, Bubblegum, Blue-eyed Soul, Funk, Heavy Metal, Rhythm and Blues, Hip Hop, Rockabilly, Surf, Punk and plenty of others.

Like your sense of smell, hearing a particular song or music immediately transforms your brain into a time machine that places you back when the song was popular on the radio, jukebox or on a soundtrack from your favorite movie. It’s been said the songs that became your favorites were ones you heard between the ages of ten and thirty. I don’t know if that’s true so we took to the streets to do a non-scientific survey. I asked several people of different age groups about music and found their answers very interesting.

Sheila, age 62, favors listening to oldies and yesterday’s country and western. She likes the Beatles, Elvis and rock and roll. She grew up listening to her father’s Big Band music and today has no taste for Rap. Once her 17-year-old daughter explains the lyrics, she has a better understanding of what the rapper is expressing. Her daughter also likes Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.

Sheila’s favorite is Jesus Loves Me which she learned from her grandmother. Working with young children for so many years has exposed Sheila to many different varieties of music which has broadened her appreciation for classical and music geared for a younger mind.

“I have the radio on time I get into the car,” said 36-year-old Rose. “I listen to all kinds of music but am not a fan of Rap. My favorite song is Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary.” This was written by John Denver in 1966 and became the biggest hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1969. Rose’s 17-year-old son does not like her taste in music.

Living close to Joe Young’s shop on the corner of Meeting and Prince exposed 80-year-old Louis to a piccolo that played five songs for a quarter. Twice a month, the records were changed and five freebies were left on the jukebox for Louis and his friends to pick and choose.

During his teenage years, Louis was paid $13 a week plus room and board while washing dishes at the Ocean Plaza in Myrtle Beach. After hours he and friends would head to Charlie’s Place and listen to Buddy Johnson, Little Richard and The Platters.

Arthur Prysock is Louis’ favorite “but I enjoy all types of music, anything with a beat except I don’t understand today’s music.”

Big Bands are my favorites said Lucille, age 93. “Give me Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore. The bands today yell and need to clean themselves up.”

Lucille’s favorite song is Stardust, either sung or played followed by Tenderly and Who’s Sorry Now. When Little Richard came out with his song Lucille, her husband would occasionally sing it to her.

“I do not like the so-called modern music that you hear today and prefer oldies from the sixties along with good old Gospel Music, said 65-year-old Betty. “Give me the O’Jays, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Four Tops and Supremes and I’m one happy woman.”

“Sometimes I wake up with a Gospel song in my head and Sunday morning we’ll be singing it at church. He Was Always By My Side, Precious Lord and I Won’t Complain are three of my favorites.”

Betty has also noticed that many of today’s younger generation prefer the old school Rhythm and Blues because it has a good beat, melody and words that you can sing to.”

It was interesting that all enjoyed older music and didn’t have much to say about today’s music except they didn’t like it. I wonder what future generations will say about Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber?

Paige Sawyer may be reached by e-mail at


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