David Burrow has always enjoyed popular music. In his early childhood he listened to folk groups like Peter, Paul, & Mary and Simon & Garfunkel, as well as hard rock bands like Jefferson Airplane/Starship, the Grateful Dead, and Grand Funk.
Much of his childhood was accompanied by the bubblegum beat of bands like the Bay City Rollers, ABBA, and Paper Lace. Some of his fondest childhood memories are of listening to songs like "Beach Baby", "Seasons in the Sun", and "Billy, Don't Be a Hero" on WLS-AM radio while swimming at the Mount Pleasant pool or on New Year's Eve during the annual 'Top 89 Countdown'. A few years ago he visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he was amused to see a display saluting DJ John Records Landecker ("'Records' really is my middle name."), the king of Chicago radio in the '70s.
As he grew older, Mr. Burrow's tastes modified a bit. His favorite musical artists were among the top musicians of the '70s and '80s, and many of them remain highly popular today. They include female soloists like Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton; male vocalists like Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, John Denver, and Meatloaf; and groups like Queen, Heart, Blondie, REO Speedwagon, Styx (who he remembers as a group of Chicago kids who played a dance in his hometown when he was in elementary school), and the Eagles. While he is slightly embarrassed that many of these are now found on 'oldies' stations, they remain his favorites even today.
Like many adults, he has become less familiar with popular music as he has become older. In this era of personal listening devices and vastly fragmented media, there is no single type of popular music. He can appreciate many modern sounds, but like many people his age the bulk of his favorites tend toward country.
Mr. Burrow's tastes extend beyond popular music. He has long liked traditional hymns and other religious music. This probably goes back to overhearing his parents listening to scratchy old George Beverly Shea records in the '60s and 70s. He also enjoys the songs of Broadway musicals. For the most part, though, he doesn't care much for classical music.
It was only in the late '90s that Mr. Burrow joined the "modern" age and acquired a compact disc player and only in 2013 that he got a personal .mp3 player. He still sees no significant difference in the quality of digital sound over other music formats. Between growing up with AM radio and living with a partial hearing loss, the digital "perfection" of CD and .mp3 sound escapes him. Unfortunately digital downloads have become virtually the only option for buying music today. While he no longer listens to music that way, Mr. Burrow still fondly remembers the vinyl LP, complete with poster-sized graphics and legible album notes.
Mr. Burrow has also never been a fan of headphones, which he finds uncomfortable and annoying. This is the main reason he was so late in acquiring an .mp3 player. He likes using his computer for music, though (playing through standard speakers), and he also listens to music on his Kindle. His digital library is mostly legal downloads or music he has converted from his own legal copies in other formats.
David Burrow listening to his Uncle Dale play guitar
Links to other sites on the Web
NEXT (The Printed Word)
The Virtual Jukebox
WLS in the '70s -- (WLS Time Capsule)
Peter, Paul, & Mary
Bay City Rollers
The Cyber Hymnal
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