Tag Archives: music

Today’s Musical Blast from the Past

“Music Box Dancer” by Frank Mills.

I still remember when this was a hit–I was 10  years old!  I could never get enough of it back then, and can’t now, either.

I heard it in passing a couple of days ago on a video I was watching (it was an episode of The Sopranos), and, not having heard it in years, I completely spaced on whatever the dialog was in the scene.  Then, early this morning I had a dream where this song was the soundtrack, where it was somehow encrypted/embedded in some kind of odd video presentation.  I never did get to figure out what the deal was, though, because the stupid alarm clock went off.  But it was sufficient to implant the song in my brain, where it’s been repeating pretty much all day long.

Luckily, it was available on iTunes.  Listening to the actual song is much nicer than the earworm.  And, I believe I may be breaking my previous record for greatest number of plays in the first few hours of having the song…let’s see:  bought it at 5:53 p.m. tonight.  It’s now 7:12 p.m. and the play count is 22.  And no, I did not cheat! :P

It’s a totally delightful song. :)  And here is the Wikipedia page.

The fact that this song became popular at all is really the result of a lucky accident:  In 1978 it was re-released as the b-side of a single which was sent to a bunch of easy-listening radio stations in Canada.  But one copy was sent to the wrong station by accident–it went to pop station CFRA-AM in Ottawa, whose music director liked it so much that he added it to the station’s playlist.  Response was very positive (not surprisingly, considering how neat and completely endearing the song is), and the song’s popularity spread from there.

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Tonight’s listening…

For some reason, this popped into my brain tonight (click on the icon to make it bigger):

Specifically, I was being earwormed by the first song, “Moving”, which has long been a favorite of mine.  Great stuff.  It was impossible to resist pulling up iTunes and whistling along with it for a while.  It’s a great song for whistling.

The album as a whole is pretty quirky.  The first time I ever heard it, I couldn’t resist raising my eyebrows a bit at the girl who was playing it for me, and she, of course, looked a little sheepish.  But that first song rang a bell, and eventually I realized I had heard it before, while eating pizza in a Rocky Rococo on State Street in Madison, roughly 1988 or so.  I remembered sitting there in the restaurant, wondering what on earth I was hearing, and…liking it in a way I wasn’t accustomed to.  The girl, a potential girlfriend, with whom things were going very, very awkwardly, was playing me the album about a year and a half after that slice of pizza.  Not long after that, I found myself plunking down the money for the CD.

Some of the songs are, to say the least, a bit odd, but in a fun way.  Anyone who gets a chance to hear it should not expect….normalcy.  But, as has been said, “Why be normal?”  Many of the things I value the most in life have resulted from not being normal, and, quite frankly, I find most “normal” music to be deathly boring.  So go for it. ;)

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