Motown to Morrison

I was talking about music with a good friend, who is a few years younger, and was a disc jockey back in the day. We both recalled how much we were into Motown recording artists during our high school years.

For me and many others, that Motown music is ageless, and still as great as ever! The Four Tops may have been my favorite, but then there were vinyl albums I also collected by The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Temptations. What an amazing parade of talent!

Not long afterwards, we began buying albums from Jimi Hendrix; Cream; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Jefferson Airplane; Led Zeppelin; Simon and Garfunkel; Iron Butterfly and The Doors. Were we spoiled or what? The only obstacle was the price of those vinyl LP’s, since I recall the price of a new record album being over $15. With a minimum hourly wage of $1.60 or less, it could take a day or two of work just to earn enough to buy one record album. Then came the double albums.

Most songs from that era were much shorter than they are today, since they had to be under 3- minutes long to properly fit into radio airtime constraints. Iron Butterfly’s “In a Gadda da Vida” at 17- minutes, became the classic long song, complete with a drum solo! Purists say we’ve lost the great sound of vinyl albums, that is, probably the ones without clicks, pops and scratches I’m guessing, but many of us have hearing that has grown worse over past decades and can’t really tell, probably in part from listening to loud rock and roll music!

With this blog title being “Motown to Morrison” you’re probably beginning to wonder where Jim Morrison comes in. I was reminded by a newspaper story yesterday, that it’s been 50 years since his death. “The Lizard King” was one of my all-time favorite male vocalists, next to my favorite female vocalist of that same era, Grace Slick. While she survived the early 70’s, so many other rock and roll greats did not. It was truly a period of great loss.

Fortunately, we are still blessed with music from that classic vinyl era, and for many senior citizens, it still sounds just as good as ever, digitally!

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