The Beat Goes On ... and On ... and On

OK, gentle readers, we are wrapping up these blog posts on music. To date we have revealed what music saves your soul, the tunes that make us dance, and the virtues and character- developing qualities in songs by children's musicians. Today's post highlights songs that not only zip us back in time but give us hope for the future.

So, what zips us back in time? The Beatles come immediately to mind. "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" were my earliest dance tunes as a 7- or 8-year-old. The songs from the summer of 1966 when we moved into our new house and swam in the pool next door are happily stored in the folds of my brain ("Red Rubber Ball," "Summer in the City," "Wild Thing," and "Hanky Panky" were my absolute favorites). Fast forward to my teenage years. Every time I hear anything by Bread, I immediately think of summers during high school and college as a lifeguard. Their songs played on the local radio stations all the time. Why I remember that band more than others is beyond me. Something in their music just struck a chord with me, I guess. I rarely hear their songs on the radio these days, but when I do I'm right back out in the summer sun of my youth. Good times!

Memories of our daughter's childhood are pierced with songs from the '80s and '90s. She considers herself "a rarity on this earth" since she still listens to mixtapes (yes, CASSETTE tapes that still work!) and claims "there is nothing quite like the time machine that is a mixtape" when it transports her directly to high school and adolescence. Inside jokes with her friends are sparked by certain songs, and during her high school years Katie developed what she calls her "life's theme music" listening to Elliott Smith. His music helped her through a very intense period of time, but she had to be careful what mood she was in as it could "enhance a happy mood or magnify a bad one." As far as her earlier childhood is concerned, the folk music of Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie or Old & In the Way, the rock & roll of Sha Na Na, or the eclectic sounds of Buster Poindexter all plop her into the family car as a very young self for a road trip and always make her feel happy.

Katie says music changes her life constantly, especially regarding this "phenomenon of a song you’ve heard a million times suddenly taking on a whole new meaning and sound when it suddenly applies to you in a new way, as if you are hearing it for the first time. There is nothing like hearing a song that sounds like it was written just for you." So whether a song causes us to reminisce or see our lives in a whole different light, it has an undeniably powerful effect on us. 

Our oldest granddaughter, Jain, is 14 now, but says techno takes her back in time to her childhood. She has no particular song in mind; it just reminds her of when her mom would listen to it all the time, and she would hear it around the house and in the car. Her strongest memory of it is when her sister and she went to a street fair with friends and danced on stage to the techno music.

While contemplating writing this final blog on our family's shared musical experiences, it occurred to me how strongly I feel that the music of my generation was far better than what we hear today. I know, I know, that makes me sound like every older person who has ever bemoaned the music of today's youth. But hear me out. We have musical preferences in this family unlike most others. Our daughter, granddaughters and the two of us have been exposed to a wide variety of musical genres and developed a pretty advanced appreciation of several styles. Jain entered high school this year, and in advance of the girls' visit this summer it occurred to me to do a bit of research. Just for fun, I wondered whether she would know any or most of the songs that made the Billboard Top 100 Songs of 1967 and 1969, the years Tom and I entered high school. I also wondered how many of the songs from her mama's freshman year in 1997 she would know. Then I made a bet with myself that she would know more from our era than she would of her mother's or even her own AND that she would like those songs better. Curious, I looked up the Top 100 songs thus far in 2016. Boy, that's when I realized how out of the loop I am! At first glance, I recognized Adele's song, "Hello," and hardly any others. Here are the lists from 1967, 1969 and 1997. (Since 2016 isn't over yet, there is no complete list for it, but we looked up the songs online that have been in the top so far.)

Billboard magazine's Top Hot 100 songs of 1967
№           Title                                                                                                       Artist(s)
1              "To Sir With Love"                                                                            Lulu
2              "The Letter"                                                                                       The Box Tops
3              "Ode to Billie Joe"                                                                            Bobbie Gentry
4              "Windy"                                                                                               The Association
5              "I'm a Believer"                                                                                 The Monkees
6              "Light My Fire"                                                                                  The Doors
7              "Somethin' Stupid"                                                                         Frank & Nancy Sinatra
8              "Happy Together"                                                                           The Turtles
9              "Groovin'"                                                                                           The Young Rascals
10           "Can't Take My Eyes off You"                                                     Frankie Valli
11           "Little Bit O' Soul"                                                                             The Music Explosion
12           "I Think We're Alone Now"                                                          Tommy James & Shondells
13           "Respect"                                                                                            Aretha Franklin
14           "I Was Made to Love Her"                                                            Stevie Wonder
15           "Come Back When You Grow Up"                                            Bobby Vee
16           "Kind of a Drag"                                                                                                The Buckinghams
17           "Sweet Soul Music"                                                                        Arthur Conley
18           "Expressway to Your Heart"                                                        The Soul Survivors
19           "Soul Man"                                                                                         Sam & Dave
20           "Never My Love"                                                                             The Association
21           "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie"                                                               Jay & the Techniques
22           "Come on Down to My Boat"                                                     Every Mother's Son
23           "Incense and Peppermints"                                                        Strawberry Alarm Clock
24           "Ruby Tuesday"                                                                                                The Rolling Stones
25           "It Must Be Him"                                                                              Vikki Carr
26           "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone"                                     The Supremes
27           "For What It's Worth"                                                                    Buffalo Springfield
28           "Gimme Little Sign"                                                                         Brenton Wood
29           "The Happening"                                                                             The Supremes
30           "All You Need Is Love"                                                                   The Beatles
31           "Release Me"                                                                                    Engelbert Humperdinck
32           "Your Precious Love"                                                                      Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
33           "Somebody to Love"                                                                      Jefferson Airplane
34           "Get on Up"                                                                                       The Esquires
35           "Brown Eyed Girl"                                                                            Van Morrison
36           "Jimmy Mack"                                                                                   Martha and Vandellas
37           "I Got Rhythm"                                                                                 The Happenings
38           "A Whiter Shade of Pale"                                                             Procol Harum
39           "Don't You Care"                                                                              The Buckinghams
40           "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye"                                            The Casinos
41           "Reflections"                                                                                     The Supremes
42           "On a Carousel"                                                                                                The Hollies
43           "Please Love Me Forever"                                                           Bobby Vinton
44           "Alfie"                                                                                                   Dionne Warwick
45           "Silence Is Golden"                                                                         The Tremeloes
46           "My Cup Runneth Over"                                                                               Ed Ames
47           "Up, Up and Away"                                                                         The 5th Dimension
48           "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"   Scott McKenzie
49           "The Rain, The Park & Other Things"                                       The Cowsills
50           "There's a Kind of Hush"                                                               Herman's Hermits
51           "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"                                                                                The Buckinghams
52           "This Is My Song"                                                                             Petula Clark
53           "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"            Jackie Wilson
54           "I've Been Lonely Too Long"                                                       The Young Rascals
55           "Penny Lane"                                                                                    The Beatles
56           "You're My Everything"                                                                 The Temptations
57           "Georgy Girl"                                                                                     The Seekers
58           "Western Union"                                                                             Five Americans
59           "Baby I Love You"                                                                            Aretha Franklin
60           "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You"                                                 The Monkees
61           "California Nights"                                                                           Lesley Gore
62           "Dedicated to the One I Love"                                                   The Mamas & the Papas
63           "How Can I Be Sure"                                                                       The Young Rascals
64           "Carrie Anne"                                                                                    The Hollies
65           "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet"                                                       Blues Magoos
66           "Friday on My Mind"                                                                      The Easybeats
67           "Soul Finger"                                                                                      The Bar-Kays
68           "Gimme Some Lovin'"                                                                    The Spencer Davis Group
69           "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)"                                                                The Hombres
70           "Let's Live for Today"                                                                     The Grass Roots
71           "Close Your Eyes"                                                                            Peaches & Herb
72           "Groovin'"                                                                                           Booker T & the M.G.'s
73           "Funky Broadway"                                                                          Wilson Pickett
74           "Pleasant Valley Sunday"                                                             The Monkees
75           "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)"                      Aretha Franklin
76           "Tell It Like It Is"                                                                                Aaron Neville
77           "Cold Sweat"                                                                                     James Brown
78           "She'd Rather Be with Me"                                                          The Turtles
79           "98.6"                                                                                                    Keith
80           "Here We Go Again"                                                                       Ray Charles
81           "White Rabbit"                                                                                  Jefferson Airplane
82           "Bernadette"                                                                                     Four Tops
83           "The Beat Goes On"                                                                       Sonny & Cher
84           "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron"                                                       The Royal Guardsmen
85           "Society's Child"                                                                               Janis Ian
86           "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"                                                  Neil Diamond
87           "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"                                            Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
88           "I Take It Back"                                                                                  Sandy Posey
89           "Here Comes My Baby"                                                                                The Tremeloes
90           "Everlasting Love"                                                                           Robert Knight
91           "I Dig Rock and Roll Music"                                                           Peter, Paul and Mary
92           "Little Ole Man (Uptight, Everything's Alright)"                   Bill Cosby
93           "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)"                                                The Electric Prunes
94           "Daydream Believer"                                                                     The Monkees
95           "Baby I Need Your Lovin'"                                                            Johnny Rivers
96           "Mirage"                                                                                              Tommy James & Shondells
97           "Green, Green Grass of Home"                                                 Tom Jones
98           "I Can See for Miles"                                                                      The Who
99           "Don't Sleep in the Subway"                                                       Petula Clark
100         "Thank The Lord For The Night Time"                                      Neil Diamond
Billboard magazine's Top Hot 100 songs of 1969
№           Title                                                                                                       Artist(s)
1              "Sugar, Sugar"                                                                                   The Archies
2              "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"                                                 The 5th Dimension
3              "I Can't Get Next to You"                                                              The Temptations
4              "Honky Tonk Women"                                                                   The Rolling Stones
5              "Everyday People"                                                                          Sly & Family Stone
6              "Dizzy"                                                                                                  Tommy Roe
7              "Hot Fun in the Summertime"                                                    Sly & Family Stone
8              "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"                                                       Tom Jones
9              "Build Me Up Buttercup"                                                              The Foundations
10           "Crimson and Clover"                                                                     Tommy James and Shondells
11           "One"                                                                                                   Three Dog Night
12           "Crystal Blue Persuasion"                                                             Tommy James and Shondells
13           "Hair"                                                                                                    The Cowsills
14           "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby"                                       Marvin Gaye
15           "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet"                                    Henry Mancini
16           "Get Together"                                                                                 The Youngbloods
17           "Grazing in the Grass"                                                                    The Friends of Distinction
18           "Suspicious Minds"                                                                         Elvis Presley
19           "Proud Mary"                                                                                    CCR
20           "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)"                                                Jr. Walker & All Stars
21           "It's Your Thing"                                                                                The Isley Brothers
22           "Sweet Caroline"                                                                             Neil Diamond
23           "Jean"                                                                                                   Oliver
24           "Bad Moon Rising"                                                                          CCR
25           "Get Back"                                                                                          The Beatles/Billy Preston
26           "In the Year 2525"                                                                            Zager & Evans
27           "Spinning Wheel"                                                                            Blood, Sweat & Tears
28           "Baby, I Love You"                                                                           Andy Kim
29           "Going in Circles"                                                                             The Friends of Distinction
30           "Hurt So Bad"                                                                                    The Lettermen
31           "Green River"                                                                                    CCR
32           "My Cherie Amour"                                                                        Stevie Wonder
33           "Easy to Be Hard"                                                                             Three Dog Night
34           "Baby It's You"                                                                                  Smith
35           "In the Ghetto"                                                                                                Elvis Presley
36           "A Boy Named Sue"                                                                        Johnny Cash
37           "Baby, Baby Don't Cry"                                                                  The Miracles
38           "Only the Strong Survive"                                                            Jerry Butler
39           "Time of the Season"                                                                     The Zombies
40           "Wedding Bell Blues"                                                                     The 5th Dimension
41           "Little Woman"                                                                                 Bobby Sherman
42           "Love (Can Make You Happy)"                                                   Mercy
43           "Good Morning Starshine"                                                          Oliver
44           "These Eyes"                                                                                     The Guess Who
45           "You've Made Me So Very Happy"                                           Blood, Sweat & Tears
46           "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"                                                 Jackie DeShannon
47           "Do Your Thing"                                                                                                Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band
48           "I'd Wait A Million Years"                                                              The Grass Roots
49           "Touch Me"                                                                                        The Doors
50           "More Today Than Yesterday"                                                   Spiral Starecase
51           "I've Gotta Be Me"                                                                          Sammy Davis, Jr.
52           "Lay Lady Lay"                                                                                   Bob Dylan
53           "Atlantis"                                                                                             Donovan
54           "Traces"                                                                                               Classics IV
55           "It's Getting Better"                                                                        "Mama" Cass Elliot
56           "This Magic Moment"                                                                    Jay and the Americans
57           "Runaway Child, Running Wild"                                                 The Temptations
58           "Hawaii Five-O"                                                                                                The Ventures
59           "Galveston"                                                                                       Glen Campbell
60           "I'm Gonna Make You Mine"                                                      Lou Christie
61           "Gitarzan"                                                                                           Ray Stevens
62           "Can I Change My Mind"                                                              Tyrone Davis
63           "Time is Tight"                                                                                   Booker T & the M.G.'s
64           "This Girl's in Love With You"                                                      Dionne Warwick
65           "Color Him Father"                                                                          The Winstons
66           "Black Pearl"                                                                                      Checkmates, Ltd.
67           "Indian Giver"                                                                                   1910 Fruitgum Company
68           "Mother Popcorn"                                                                          James Brown
69           "Twenty-Five Miles"                                                                       Edwin Starr
70           "Things I'd Like to Say"                                                                   New Colony Six
71           "When I Die"                                                                                      Motherlode
72           "That's the Way Love Is"                                                               Marvin Gaye
73           "Everybody's Talkin'"                                                                      Harry Nilsson
74           "The Worst That Could Happen"                                                               J. Maestro/Brooklyn Bridge
75           "The Chokin' Kind"                                                                          Joe Simon
76           "Smile a Little Smile for Me"                                                        The Flying Machine
77           "Polk Salad Annie"                                                                           Tony Joe White
78           "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"                                   Kenny Rogers & First Edition
79           "Games People Play"                                                                     Joe South
80           "You Showed Me"                                                                           The Turtles
81           "Tracy"                                                                                                 The Cuff Links
82           "Oh, What a Night"                                                                         The Dells
83           "Something"                                                                                      The Beatles
84           "This Girl Is a Woman Now"                                                         Gary Puckett & Union Gap
85           "Come Together"                                                                            The Beatles
86           "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"                                                             Bob Seger System
87           "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"                                                               The Supremes/Temptations
88           "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"                                         Marvin Gaye
89           "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'"                                                    Crazy Elephant
90           "Hang 'Em High"                                                                               Booker T & the M.G.'s
91           "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)"                                       Lou Rawls
92           "Baby, I'm for Real"                                                                         The Originals
93           "Oh Happy Day"                                                                               Edwin Hawkins Singers
94           "Love Me Tonight"                                                                          Tom Jones
95           "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon"                                                                     Paul Revere & the Raiders
96           "Laughing"                                                                                          The Guess Who
97           "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)"   David Ruffin
98           "Soul Deep"                                                                                       The Box Tops
99           "Hooked on a Feeling"                                                                   B.J. Thomas
100         "Sweet Cream Ladies"                                                                   The Box Tops
Tie          "Let Me"                                                                                              Paul Revere & the Raiders
Billboard Magazine's Top Hot 100 Songs of 1997
№           Title                                                                                                       Artist(s)
1              "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" /                                Elton John
                "Candle in the Wind 1997"                                                          
2              "Foolish Games" / "You Were Meant for Me"                     Jewel
3              "I'll Be Missing You"                                                                        Puff Daddy/Faith Evans/112
4              "Un-Break My Heart"                                                                     Toni Braxton
5              "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"                                                 Puff Daddy/Mase
6              "I Believe I Can Fly"                                                                         R. Kelly
7              "Don't Let Go (Love)"                                                                     En Vogue
8              "Return of the Mack"                                                                     Mark Morrison
9              "How Do I Live"                                                                                 LeAnn Rimes
10           "Wannabe"                                                                                        Spice Girls
11           "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)"                                   Backstreet Boys
12           "MMMBop"                                                                                       Hanson
13           "For You I Will"                                                                                  Monica
14           "You Make Me Wanna..."                                                            Usher
15           "Bitch"                                                                                                  Meredith Brooks
16           "Nobody"                                                                                            Keith Sweat
17           "Semi-Charmed Life"                                                                     Third Eye Blind
18           "Barely Breathing"                                                                           Duncan Sheik
19           "Hard to Say I'm Sorry"                                                                  Az Yet/Peter Cetera
20           "Mo Money Mo Problems"                                                         Notorious B.I.G./Puff Daddy & Mase
21           "The Freshmen"                                                                               The Verve Pipe
22           "I Want You"                                                                                      Savage Garden
23           "No Diggity"                                                                                       Blackstreet/Dr. Dre
24           "I Belong to You (Every Time I See Your Face)"                   Rome
25           "Hypnotize"                                                                                       The Notorious B.I.G.
26           "Every Time I Close My Eyes"                                                     Babyface
27           "In My Bed"                                                                                       Dru Hill
28           "Say You'll Be There"                                                                      Spice Girls
29           "Do You Know (What It Takes)"                                                 Robyn
30           "4 Seasons of Loneliness"                                                            Boyz II Men
31           "G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T."                                                                           Changing Faces
32           "Honey"                                                                                               Mariah Carey
33           "I Believe in You and Me"                                                             Whitney Houston
34           "Da' Dip"                                                                                              Freak Nasty
35           "2 Become 1"                                                                                     Spice Girls
36           "All for You"                                                                                       Sister Hazel
37           "Cupid"                                                                                                                112
38           "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"                                  Paula Cole
39           "Sunny Came Home"                                                                     Shawn Colvin
40           "It's Your Love"                                                                                 Tim McGraw/Faith Hill
41           "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit"                                                         Gina G
42           "Mouth"                                                                                              Merril Bainbridge
43           "All Cried Out"                                                                                   Allure/112
44           "I'm Still in Love with You"                                                            New Edition
45           "Invisible Man"                                                                                 98 Degrees
46           "Not Tonight"                                                                                    Lil' Kim/Da Brat, Left Eye, Missy Elliott                                                                                                                                     and Angie Martinez
47           "Look into My Eyes"                                                                       Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
48           "Get It Together"                                                                             702
49           "All by Myself"                                                                                  Celine Dion
50           "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"                                             Celine Dion
51           "My Love Is the Shhh!"                                                                 Somethin' for the People/Trina &                                                                                                                                             Tamara
52           "Where Do You Go"                                                                        No Mercy
53           "I Finally Found Someone"                                                          Barbra Streisand/Bryan                 Adams
54           "I'll Be"                                                                                                 Foxy Brown/Jay-Z
55           "If It Makes You Happy"                                                                                Sheryl Crow
56           "Never Make a Promise"                                                              Dru Hill
57           "When You Love a Woman"                                                        Journey
58           "Up Jumps da Boogie"                                                                   Timbaland & Magoo/Missy                                                                                                                                                          Elliott & Aaliyah
59           "I Don't Want To" / "I Love Me Some Him"                           Toni Braxton
60           "Everyday Is a Winding Road"                                                     Sheryl Crow
61           "Cold Rock a Party"                                                                         MC Lyte
62           "Pony"                                                                                                  Ginuwine
63           "Building a Mystery"                                                                       Sarah McLachlan
64           "I Love You Always Forever"                                                       Donna Lewis
65           "Your Woman"                                                                                  White Town
66           "C U When U Get There"                                                              Coolio/40 Thevz
67           "Change the World"                                                                       Eric Clapton
68           "My Baby Daddy"                                                                            B-Rock and the Bizz
69           "Tubthumping"                                                                                 Chumbawamba
70           "Gotham City"                                                                                   R. Kelly
71           "Last Night"                                                                                        Az Yet
72           "The Jock Jam"                                                                                  Various artists
73           "Big Daddy"                                                                                        Heavy D
74           "What About Us"                                                                             Total
75           "Smile"                                                                                                 Scarface/2Pac and Johnny P.
76           "What's on Tonight"                                                                       Montell Jordan
77           "Secret Garden"                                                                               Bruce Springsteen
78           "The One I Gave My Heart To"                                                   Aaliyah
79           "Fly Like an Eagle"                                                                            Seal
80           "No Time"                                                                                           Lil' Kim/Puff Daddy
81           "Naked Eye"                                                                                      Luscious Jackson
82           "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)"                                                                Los del Río
83           "On & On"                                                                                           Erykah Badu
84           "Don't Wanna Be a Player"                                                          Joe
85           "I Shot the Sheriff"                                                                          Warren G
86           "You Should Be Mine (Don't Waste Your Time)"                 Brian McKnight/Mase
87           "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"                                                     Madonna
88           "Someone"                                                                                        SWV and Puff Daddy
89           "Go the Distance"                                                                            Michael Bolton
90           "One More Time"                                                                            Real McCoy
91           "Butta Love"                                                                                      Next
92           "Coco Jambo"                                                                                    Mr. President
93           "Twisted"                                                                                            Keith Sweat
94           "Barbie Girl"                                                                                       Aqua
95           "When You're Gone" / "Free to Decide"                                                The Cranberries
96           "Let Me Clear My Throat"                                                            DJ Kool
97           "I Like It"                                                                                              The Blackout All-Stars
98           "You're Makin' Me High" / "Let It Flow"                                 Toni Braxton
99           "You Must Love Me"                                                                      Madonna
100         "Let It Go"                                                                                           Ray J


Jain, Sofia and Katie know nearly EVERY SINGLE SONG on the '67 & '69 lists, as I indeed expected they would. Katie knows several on the list from her freshman year, but not all of them.  From her list, I know maybe 20 by title alone. Certainly, the vast majority don't pop out at me where I can say, "Oh, yeah, I remember that song!" Not at all.

Poor Jain groaned with disgust as she looked over the 2016 list (go to There is a lot of Justin Bieber and One Direction, neither of whose music she can stand. We were all happy to see Meghan Trainor and Andy Grammer in the top 100, but there aren't nearly enough of their songs on this list. Dismayed with the list in general, though, she instantly declared she liked the music of our era best. YES! I felt instant validation in my beliefs!

As far as what gives us hope for the future, I have too many to list and will give Jain and her mama the honor of sharing their thoughts. Jain prefers classical music, loves the fact that history can be portrayed and preserved with the Broadway wonder that is "Hamilton," and cherishes the lyrics to "The Word" by the Beatles. Katie believes in the power of several genres and sums it all up best by saying, "Classical music gives me a sense of time like almost no other music. The fact that it was composed so long ago and still has such an amazingly strong effect is a testament to the human race and the fact that we, as a species, have always and will always REQUIRE music in our lives. I feel like a good number of us will always be able to appreciate the beauty of classical music, no matter what noise qualifies as 'popular' at any given time. A lot of the blues and jazz from the '30s and '40s, rock and roll from the '60s, and the folk music which spans history share a similar message that just never seems to stop being applicable to the current generation. It can be disheartening, because we’d like to think the human race would learn from those messages after a while, but it also gives me hope that no one has decided we’ll never learn and thus gave up on spreading the message at all. When a message is still applicable, it at least means it’s not something viewed as a lost cause."

So, gentle readers, our questions to you after this lengthy post are: how has music changed your life, and how does it give you hope for the future? We'd love to have you share your stories with us, so please comment, and as Grampy always says,