Car Drives: The 4 Songs I Remember Most

Next to the 1977 Malibu - Guess which one is me.

Next to the 1977 Malibu Classic – Guess which one is me.

I was driving in to work Friday morning and doing what I sometimes do at 5:20 am: switch between channels on my satellite radio system.

Normally, the fifteen minute commute along the highway known as Route 22 near my home is laden with the sounds of Smooth Jazz echoing through the cabin of my 2012 Toyota Corolla.

I know, shocking.

You’d probably expect a metal-head like me to have Hair Nation turned up to ten at all times. But I’ve come to realize that whether it’s because I’ve started to open myself up to small changes in musical taste or just the fact that I’m getting old (I prefer the former); listening to smooth jazz in the morning relaxes me and helps me face the day.

But on this particular Friday it just wasn’t cutting it. So I started switching the dial around to find something different and eventually stumbled upon the 70’s on 7 station. That was when a tune came on that I hadn’t heard on a car radio in more than thirty years. Hearing that song again not only brought back some good memories but also gave me the ammunition I needed for today’s post.

So, in today’s blog I’ve compiled a list of the Top 4 songs I remember listening to on the car radio. The caveat of this list is, they were all occasions when I was riding in the back seat while my parents drove.

You may find some of these choices a bit strange but these songs, when played on the car stereo at a particular moment in time, placed a permanent bookmark in my memory bank. Memories that still to this day stick with me whenever I hear them.

So here you go – The Top 4 Songs I Remember from Car Drives.

4. Lido Shuffle (Boz Scaggs) – 1977

This was the song that came on the radio on my morning drive into work. I still have never taken the time to figure out the lyrics. But what I do know is that hearing this song still takes me back to those drives in my Dad’s 1977 Malibu. It didn’t even really matter where we were going or if I was riding in the back seat or had the honor of riding shotgun next to him.

I still remember Dad sitting in the driver’s side with his white t-shirt and dungarees. The windows were probably down and the wind was blowing the sweet smell of summer honeysuckle into the car’s cabin. Thinking about it now (much like I did on the drive in to work), I can still taste the innocence of childhood again.

3. Happy Days Theme – 1976

This one may shock you but considering my fascination with the power of The Fonz it was inevitable that I was going to like this theme song. This song was recorded in 1976 and actually charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received quite a bit of radio play.

There was this little fishing spot up along Bushkill Drive that our family used to take excursions to on summer weekends. I remember sitting in the back seat next to a half-dozen or so fishing poles when this song just happened to come on the radio while we were pulling in. I’ll never forget begging my parents not to turn off the ignition and leave the radio on until the song was over. Fortunately, they complied or else I might have thrown a hissy fit.

Speaking of hissy fit…..

2. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce) – 1973

It was sometime in the mid-70’s when Dad took me and my brother on our first overnight camping trip with a bunch of people to Camp Hugh Beaver. I remember being extremely excited about going, that is until we arrived and from then on, I immediately wanted to go home for a reason that to this day still eludes me.

I remember voicing my opinion for home very loudly, and eventually through tears. My Dad would ignore my pleas and made us stay there that first night, but once the sun came up I was back at it again; crying and wanting to go home. Eventually, he gave in to my demands and we all packed up and headed home.

Why do I remember this? Because on the drive home the song “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” came on the car radio. In addition to really digging the song, the thing I remember most is asking Dad about it and him telling me that Jim Croce was killed in a plane crash a few years earlier.

and you KNEW this was coming!!

1. Cum On Feel The Noize (Quiet Riot) – 1983

It was several years after the camping debacle; sometime in 1983 for sure. Dad was driving my siblings and I along a rural stretch of Pennsylvania road when the drums kicked in. My immediate instinct was to yell “TURN IT UP!!!”

I don’t know what it was, but something about that song hooked me in like nothing had ever done before or has since. It was the first time I had ever heard it and I still recall telling the rest of the people who were in the car to shut the hell up so I could listen (Ok, I said “heck” – after all, my Dad was there).

Now it’s your turn. Feel free to share your own list of songs. The ones you remember most from driving as a kid!

About James Wood

Influenced by life, love and the pursuit of the perfect song is what best describes my passion. I’m a closeted classic rock/metal-head from the 80′s who loves to write.

Posted on June 23, 2013, in Childhood Memories, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Michele Quinn

    we had an 8 track player and I distinctly remember The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” and Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Shining Star” and their remake of “Gotta Get You Into My Life”

    • Ooh, good ones! I remember the song “Lets Go” by The Cars playing a lot. Oh and plenty of Hotel California blaring on the 8-track!

  2. Darlene Wood

    Loved the 70’s music…77 that was the year I graduated high school…Ohhh those were the days my friend

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