Saturday Night Retro

Saturday October 23RD 2010
Volume 3 / Number 7 / Edition 104

Back during the memorable Summer of 1977 I was a 10-year-old kid roaming my hilly Lanham Maryland neighbourhood streets named after birds such as Red Wing, Wren, Wood Thrush, and Nightingale. I liked to ride my bike up and down the hills. I liked to play down by the creek and in the woods. Me and my friends had our own territory in the woods that we converted into our own private park with the use of rakes. We even had our own park flag with all of our names on it. We kept our park neat and tidy, and we only allowed our closest friends entry into our exclusive area. Those were fun times from my childhood that I’ll remember forever.

No matter how old you are always live your Life to its fullest. There will be unsuspecting bumps and sharp curves along the way that make you feel  uncomfortable, but then there will be those real good times too that you may take for granted until you realize that they are no longer there. Savour those good times as they happen. Enjoy every second of them. You’ll be able to share those memorable experiences for years to come with your children, their children, and your closest friends on this journey of Life.

Music has always played an important role during my lifetime. It reminds me of the good and the bad – the memorable and the forgettable. It’s the soundtrack of my Life at any given point in time. ‘Saturday Night Retro’ gives me an opportunity each weekend to share my Life with you via memories and music.

Back during that fun Summer of 1977 this song shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It’s teen pop idol Shaun Cassidy with his # 1 smash “Da Doo Ron Ron”, and it was playing on the radio as I was playing in the woods:

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

In June of 1980 I became a teenager – 13-years-old. I successfully completed the 7TH grade at Robert Goddard Junior High School in Lanham Maryland, and I was also actively involved in the Boy Scouts. We used to go on regular hiking and camping trips up in the mountains along the Appalachian Trail in Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. I remember hiking through the small town of Harpers Ferry West Virginia on many occasions. It was one of the few portions of the trail that actually went right through the heart of a town. Although I don’t miss the hiking with heavy backpacks and rugged shoes I do miss the scenery. While we have a nice subtropical landscape here in America’s Riviera nothing can beat the beautiful views that I remember from high atop the A.T.

On the radio during that memorable time of my life was this funky jam. It’s often referred to as ‘Disco’s Last Dance’, as it wasn’t even released here in the States until January of 1980 – some six months after Disco allegedly died at a Chicago White Sox baseball game. It took another 5 months after that to reach # 1 on the U.S. pop chart where it stayed for the entire month of June of 1980.

Here’s Lipps Inc. with their unexpected and untimely # 1 Disco smash – a year after Disco died. Welcome to “Funkytown”. Population – You !

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

It’s the start of another fun ‘Moldie-Oldie Music Weekend’ here on the big polyester and bell-bottoms blog. I kick it off with my fan-favourite ‘Disco Party’ on most Friday nights because that’s how I roll with it !

Flashback with me – won’t you ? – to the Fall of 1976. Back then I was a short and skinny 9-year-old in the 4TH grade. I walked to and from (public) school, as it was located right in the middle of my Lanham Maryland neighbourhood. After school and on the weekends I loved to play outside past the end of the street – into the woods – and down by the creek. That’s when I first discovered one of God’s Great Creations – mosquitoes. I was also in the Cub Scouts, as I, Christopher Day, promised to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people, and to obey the Law Of The Pack.

Life was much simpler then, and the world was a whole lot smaller for me back in 1976 – the year of our Bicentennial.

On the radio The Ritchie Family (all-female act, but none of them were actually related to each other) were hittin’ it big with a pop, soul, and disco smash titled “The Best Disco In Town”. It was a medley of disco hits from the era set to a fresh new beat. The group was created and run by the same French producer who also created The Village People. Let’s dance:

Saturday Night Retro

37 years ago at the end of 1972 I was a 5-year-old Kindergarten student at Magnolia Elementary School in Lanham Maryland.

Magnolia Elementary School, Lanham Maryland

The school was located about a mile away from my grandparents’ house. On most school half-days my Granddad would drop me off at school just after 12 noon and then pick me back up again 3 hours later. That was back in the days when you could attend any school that you wanted to no matter where you lived. I actually lived about 20 to 30 minutes away in Bowie Maryland. Later in the afternoon after getting off of work in NW Washington D.C. my Dad would pick me up from his parents’ house in this car:

Late in the afternoon as we drove southeastward from Lanham to Bowie along U.S. Route 50 (John Hanson Highway) we’d listen to WWDC AM-1260 as the TOP 40 hits were cranked out one after another. This was one of the top hits at the time at the end of 1972. It’s legendary British singer-songwriter Albert Hammond. He’s currently celebrating his 50TH anniversary in music, but back then he was enjoying a successful career as an International performance artist. Here’s “It Never Rains In Southern California” – his biggest hit as a singer ever – and one of the greatest pop radio tunes of my early childhood !

That’s ‘Saturday Night Retro’ for this week, and we’ll go back in time again – from the late-1990s – next Saturday night.

This concludes an awesome week of blogging. I’m taking Sundays and Mondays off from now on, so be sure to check back here on Tuesday night as we kick-off an all-new week of all of your favourite blog series. See ya then !

Saturday Night Retro

We’re kicking off Halloween here on the big blue blog as ‘Retro’ brings back two treats over the next two Saturday nights.

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Halloween was a fun event back in the day. I remember a bunch of them all around my Lanham Maryland neighbourhood from 1975 to 1980. Trick-or-treating in our favourite costumes was the in thing to do back then, as we cruised from door-to-door and from street-to-street up and down Red Wing Lane, Wren Lane, Wood Thrush Drive, and Nightingale Drive. I probably dressed up as Batman more than any other costume. Into the early-1980s I outgrew the whole dressing-up part of Halloween, but my little brother was just getting into it as a grade school student. I walked him all around our McLean Virginia neighbourhood and also into the adjoining Madison Of McLean and King’s Manor neighbourhoods in search of globs and globs of candy. 

Back in 1986 while I was living in the U.K. Bronx New York rapper (and former disco deejay) Kevin Smith – better known as his stage name – Lovebug Starski – scored an ENORMOUS radio and club chart smash with this amazing hard-hitting track. It’s “Amittyville (The House On The Hill)” y’all !

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

Flashback to the Spring of 1977. I’m 9-years-old – getting ready to turn 10-years-old, and I’m hangin’ out with my friends down by the creek at the bottom end of Red Wing Lane in Lanham Maryland. One side of the creek I ruled. I was in charge. The territory was known as ‘Chris Day Valley’, and it stretched for as far as my imagination would allow. On the other side of the creek my friends ruled, and their territory was known as ‘Wolf Pack State’. Our two territories neighboured each other, and we were friendly nations. See – even back then I was mastering geographic boundaries !

As I was compiling the paragraph above (and wandering around on the web) I believe that I may have discovered two friends of mine (simultaneously) from that neighbourhood and that time period. I’m gonna try to connect with both of them. I see their pictures (avatars) online, and they look very much as I remember them from over 30 years ago. One of them lived in the last house on the street right before the creek and the two ‘territories’. The other lived in a house just behind mine, and he was one of my first good buddy friends.

Playing on the radio back in the old neighbourhood up and down Red Wing Lane was a lot of Disco music. ABBA (from Sweden) weren’t really a Disco act, but they got with the times when they had to. The result was their only # 1 smash stateside and perhaps their most memorable anthem of the era. It’s “Dancing Queen” !  RE-LIVE !

The Major’s Friday Night Disco Party

During the Spring of 1979 I was in the 6TH grade at Magnolia Elementary School right in the middle of my Lanham Maryland neighbourhood.

Magnolia Elementary School, Lanham Maryland

Magnolia Elementary School, Lanham Maryland

The school day began at precisely 9:08 AM, and it ended at precisely 3:08 PM. Magnolia was my school for Kindergarten (1972-1973) and 3RD through 6TH grades (1975-1979). Those last 4 years at Magnolia were perhaps the happiest four years of all of my school years. It would just get miserable for me after that in Junior High and Senior High School (although I do remember occasional pockets of fun and good times during those advanced school years).

In 1979 I was a trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent Boy Scout:

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

It’s hard to believe that I’m 30 years removed from that part of my life. Some songs remind me of the bad times, but whenever I hear this song play it reminds me of some of those good times that I lived back then during my active preteen years.

Here’s Amii Stewart with her ‘pay all of the bills’ # 1 Platinum Disco SMASH !

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