Growing up as a “Gen-X” kid meant that I’d occasionally “absorb” some of the pop culture that was “hot” when my parents were in their 20s and that it would, to a certain extent, stick with me my whole life.
Several years ago in a trivia game, we had a question about which band Rod Stewart used to be in before becoming a solo artist, and I said without hesitation, “The Faces.” My older trivia teammate Brad looked at me incredulously, and said:
You’re WAY too young to know that. How do you know that?
Honestly, I couldn’t explain how I knew! I was very, very exposed to the “music of the day” when I was growing up. My parents had quite an extensive music collection, originally on vinyl – then they would buy cassettes (to play in car stereos), and later on, CDs. They also subscribed to music magazines, so I would read Rolling Stone magazines when they were lying around the house. Even if I didn’t happen to like all of the music my parents played in the house, I was definitely soaking it all up!
Just last night, following a day of pretty much vegging out on the couch all day (I was pretty exhausted from working holiday shifts at work and needed to wind down), I caught a snippet of an advertisement that pricked up my ears. Something about ‘First Pop Icon – Linda Ronstadt.”
Honestly, I don’t know much (the words “don’t know much” are an important plot point, read the caption below the first photo to learn more) about Linda Ronstadt. Without looking it up on the Internets, I couldn’t tell you which of her songs were the highest charting, I couldn’t even name one of her songs, couldn’t name one of her albums, etc. All I knew about her is that my dad…had a “thing” for her. He had a Linda Ronstadt record, which I think had this cover:
Linda Ronstadt’s highest charting singles are You’re No Good (#1, 1975), Don’t Know Much (#2, 1989, duet with Aaron Neville), When Will I Be Loved (#2, 1975) and Blue Bayou (#3, 1977).
Strangely enough, I honestly don’t remember hearing any of these songs around the house. Maybe it was my dad’s “secret” thing! But I DO remember there was a poster of her on the wall of my parents’ bedroom! It might have looked like this:
Who wears short shorts? Linda Ronstadt!
I also seem to remember that my mother wasn’t too keen on having that poster on their bedroom wall! My mom, however, had her own little “thing” for a different singer – a male singer/songwriter named Cat Stevens. For a short time, she had a poster of Cat Stevens that she had put on the wall of…MY bedroom! Eventually, I got old enough to protest having his poster there, and I would put up Girl Scout cookie posters, posters of cute kittens, etc. I was not able to find an image that looks like the poster I remember (he was shirtless in the photo and wearing a lei). So this will have to be a “close facsimile” to the poster I had on my bedroom wall:
While my dad had a bit of a crush on Linda Ronstadt, my mother was more into THIS guy! Cat Stevens, circa mid 1970s. His highest charting singles in the U.S. were Morning Has Broken (#6, 1972), Another Saturday Night (Sam Cooke cover #6, 1977), and Peace Train (#7, 1971).
I did wind up sharing my mother’s appreciation for Cat Stevens’ music. Though strangely enough, to this day, I’m not a fan of having ANY posters on my walls! But I’ll never forget having Cat Stevens on my bedroom wall – and seeing Linda Ronstadt in her roller skates…