Musical Bookends Needed!

Okay, Fragmented Few, here’s an opportunity to pool your collective nostalgia and set the musical score.

The situation: on Saturday at the Roanoke NPR station, I recorded a shortened version of the Reunion piece posted here a while back. Dutchie at WVTF wants me to suggest an appropriate musical introduction and trailer for the piece. It needs to be instrumental because the spoken intro and byline will have to be done over top of it.

Of course, given the nature of the little essay, it should be an “oldie” from the sixties–a melody, I think, that is more emotionally evocative than rhythmatic; and preferrably one whose title has to do with love lost or found.

I have one such song in mind, but won’t bias you by telling yet. I’d be interested in hearing your ideas, you boomers out there. Send those cards and letters in. The winning submission gets a free pack of Fragments Notecards. Drawing ends at midnight, Friday, December 22.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. How about Hard Day’s Night, the instrumental Beetles version? Ann and Helen used to wear out that particular album, says her sister.

  2. Got your book today(love it!) and thought I’d check in here… How about Aker Bilk, Stranger on the Shore? Painfully nostalgic and I think the time is about right.

  3. I’d vote for a Duane Eddy song. Either Rebel Rouser (appropriate because we were all “rouser” back then and the fact that it was held in Mobile) or The Lonely One (not as well known but fits with the spouses point of view at reunions). I’ll put a little more thought into this and see if I can come up with others. I always ended may compilaion casettes with Tara from Roxy Music.

  4. A second vote for Unchained Melody. A Google on it notes that the lyrics were written to reflect the feelings of convicts passing time… hahaha! And if you’ve heard it in the movies AND on TV soundtracks, think Patrick Swayze in Ghost and not Doogie Howser (Doogie’s scene nearly single handidly ruined the song!)

  5. Love is Blue – I believe it was Henry Mancini’s orchestra, but I can’t vouch for the grey cells anymore.

  6. The first thing I thought of was “A Theme from… A summer place” I believe it is. Or the theme song from The Apartment.” The song “Wipe-out” is always a good one if not played in the background too loudly and editing it so as not to include the screaming vocal at the beginning.

  7. Oh this is going nicely! Keep it up, if for no other reason than to conjure up the era these goldy-oldies recall. Stranger on the Shore: painfully nostalgic indeed. Why is that? Is it the horn? The major-to-minor and back again pattern? Was it the theme for a movie? And didn’t somebody try putting lyrics to it once?

  8. Lots of good suggestions offered already. There were not a lot of “instrumentals” in the 60s that fit the mood of your essay and the intent of your posting (eg. In A Gadda Da Vida, Walk-Don’t Run). Other potential candidates from my view have instrumental intros that are too short to use (eg. Reach Out, I’ll Be There – Four Tops) Their less well known “Still Water (Love)” has potential because of the low-keyed vocal and longer instrumental intro. Other thoughts: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepellin – into is more than a minute instrumental; problem is that a concluding lengthy instrumental is more rhythmic than melodic. “Whiter Shade of Pale” – Procol Harum – has good intro. Titles that might work though again limited instrumental “Tears on My Pillow” – perhaps Ann’s recollections of childhood crushes when she prepared for the reunion or “I’m on the Outside (Looking In)to capture your sentiments, Fred – both by Little Anthony and Imperials. If I had to narrow the list – “Yesterday” though I cannot cite instrumentals of this great Beatles song but I have heard them or “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Albert. I can go on and on. Have you thought of a 60s intro followed by something more recent to capture your continuing love -eg. use “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” Bryan Adams. This has been fun for my fiance and me so thanks for the challenge.