In January of 1978, my friends and I started getting out on weekends to spend time together. We would occasionally go to the movies, go bowling or visit an arcade. Most of the time, we would ride the streets of our little town in search of girls to talk with. During this time, an 8-track tape player standard equipment in any of the cars where we regularly spent time. While my musical tastes were always a bit more eclectic than my friends, there were a handful of mainstream rock albums that I really loved that became our soundtrack for that time in our lives. These were albums that I completely loved but had no desire to own a copy because I got to hear them enough when we were out on the town. As I entered college, I would finally break down and pick up copies of these albums. By that time, vinyl would become my preferred music format. Some of these would later become staples of my CD collection. All of them are on my iPod right now.
The following list includes the most important of these recordings. I’ve also included a few notes relating to each title. I have also noted the differences in the song order from the album to the 8-track tape. I’ve also noted where some of the songs were split between two tracks. Only people who listened to music on 8-track can appreciate memories of a song fading out in the middle, the loud ka-chunk of the player and the song fading back in.
When my girls were young, it became a tradition for us to attend a Father Daughter dance around Valentine’s Day. My oldest daughter was three years old when we went to our first dance. She was so excited about the dance that she did not get her normal afternoon nap that day. There were struggles and a few tears as she was getting dressed for the dance because she was tired. She had a new dress just for the dance. We would arrive at the dance early that also included a dinner.
August 15, 1978 marked the eve of the first anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. This would be the first time I would visit Memphis on August 15 that I remember but this first trip was not to attend an Elvis Candlelight Vigil. I’m sure the Elvis fans gathered there that year just as they had a year before when he died on August 16. But I’m sure whatever observations that Elvis’ faithful fans had that year were probably hampered by a policeman’s strike in Memphis. There were already National Guard troops patrolling the streets of Memphis when the city’s firefighters joined the strike. Add to that the first ever mass influx of tourists to Memphis just to see Graceland. There were no official events planned and I’m sure any attempt at a candlelight vigil was probably not welcome by local officials who had declared a curfew starting at 8 PM to try and curb violence by angry police on the previous nights. It’s amazing that Elvis Week ever took off when its roots were in an environment like this.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller