(Click here for parts one, two and three of my series.)
On our vacation to Florida in February 1982, we had two sources of music: Our Chevy Citation's AM radio and a non-stereo cassette player that ran on C batteries. The trip from Chicago to Florida was almost all top-40. The trip back was almost all Beatles.
Though we did listen to a couple cassettes my sister and If brought along (primarily, "Hi Infidelity," "4" and "Paradise Theater"), we listened to the radio for most of our vacation. Yes, I was so stunned that at night, we could pick up WLS-AM, as well as WCFL (an oldies station at the time, liked by my parents but despised by me), on the AM radio in Georgia. Among the songs I remember that night were "Workin' for the Weekend," "Love Is Like a Rock" and "Pac-Man Fever."
In Florida, we seemed to hear a lot of soft rock on the radio, such as Sheena Easton's "You Could Have Been With Me," Air Supply's "Sweet Dreams" and Bertie Higgins' "Key Largo."
My parents ditched the radio on the return trip when they bought a Beatles tape at a gas station. "Love Songs" was a compilation of Beatles songs and not a true studio album, which might have been the appeal for my parents -- it was a greatest hits of sorts. We played that tape over and over through Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky -- until we were close enough (and it was night, when AM signals could be picked up farther away) to get the Chicago stations again. I didn't mind the Beatles, and I probably know many of their lesser hits because of that one day of traveling.
It's so easy to connect music with a time in your life, particularly a memorable time of your life. And because this vacation was so memorable, I fondly remember the songs we heard in our little Citation. last year, I even made a CD for my sisters with many of the songs from that trip. If you want to put yourself in our car 30 years ago, pull these songs up on iTunes or Spotify (though I don't think the Beatles are on Spotify). Some of the soft rock is cheesy but is, nonetheless, memorable.
THE 1982 VACATION PLAYLIST
Harden My Heart/Quarterflash
Workin' for the Weekend/Loverboy
Pac-Man Fever/Buckner and Garcia
Juke Box Hero/Foreigner
Cool Night/Paul Davis
Leader of the Band/Dan Fogelberg
Through the Years/Kenny Rogers
Love Is Like a Rock/Donnie Iris
Love in the First Degree/Alabama
You Could Have Been With Me/Sheena Easton
Key Largo/Bertie Higgins
Turn Your Love Around/George Benson
Sweet Dreams/Air Supply
I Can't Go for That/Hall and Oates
And the following Beatles songs:
I'll Follow the Sun
P.S. I Love You
In My Life
Here, There, Everywhere
And I Love Her
If I Fell
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
(Click here for part 5 of this series: our day at Busch Gardens.)