Music Association is an ongoing series of conversations with friends and family about specific artists/albums/songs and the strong memories attached to them.
PRCB: So what song/album are we going to talk about?
AMANDA: We’re actually going to talk about a YouTube playlist.
PRCB: Alright, a YouTube playlist! That’s hilarious because I was like oh yeah this series will be about albums or songs and I had no intention of ever talking about a YouTube playlist. But first one let’s do this. What’s the playlist?
AMANDA: It’s actually an oldies country YouTube playlist that my dad — I don’t think he compiled it I think he just found it. He used to google specific artists and specific songs and I think he found somebody who, like him, loved classic oldies country and had compiled a playlist of their favorites that was like an hour or so long.
PRCB: That’s amazing! I can barely imagine either of my parents doing that now let alone whenever this was.
AMANDA: This was like -- I don’t know how old am I now? -- about ten to fifteen years ago.
PRCB: So early part of high school?
AMANDA: Yeah, early part of high school. That’s when we had just moved into the house that my parents live in now. It had a downstairs office and my dad would sit on the computer and play spider solitaire and listen to his youtube playlist. Nowadays it’s sudoku on the computer.
PRCB: Oh, he’s upgraded.
AMANDA: He has.
PRCB: So for you, what’s the specific memory attached to this playlist?
AMANDA: I would do my homework or hangout in the downstairs area and I would hear the familiar melodies of what we used to listen to when we went on road trips to visit my grandma or just, you know, him doing yard work he would turn on our big boombox in the garage and blast some old country music.
Specifically, I would be doing homework or just hanging out and he would call me into the room and say “Amanda listen to this song!”. So I’d stop whatever I’m doing and go listen to it. Nine times out of ten it would be this terribly tragic song that made me cry. It got to the point where I would be like “no dad I don’t want to be sad right now” and he’d be like “no no no I promise you its a really cool song, it’s a happy song”. I’d go in there and inevitably it would be something like Teddy Bear, which is this really sad song about this little boy whose dad was a truck driver and he would go on his dad’s old radio and just chat to the truckers cause he was lonely. One time he was chatting with the truckers and he said he missed his dad and that’s when you find out his dad died. So all the truckers came up and lined his street and gave him a ride. You also find out [the little boy] is in a wheelchair. My dad was like “it’s really sweet!” and I’m like “but his dad is dead and he’s in a wheelchair!”
PRCB: Yeah, that’s gonna make me cry just hearing the description of the song. I always tell people that I think I like old country and not new country but I’d probably rather listen to She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy than that song because at least I’m not gonna cry.
AMANDA: One of the great things about old country is that they do tell stories. But a lot of those stories are sad. And my dad would always find those ones.
PRCB: So do you still listen to those songs?
AMANDA: I do. I don’t have a youtube playlist unfortunately. But I do have a Spotify playlist of old country and I have some cds and cassette tapes cause those are making a comeback…in this Flippo household.
PRCB: What are your top five songs from that youtube playlist? Or the top five most memorable ones that you most strongly associate with that time?
AMANDA: Teddy Bear obviously.
Um, I Cross My Heart by George Strait, which was actually my daddy daughter dance from our wedding.
Harper Valley PTA.
It’ll Grow Back.
And, um, I’m gonna go with He Stopped Loving Her Today.
PRCB: Okay so four definitely and that fifth one was like "I think this one".
AMANDA: Right, cause there was a lot of them so I was like, what do I remember hearing most?
PRCB: So I can definitely say that I have known that you have an association between country music and your dad, which I find adorable.
AMANDA: Yeeeaaahhh, we’re pretty cute.
PRCB: Anything else you want to add? Any thoughts/interesting things that come to mind?
AMANDA: Just that I know that his inundation of country music really affected my choice of music when I could choose because those old country songs do have really great storytelling. For me to like a song I want it to have story. Pop songs really annoy me because it’s just the same thing over and over again and I’m more likely to like a song or an artist if they’re good at storytelling. So I think that’s interesting, like, I don’t know if I would feel the same way if I hadn’t been exposed to country music not only when I wanted to be exposed to country music but to just have it fly around the house while I was busy doing other things.
PRCB: Anything else?
AMANDA: We have a cute baby.
And I love him.
And I hope that I can expose him to all the annoying country music and call him over and make him cry with songs.
PRCB: I think we’ll be doing things right if we teach our son to be able to cry at songs.
AMANDA: I agree!