Schneid Remarks

Jay Schneider, LifeEnterprise

I have been a huge music enthusiast ever since I got that first transistor radio when I was six or seven years old.
As I got older, my music boxes continued to get bigger and louder. The transistor just didn’t cut it. So I got another radio, which had not only a large speaker in it, but you could also play cassette tapes in it.
I remember sitting up late at night and tuning in radio stations on the AM portion of the radio. I could tune in stations from Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver, Pittsburgh, and one I loved from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I listened to their college basketball games every winter and ironically I was recruited to play basketball there. As the sun started to rise, the stations quickly faded off. I loved WLS out of Chicago and numerous times I could hear them until I had to get up for school.
The new cassette tape radio was one of the greatest things for a country boy. The only problem I found was if I was going to tape one of my favorite songs, I had to be aware of when that song may be played. Many of my favorite taped songs missed the first verse or two while I was scurrying to get my tape into the radio and push the record button.
Of course before the cassette tape craze there were these things called 8-track tapes. To this day I can sing any Neil Diamond song since my mom had not only one, but two Neil Diamond 8-tracks, which we listened to every time we went for a drive.
I never did purchase any sort of device which played 8-tracks but you certainly seem to see a few of them at garage sales.
When I was old enough to drive the first thing I did was head to the stereo shop and drop a few hundred dollars on an Alpine stereo, booster, and new speakers. The stereo was probably worth more than my car, but I needed that music.
Now that I had the stereo, I needed to make sure I had the right music to play in my cassette deck. During the 1980s they came out with these things called music singles. They were a cassette with one hit song from an artist and a second song which was not a hit. This was done so you could get that favorite song without having to buy the entire cassette of music you just didn’t care for.
Of course I still purchased full cassettes of AC-DC, Bobby Brown, Chicago, Loverboy, Def Leppard, The Village People, Commodores, The Oak Ridge Boys, Earth Wind and Fire, and The Scorpions. How is that for a list of different types of music?
There was a slight problem with purchasing these single cassettes…where do you store them? I got the largest cassette carrying case I could find. I think it held 75 cassettes, but it took up so much space I needed to put it in the trunk. Not a great way to enjoy your music when you had to pull over all the time.
So of course, dozens of the cassettes were left inside the car, making a huge mess. It didn’t take long before one was stepped on or lost but for $2.99 or $3.99 it was worth it.
Next up the CD. As I sit in my office writing this column I am listening to my JVC CD Portable System, which I purchased from Dayton’s in 1988. Not sure why I purchased this from Dayton’s but I think it was on clearance. Everything still works on it except I am unable to read the digital channels. So I have a couple channels saved and that is what I go with. The CD portion of the “boom box” still works great.
Music has certainly changed in 40 years.
Speaking of that, I was walking back to my office last week and I heard music coming from the One Little Shirt Shop building. I knew what it was immediately and thought I would help myself to a free concert. The Blue Ringers were having a practice session and boy was that cool!
I have always been intrigued as to how music is made. Watching these guys with their guitars, fiddle, and drums making music was pretty cool. I think I have a pretty good ear for music but these band members take extra care in making sure their music is spot on. I couldn’t tell the difference between this note and that note, but they certainly could. It was an experience watching them correct what I thought sounded great. I guess that is what it takes to make great music.
The Blue Ringers have been around for many, many years and their popularity has never wavered. What a great group with a nice diversity of music. Thanks for allowing me to be a “groupie” for a night.



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