Musical Memories and Love

The Fab Four
The Fab Four

By Judy Berman

Your first crush? No need to ask: “What’s your name?” You do remember the time … and you remember it well. How the fragrance of his cologne lingered long after he’s gone.

Looking over the music of several decades, the songs I recall tell a story of puppy love, heartbreak, exuberance, questioning, self-examination, hopes, dreams and fond memories.

1. Puppy Love by Paul Anka (1960)

My first love was a shy guy from Colorado, a real gentleman. When I asked him to go with me to a Girl Scout ice-skating party, he didn’t tell me he didn’t know how to skate. He twisted his ankle when he was practicing on borrowed skates, but he went anyways. I was the envy of a lot of girls that night.

– Paul Anka’s inspiration for this popular song was Annette Funicello, whom he was dating at the time. Annette, one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club, died April 18th at the age of 70. I adored both Paul Anka and Annette Funicello.

2. Why Do Fools Fall in Love? by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (1956)

Ah! The dating years. I introduce my friend to my date, and he winds up dating her. So many cads, so little time.

– Frankie Lymon was only 13 when he wrote this song, but this is one question I’m sure many of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. (The song was in the movie “American Graffiti.”)

3. She Loves You by The Beatles ( 1963)

That magical, incomparable feeling. I was so ecstatic when I discovered my crush felt the same way about me.

4. How Deep Is Your Love? by The Bee Gees (1977).

It seemed so right at first. Then, unsure of where we were heading, I began to question if our love would last for the long haul.

– This song was used as part of the soundtrack to the film, “Saturday Night Fever”

5. What Have I Done to Deserve This? by The Pet Shop Boys (1987) – featuring Dusty Springfield

Now the angst begins. Where did I go wrong? We planned a future together, then it was over. I briefly wallowed in self-pity before I picked myself up, brushed myself off and moved on.

6. Where Did Our Love Go? by The Supremes (1964)

So what happened? It seems our love was over before it even began.

7. Do You Want to Dance? by Bette Midler (1972)

Let’s face it, Bette is talking about much more than a stroll across the dance floor. Her message: you’re back … and you’ll be fine. I was and I am.

8. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by The Shirelles (1960)

This is question that goes beyond whether what happened was a one-night stand. It’s one you’ll ask throughout life. We all seek reassurances from those we love whether it’s our parents, spouses, children or those we admire.

–  Some radio stations had banned this record when it first came out because they felt the lyrics were too sexually charged, according to wikipedia.

9. Remember the Time? by Michael Jackson (1992)

The lyrics recall a youthful love affair, a sweet look back at happier times, of the one you wish had not gotten away. Or, better yet, it’s a bit of nostalgia that you savor and share with the one you love.

These are just a few of my favorite tunes. What songs would be on your playlist?

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or
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Photo: The Beatles – as they arrive in New York City in 1964.

  1. I adore songs from the 50’s and 60’s, introduced to me by my older brother who was enjoying the revival of that music in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Your selection here were very interesting, especially Paul Anka’s Puppy Love, long before sweet little Donny Osmond nearly destroyed it’s reputation! That original version is so much better! 🙂

    I still listen to loads of old hits today. Being a late 60’s baby, my own memories of pop music were of the 70’s and 80’s – don’t worry I won’t be giving you a list here! 🙂 But two stand out in my mind because they were the first time I acknowledged a song as something I liked instead of another person telling me about it. Baccara ‘Yes Sir I can Boogie’ I saw that at a holiday camp being sung by a group of lovely ladies singing their hearts out, doing their best to copy the song. I thought it was them! I still love it today, and it makes me feel 9 years old all over again! And the second one is Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’ and I feel quite pleased with myself that my 11 year old mind was attracted to the song long before I ever saw the lovely Debbie Harry sing it. I was never attracted to singers or bands by their looks. The music better be good, and if they looked gorgeous that was just a bonus!! 😆

    1. Paul Anka wrote and sang many excellent tunes. Donny Osmond is an excellent performer, but I prefer the original.

      I hadn’t heard of Baccara before today which is odd because Wikipedia says they sold 16-million copies of “Yes Sir, I can Boogie” in 1977. It’s very upbeat and bouncy.

      Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” (1978) is an excellent, rockin’ tune. It’s unfortunate that some artists feel they have to resort to gimmicks to garner attention. Debbie Harry’s talent spoke for itself. Thanks suzywordmuser for dipping into your way back machine and coming up with these great tunes.

  2. Judy… This is a fantastic selection of artists, styles and music that, for an old curmudgeon like me who grew up in 50s, 60s, 70s, is a great read and fun to listen to while I read it. The memories are there; always will be. Music like this keeps my memories of those wonderful days fresh and in tact. What’s on my favorite play list ? Here’s a link to an article I wrote, which I believe you’ve already seen, “A MUSICAL EARTHQUAKE WITH AFTERSHOCKS CHERISHED AROUND THE WORLD…” that has a sampling of 6 songs, by various artist, that I would say is a good example of what I favor….
    Thank you for putting this together. This made my day!

    1. I love your musical tributes, Rich, and I do indeed remember that post. Your suggestion to play the music as you read was a great one and certainly enhanced my reading/listening pleasure. You had many great tunes.

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed this. As I put this post together, it was like a trip down memory lane.

  3. Great post Judy. Amazing how our memories are inexorably linked to music isn’t it? You have listed some of my favourites! We had such a lovely collection of LP’s that we gave away when we moved here! Regret that dumb decision now 😦

    1. The only music I’ve given away was on 8-track tapes. That was a long time ago. The rest – I still have on LP, cassette and CD. I’m glad you like these tunes, Madhu. It’s nice to revisit different times in my life thru music.

  4. Oh, Judy, this was much more than just a humming stroll down memory lane. I was singing (really loud) along with the songs (everyone else was gone on errands, and I was alone…)
    Great post! Thanks for the memories!

    1. Thank you for your comments, Teecee. I visited your blog and enjoy your positive perspective on life. For me, adding the music to this post was a fun way to put my experiences into perspective. 🙂

  5. I can listen to this music all day. I have so many memories that erupt when I listen to certain songs. Music truly soothes the soul.

  6. Each song inspires us to love and remember the many past loves that made our hearts beat like crazy. And who can forget our first loves that sent us to cloud 9 or jump over the moon. Love songs sets the mood and create a window for us to feel passion once again. Thanks.

    1. Music and love … what wonderful connections. I especially feel that pull when I watch movies like “American Graffiti” or “Saturday Night Fever.” They make me feel like dancing … and singing. Thanks for your comments.

  7. NPR recently ran an interview from a few years ago with Annette Funicello in which she talked about sitting with Paul Anka when they were young. In their conversation he mentioned puppy love. Then he said, “that would be a great song title.” He ran off and wrote the song. Just a fun little tidbit related to your post.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. They made a cute couple. How sweet that must have been for her to know that she was the inspiration for his song. I do remember belting out that tune. 🙂

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