Tonight, I’m sitting at my computer ripping CD’s. I haven’t listened to music in a long time. And I mean, just turn off the TV, throw some CD’s in the player and just groove, move, and dance. Most of the music I’ve heard for years now is on car radio, or on music awards shows. There are CD’s in my car, but I usually don’t play them unless I’m on a long trip. You know, I was born in the mid 1950’s, so I should be into music, right?
For some reason, music never really became a huge part of my daily life. My earliest memories of music is listening to my sister, who is six years older, play Beatles albums until the cows came home. But mostly I remember the Big Bands, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the like that my Mom and step father listened to. As a kid, I loved the Dean Martin TV show. And as a kid, I remember the annual banquets for 59th Naval Construction Battalion (Sea Bees), where there were real bands playing Big Band stuff in huge ballrooms. And we danced. Early on, I danced on the tops of men’s feet, but evolved into being able to dance with them to the glorious sounds of clarinets, violins, horns, flutes, and drums. I can’t tell you how much I love the sound of a clarinet, which must be why I chose the clarinet as my musical instrument in elementary school (do you remember when we actually rented instruments in school?). I also played the flute.
While growing up, I spent my time outdoors. When we lived in Maryland, I spent most of my time in the woods, in the community pool, or in the Chesapeake Bay. I spent hours picking crabs off the dock poles at the marina, building forts in the snow drifts, or fishing. When we moved to Florida, I was consumed with going to the beach – and actually swimming, or building sandcastles, not sitting on the beach with a radio. We explored the parks, and went camping and horseback riding. I don’t ever remember sitting around with my friends listening to the music of the day. It just never happened.
I enjoy all kinds of music – with the exception of Rap. I’m one of those people who loves music across all genres, but most likely could not tell you the artist or song title for most of them. If you played a song that I heard a thousand times, chances are I could not tell you who the artist is, and certainly not the title. I can identify very distinct artists like Harry Chapin, Sinatra, Bon Jovi, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson, Dean Martin, The Beatles, The Eagles, George Strait, or Sugarland, but couldn’t tell you the title of their songs.
Most of my music is in CD format and I’ve never owned an MP3 player, Apple or otherwise. I buy CD’s from time to time. I’ve purchased Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, and Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook – all three of ’em. I have Jimmy Buffet, Elvis, James Taylor, The Eagles, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Sugarland, Patsy Cline, Meat Loaf, Artie Shaw, and Beethoven. But I don’t have the Beatles.
You might be wondering why, tonight, I’m sitting here ripping CD’s. To make a long story short, I used to walk my beautiful cocker spaniel, Sophie, 1 1/2 miles twice a day when I lived in Florida. I wasn’t listening to music when I did it, I just did it. It was hotter than hell most of the year, but it became easy to do over time. We just got up in the morning and walked. And we walked again after I came home from work – before dinner. Sophie and I both looked forward to it every day. And I walked her after I moved to Northwest Arkansas – until the first winter hit. I’ve been here three years now, and pretty much stopped walking two years ago. Sophie and I have both become fat and lazy. In an effort to get us both back in shape, I have committed to start walking again. I’d much rather do it on a treadmill in a gym somewhere, but that’s not possible, and that wouldn’t help Sophie.
I talked to my sister-in-law yesterday, and she told me about how exercising while playing music or listening to an audible book makes it so much easier for her. Since I’m not yet into audible books, I thought I’d give music a try. So tonight, I Google’d “convert CD to MP3” and learned how to convert my CD’s to MP3 files that will play on my Windows Phone. It’s amazingly simple and fast to do. I actually thought it would be more time consuming than it is. Many of my CD’s have now been converted to MP3 files, saved on my computer hard drive, and easily transferred to my phone. So my phone is loaded with music, and I ordered a sports headset. The earbud type keeps falling out when I’m walking.
I hope that getting back in shape will be made a bit easier by listening to music I love, and reconnecting to the simple pleasure of walking my dog. She loves it. And we both need all the health benefits that will come. And, I think I’ll turn off the TV more, throw some CD’s in the player, and dance.
My favorite song at the moment is George Strait – I Just Want to Dance With You.