Thursday, December 29, 2011

‘Cruisin’ the ‘60’s by Jerry W. Henry

I graduated from Tuscaloosa County High School in the class of 1964. Those high school years were filled with weekends of ‘cruisin’ or going from one drive-in restaurant to another. My generation was captured in the movie, American Graffiti, which spawned the TV series, Happy Days.
My friend, James Moore, who we called John Henry, had the baddest car in Tuscaloosa. It was a black 1936 Ford 3 window coupe. The ‘60’s was the peak years for customized cars and hot rods. We would go cruisin’ and that always included music. We knew every word to every song that came out of that radio.
Those were the days of DJ’s and one hit wonders. It was music you could sing along with. Music you could dance to. Music where love songs were really love songs. The Beatles came along about the time we graduated. Yes, those were great music years.
After graduation, the real world came into play. It was the Viet Nam era and most of us knew that military time had arrived. I was in the Air Force from 1964 until 1968. Those are what I call my “lost years” as far as music is concerned. We got some current radio when we were overseas. Needless to say we heard the protest songs off base and certainly not on armed forces radio.
After my time in military service, I became a protester too. I had developed some bad habits while in the service and I embraced the hippie movement. Then came my years of Mexican pot and Boones Farm. I do remember some things about some of those last years of the ’60.’ Music was changing and so were we.
Stay tuned for out trip through the ‘70’s.

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