Three or four at a time fit in the glovebox of our Ford LTD, Country Squire Station Wagon. You know, the car with the wood paneling down the sides and the facing each other rear seats! It was the perfect vehicle for our family, roomy enough to tote friends and tennis equipment around & came complete with an 8-track player!
I remember the windows rolled down and the music cranked up on almost every car ride … it was the 1970’s, a decade of good music and groovy times. There were many trips to Circles Records, the “it” place to purchase the newly released albums. I would ride my bike with the yellow banana seat and tall flag off the back to the music store at the mall (the open air Scottsdale Fashion Square) on weekends. I spent hours looking through the records and tracks & when an artist that I loved came out with a new release I would be first in line. The 8-tracks were just so cool & fun to collect. We had a pretty impressive collection but couldn’t bring the entire lot with us in the car, especially on hot summer days, so we took turns picking out which artists came with us on our drives.
I recall the tapes I went back to time and again: Olivia Newton-John‘s Greatest Hits, Simple Dreams by Linda Ronstadt and John Denver’s Greatest Hits. I can still see the cover of each one of those 8-tracks…played them so many times the label covers began to peel off. You couldn’t rewind or fast forward so if there was a song you wished to play over & over you had to be patient and listen all the way through before your favorite would appear again. I remember often sitting in the car on warm summer evenings, in our dusty desert driveway, waiting for the track to get back to my favorite song… bare feet relaxing on the dashboard, passenger seat reclined…most likely wearing my white Ditto shorts and my favorite faded Gap t-shirt!
One song was and still is my absolute favorite: “Blue Bayou” by Linda Ronstadt. Her voice like velvet, always taking me away to a peaceful place, a place of relaxation and dreams come true. I must have listened to that song thousands of times in that Ford Station Wagon. I got lost in the lyrics, belting it right out loud along with my fellow Arizona girl! My favorite songs now live on a playlist but oh, how I would love to see the 8-track make a comeback …the feel of the tape in my hand and that sound of the click into the player…waiting for my favorite song to take me to that beautiful, Blue Bayou.
Blessings to Linda as she continues the good fight with the illness that has taken her incredibly beautiful singing voice …she has truly blessed us over the years with her gift! And now, she continues to give us all a gift by the courage she sings! ”In my mind — in my imagination — I can still sing.” ~ Linda Ronstadt