Posted by Juliana Szucs on October 16, 2014 in Ask Juliana

Detail shot of a record playerGrowing up in the 60s and 70s, we were exposed to many different kinds of music – some good, some not-so-much. I can remember listening to my transistor radio at night trying to get the antenna in that perfect spot to get good reception. When I bought my first album and spent $7 on it (Elton John’s Greatest Hits) my mom wasn’t thrilled. I remember her telling me that I wouldn’t listen to that album ten years later. She was right. Ten years later I was listening to it on an 8-track tape (usually with a matchbook shoved under it to keep it from “slipping”).

I think the first song I really liked was by the Monkees. My neighbor had the 45 and I borrowed it and listened to it over and over. My sisters and I had a pretty big collection of 45s. Lots of Beach Boys, Jackson 5, and Chicago. When Bobby Sherman came out with Julie, Do You Love Me I liked it for about 5 minutes. Then my sisters and cousins figured out that if they plugged the record player into the outlet that was controlled by the light switch, they could serenade me with it every time I walked into my bedroom and flipped on the switch. It got old really fast.

When I was in junior high, my big night out was roller-skating in the church gymnasium. They played lots of music and that’s where I first heard Stairway to Heaven. That was always a “couples skate” and I remember being completely thrilled when a guy finally asked me to skate to that song. Can’t remember the guy, but still remember the song.

As we got older, our tastes changed and while my sisters leaned more toward metal, I was more into country-rock, like the Outlaws, Marshall Tucker, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. But we still had some bands that we all liked. When my mom went to work at the National Archives, I remember how we would blast Rush’s 2112 on the large console stereo in the living room. We may have played a role in the demise of that stereo.

What about you? What kind of music did you listen to growing up? What memories do particular songs evoke? Share your favorite songs with us, and more importantly, share those memories with your family.

Juliana Szucs

Juliana Szucs has been working for Ancestry.com for more than 19 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program.

1 Comment

  1. Bill Talbott

    There are two songs that keep going through my mind. Both of them were big hits and helped me and other cope while we were overseas. The first song was “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. We played this song constantly while I was stationed in the Philippine Islands. The second song was our theme song because I was stationed in Viet Nam, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” by the Animals. There were a lot of other songs, heavy metal types, The Doors, Credence, and such. But these two I will always remember.

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