Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

As the largest city in the U.S., you can imagine how many radio stations there are in that massive and diverse market. Bakersfield (the nearest city of any size in our area) has, I think, a grand total of four stations. Furthermore, up here in the mountains, we get only one.

I usually have the radio on in the afternoons, since I’m not much of a TV watcher. A big part of the listening on KNZR includes the bumper music that both of the local talk show guys play. The three o’clock host is all about Frank Sinatra. Once in a while, he will throw in a little Tony Bennett, but mostly it’s “Old Blue Eyes”. The one o’clock guy, on the other hand, has a real weak spot for Merle Haggard. Yes, that’s a pretty big leap. Still, they are both all right with me. I’m rarely fully focused on the music, and I don’t mind either choice. I enjoy both of them.

This afternoon was a different story. The one o’clock guy did three hours that was all about Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, I’m the first to admit that my pop musical tastes are not the most hip. I can take rap for about thirty seconds and never even got as far as acid rock, or heavy metal much less the stuff that came after that. I know it makes me a country bumpkin to admit that I’m not a super big fan of jazz. But, classic country rock. Yeah, that’s good music.

I was doing great—getting some work done while those southern boys were wailing away in the background. I was enjoying something different in the early afternoon, then I ended up in the kitchen doing some baking and some cleanup when “Sweet Home Alabama” came up in the host’s roster.

First, a disclaimer: Let's just say I never turned heads on the dance floor. But, since my first broken hip, I really don’t dance at all. Long ago, I made my peace with not having much talent in that department, so that isn’t the problem. But, once I was fully ambulatory again, I always ended up hurting my back every time I tried dancing. Pain is a great motivator. I gave up what passed for dancing in my case.

Yet, I have been known to make exceptions. Now, I could claim I was a victim of circumstance in this case, but I won’t make excuses. There I was, alone in the kitchen. The guitar riff at the opening of “Sweet Home Alabama” began; I was on my feet; and, well, one thing led to another. I may have still had a dish towel in my hand when I began making a fool of myself. My head was saying, “Stop”. My feet were saying, “Go.” I mean it was Lynyrd Skynyrd!

So, my back will hurt tonight. Right now, I think it will be worth it. Ask me about it tomorrow.

P.S. Fair warning: This posting twice a day thing is a bad precedent and not apt to be repeated often.


  1. Ah sweet memories, thank you. I finished high school in Juneau AK, one radio station and they wanted you to bring in records so they had something to play, so I know the mixed music station well. Makes for an interesting day. I also know about the dancing thing especially since I found out at age 16 that 40 ft of air isn't enough to learn to fly. Still sometimes the music and mood just grab you and the pain is worth it.
    Thanks for the double post day it made me smile (a lot)and was well worth it.

  2. I'm enjoying your frequent posts, Anita--but you leave your audience wanting more. You're a talented photographer. Where are the pictures of you dancing to Skynard???

  3. I'm searching "Youtube" and I haven't been able to locate the video yet. When are you going to post it?

    Love the post, certainly learned something new of you today and the title was a real head jerker! ~big old southern grin~

  4. I'm with Earl, where's the video? You've got us all set with expectations. I too want to thank you for bringing up memories from the past. I've gone through styles of music with each decade. Now, it's the sound of falling leaves that bring me the most pleasure. Another fine post and image.

    Oh, is The Husband in the video? Wanna see him kicking up his heels, too.

  5. I remember I had a 12" all-white single with Sweet home Alabama, lots of memories tied to this song.... To me, it equals party, and it would be hard to not move anything listening to it, and I'm hardly a dancer either.

    I have missed your posts while being burried in work; this one was a real joy to read. One sleepy radio station, Frank Sinatra....and then out of nothing, Lynyrd Skynyrd. You write with such wonderful, warm humour, I just love it. :-)

  6. Ray - Your experience with a radio station asking for donations of music certainly tops my story!

    Ouch. Learning to fly and forty feet of air sounds dreadful. On the other hand, you are right sometimes music gets to you and the spectre of the inevitable pain pales in comparison to the joy.

    I am delighted that I could make you smile.

  7. Mary Ann - What!??? Photos of me dancing? Never gonna happen. :) Thanks for joining in.

  8. Earl - Keep on searching, Earl. I'm no fool. If there had been a video camera in the vicinity, I wouldn't have been so silly. I trust no one.

    I thought I would slip in something a little different to shake things up a bit.

    Big old southern grin back at you.

  9. Monte - Had I found out there was a video, do you know how much I would have paid to get my hands on it?

    I like your style of "music": the falling leaves. My ears don't take to constant doses of rock the way they did even twenty years ago. It is great as an occasional treat, but not a steady diet.

    No, The Husband wasn't around. He missed the spectacle.

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  11. Ove - I have been thinking about you and wondering how the renovation is going. Thanks for taking a break and visiting. It sounds as if "Sweet Home Alabama" brings back some good times and it's nice to know someone else coudn't resist moving with that music in your ear.

    I am delighted that my post made you smile. Thank you for the kind thoughts.

  12. Such great visuals! :-) Anita dances to the tunes! I searched Google videos and didn't come up with anything either! Dang! Do you know how much "I" would pay for that video! Think of the traffic that I could get on my site! "Oh! Delusions of grandeur!!!"

  13. Mark and Paul - All these requests for a video that thankfully doesn't exist. I would be horrified if it did! Paul, your audience would flee in shocked disbelief. Are you kidding. It would ruin your ratings?!

    But, I make a pledge to all who have searched for the phantom video. If ever such a frightening thing should come to pass, I promise to announce it first here at my blog. How's that for special treatment?

  14. Maybe strangely enough, Sweet Home Alabama is 'our song' for Amanda & I, even though she is pained to admit it.

    About 10 years ago, 5 weeks after we'd met for the first time and about a week after wed' gotten engaged, we were sitting in an Amy's ice cream place in Austin. I was taking Amanda to to the airport and she was about to leave to go back to Australia. We weren't really even sure when we'd get to see each other again. Quite a bittersweet moment and perfect for an ice cream date.

    Amy's is quite well known for their entertaining server/ crushin mixer/ ice cream jugglers. On that particular afternoon, he played Sweet Home Alabama and was getting in to it. Then he played it again. and again. and again. Probably close to 10 times, before someone else in the place complained.

    Our song.


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