8-Tracks, Records, and Cassettes

8-tracks, records, and cassettes are my first memory of music. My mother had a combination record player, radio, cassette, and 8-track stereo system. Early on, I didn’t have any cassettes nor did I have records. I did have my mom’s small 8-Track collection. I even managed to get my mom to buy me a few.

From 1982 to 1983, my life was dominated by 3 8-tracks……..

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers”

Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual”

Can you guess who got played the most out of the three? If you guessed MJ’s “Thriller,”  you would be wrong. Culture Club? No. Cyndi Lauper? Yes! Yes! Yes!

I didn’t have MTV, but Casey Kasem aired on ABC every Saturday.  Cyndi was a girl like me. She was different looking. Untamed, wild, free spirited. She was fun and irreverent.

Now, while I didn’t own records, my grandmother did. She actually did have a few that I enjoyed listening to – Rick Dees’s “Disco Duck and Snoopy and The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen.

My grandmother’s love was country music – Conway Twitty, George Jones, Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Mickey Gilley, etc. I won’t lie there were a few country songs that appealed to me, like Alabama’s “Love In The First Degree” and The Judds’s “Why Not Me.”

However, I have never been an extremely big fan of country, especially the 90s and 2000s incarnations.

Eventually, I got my first boombox and cassette’s of my own. My mom chose to buy me:

Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine’s “Primitive Love

Janet Jackson’s “Control

Nu Shooz’s “Poolside

Music was a blanket that shielded me from the negativity and abuse of my childhood. It fueled my imagination. It was my best friend.


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