Dec. 15th, 2014

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas tree lights)
In the late 70s I was heavily into classical music, and '76 was the year that Barbara Streisand released a classical album, so I figured this was a way to slide in a little example of classical music and still be semi-current with what was going on that year. This was also the year that her remake of A Star Is Born came out, so it was a big year for her. (I saw it; it didn't seem totally terrible to me at the time, although I think I had seen the '50s remake and so knew it wasn't as good as that one. But in any case, however the movie itself was received, the music from it was a big hit that year.)

Here's a translation (I have no idea how accurate this is, it came from here:
"In the wavering balance of my feelings
Set against each other
Lascivious love and modesty
But I choose what I see
And submit my neck to the yoke;
I yield to the sweet yoke."

I never sang that song but I always thought it was really pretty - it might well have been deliberately left off the official list of appropriate music for high school singers, now that I think about it (there was one, for Solo and Ensemble contest) since I assume "the sweet yoke" is a veiled sexual reference. Anyway, it's from Carmina Burana, which hardly anybody - including me, frankly - knows much about after that one bit of it that you hear all the time. (I think that's "O Fortuna," right?)

Let's talk about the Bicentennial. 1976 was a year of American-everything - we sang almost exclusively American songs in choir, even. It was one big, mostly really boringly-presented and probably inaccurate history lesson that lasted for a whole year. It did leave a lasting impression on some things, though - like quilting more or less became popular again because of it. Schoolhouse Rock even did special Bicentennial segments. There was sort of a fad for things like the tall ships and of course there was a ton of merchandise. I remember somebody saying at the time "the big bore is almost over" and that's about how most people felt about it after it had been going on for a while.

In the non-classical music world, it was the year of "Bohemian Rhapsody" - which I loved the minute I heard it - and "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and I think disco was starting to be a fad by then, too, although it didn't hit its peak until later. I see "Convoy" on the top 100 list so I guess it was the year of the CB radio fad, too - one of the more inexplicable fads that I remember. There were a bunch of faddish songs that year too, like "Afternoon Delight" and
I think "Squeeze Box"  could sort of be considered one too, since it doesn't sound like anything else the Who did. "Welcome Back Kotter" was a huge thing, too. We were up to maybe 5 TV stations by then - in Houston it was 2, 11, 13 (which were the networks) and then 26 and 39, which were mostly reruns, so there still wasn't a lot of choice about what you watched on TV.
mellicious: pink manicure (UT tower)
I felt like the 70s should have an Eagles entry for Music Advent (just like I felt like the 60s should have a Beatles entry) and Hotel California was the Eagles album that was a huge thing in 1977 (although I think it was officially released in '76). I didn't especially want to be so obvious as to pick "Hotel California" the song, so instead I picked "The Last Resort," which was really my favorite one off that album anyway:

1977 was the year I graduated from high school. (Yeah, I know, I'm old, in case you hadn't figured that out already. I seem to be the oldest person doing Music Advent so that makes me feel it every day.) This entry from 2007 talks about how I ended up going to UT rather than somewhere else, so I won't repeat that. I wasn't at the very top of my class because I was kind of a slacker, but I was firmly in the top 10% and I had good SAT scores, so basically I could go just about anywhere I wanted, short of Harvard or Princeton. I was in All-State Choir that year and I was pretty full of myself, but I was geekier than ever, too, and I only turned 17 a month before graduation, so that kind of balanced things out. ("Obnoxious and immature" probably about covers it.) (The entry I linked above also talks about how my parents tried to get me to go to school somewhere closer to home, because I was so young. But I was adamant and I won that one.)

(I keep wanting to reference these: the posts I wrote for holidailies one year - 2007, apparently - about music: grade school, the breathing issue (which you could also call high school part 1), high school part 2, college ) Basically, I've been talking off and on this year about choir and how much I loved music and stuff, but I didn't try to tell the whole story about that, because I knew I had done that previously. So in case anybody is actually interested in hearing all that, there it all is!)

So, I had gotten into UT and I had gotten accepted as a music major, which was a whole separate thing, and sometime in the summer I went off to Austin for freshman orientation. You registered for classes and I think you could take advanced placement classestests, which I did, and they took you around on tours of campus and taught you the words to "Texas Fight" and all that kind of stuff. I mostly mention this because it intersects with the biggest cultural phenomenon of 1977, which was the original Star Wars. Somehow - I would really like to know how - the RAs running orientation had gotten their hands on a Darth Vader mask, and there were Star Wars jokes all over everything. (I particularly remember them acting out the Force Choke sequence.) I knew that there was a movie called "Star Wars" that had come out, and I think I knew that it was probably something I would like, but I hadn't seen it yet. Most people hadn't, I don't think. But you can bet that I went running to see it as soon as I got home (and for a miracle, it was actually showing at home). (Possibly they had subdivided the one big theater into several smaller ones at that point, anyway - and cineplexes were starting to pop up in Houston, as well. So it was not as hard to get to see movies as it had been previously.)

Is it necessary to say that I loved it? I loved it. I didn't buy a bunch of merchandise, because I was supposed to be too old for that kind of thing and because I was a poor college student and never had any cash, but my big Christmas present in 1977 was a stereo and at the top of the pile of albums was the Star Wars soundtrack. (The stereo also had an 8-track player, but 8-tracks were on the way out by then, although I obviously was unaware of that at the time. I think things I had on 8-track included some Aerosmith album with "Dream On" on it, and maybe some Steely Dan. But the Star Wars soundtrack was on vinyl.) It was also the first movie that I went to see multiple times in the theater, mostly with various groups of kids. My mother never understood going to see movies more than once, and for that matter she never understood Star Wars, - I remember at some point in the early 80s watching it on TV, maybe on cable, by that time - and my mother being flabbergasted that both my sister and I knew all these lines from it. (My sister was not what you'd call a geek, at all, so I think I was a little surprised by that one myself.)

Anyway - I duly moved up to Austin in August (and except for a couple of summers early on, I would stay for the next decade or so) - I lived in Jester, for those of you who know what that is (here's the inevitable Wikipedia article) - and actually you can more or less see my room in that picture. I lived in the smaller wing facing the picture there, on the first floor - which was not the ground floor, on that side. Our room was right above the entrance on that side and some previous occupant had painted a longhorn on the window, so it stood out. It was all girls at my end of that wing, but right down the hall were boys, which was sort of radical at the time and frankly I'm not sure my parents knew about that when they let me live there. (Mostly we didn't interact with them much, anyway.)

Oh, I almost forgot to say that my freshman year at UT was also Earl Campbell's senior year, and UT was ranked #1 going into the Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame - which we resoundingly lost - but Earl won the Heisman and football season was a blast. The football players lived in Jester East, which was the other building, and normal students didn't actually have much interaction with them, unless they happened to be in your classes or something. They even had their own dining hall. My one personal interaction with Earl was running smack into him in a stairwell later on - about all I can tell you is that he was huge. It was like running into a wall.

I was looking at 1977 in music and I don't see a whole lot there that I'm moved to talk about and this is plenty long already anyway. Well, maybe a couple of things: somewhere in that entry I linked is a note that "You Light Up My Life" is from that year and in fact is the #1 song of the '70s, which I'm not sure I knew. I do remember that it was a huge hit, and I really kind of liked it (I had the sheet music, inevitably), although we also mocked it a great deal. Another album that I know I had - I think I bought it when on some trip to Austin earlier in the year - was Dan Fogelberg's "Nether Lands" which I adored. I may get around to talking about him later in the next couple of entries, because he was one of my favorites for years. He was more or less in the same sort of country-rock genre as the Eagles - nobody called it that at the time, but there were definite country influences there - but more... bombastic than the Eagles. At least some of the time. Here, I'll give you an example. (Bombastic was kind of in at that time, anyway - I may get to another couple of examples, coming up!)


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

April 2019


Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 25th, 2019 07:53 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios