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CHS 69 Soundtrack

Many of us associate songs with our high school years. And some of us have very distinct memories. Hear a song, and we remember an experience at Columbus High, a school dance, a class, a teacher or classmate . . . or maybe a girlfriend or boyfriend. We'd like to collect the songs that take us back to CHS and the memories that go with them. If the stories are good (and by that we mean distinctive and detailed), we'll include the song in our CHS 69 Soundtrack and include the memory below.

So how do you contribute a song and its memory? By filling out this survey. Again, the more distinctive and detailed the memory, the more likely it is to make the Soundtrack. Weyman (Wayne) Johnson and Jan White Morris will be the judges. Weyman, you may remember, was drum major for the Blue Devils Band. He also owns the Spotify account that supplies our Soundtrack. And Jan was a well-known singer of songs in her car during her CHS days. More important, she knows how to update the website.

We've started out with some songs suggested by Jan Morris and Otis White. Otis has offered some of the memories behind his songs. As your stories come in, we'll replace these songs with yours. So think about the songs you associate with Columbus High . . . and tell us the stories behind them.

 

How to hear the Soundtrack

1. Click the panel at the top with the “start” button; it looks kind of like this >. It will play a 30-second selection of the first song. To hear the next song, click the small icon at the end of the green line. It looks kind of like this >I.
2. You can download a free version of Spotify. It will require that you hear commercials from time to time, but it will play the entire song and makes it much easier to navigate among the songs. You can download the free Spotify app at www.spotify.com.
3. You can sign up for the premium version of Spotify, which gives you commercial-free access but costs $9.99 a month. You can find this paid version at www.spotify.com.

 

 

The Tracks That Take You Back

Song   Story

"I'm Hooked on a Feeling",  B.J. Thomas

Jonnie Lazzara I remember so vividly many times Terri Wright (Lightmas) and I just hanging around together. Very often with Marvin. He had this humongous crush Terri. Like any sensible young fella would, of course. He played this song over and over and over. We were out riding around one night and I made Marvin stop the car so I could get out and just walk around the parking lot while he played and sang along to this song along. For Terri. He was so in love. Poor guy had so much competition though, especially our special Bill. 
"Bad Moon Rising", Credence Clearwater Revival Jonnie Lazzara Written by John Fogerty.
I simply cannot choose between  two of these songs.
These songs, Carole McGee, and lots of our other classmates sent me to Woodstock. Not sure I can name other names. Or can I Hil? After MLK, Jr's assassination I had become a kind of secret political activist trying to balance school and after school work. It was the music of our time I truly believed helped us forge a better world. I came out of that hidey-hole because the music, my friends from CHS, and the people I met up with at Woodstock set me on a path for the rest of my life. I am quite sure this happened to many people
"Time Has Come Today", Chambers Brothers Chambers Brothers See above
"I Wish It Would Rain", The Temptations Jonnie Lazzara We don't talk a lot about the effect our teachers had on our lives enough I suppose. Believe it or not, Ms. Goss helped me appreciate poetry through this song. I was having a really hard time in Honors English. To boot, Ann Ramage kept getting the best grades in the class and it was killing me. I had to keep that 100% average to make sure I got the scholarship to attend UGA the next fall. Long story short, Ms. Goss, bless her heart, knew I had a hard home life and was also really struggling with the class. She took me on a tour of the lyrics to this song and taught me how to listen to the poetry in music. I will never forget her. And sure enough, Locust Grove is pretty much part of Atlanta now. 
 
"Say it Loud", James Brown Weyman Johnson  Our senior year, we're seated on a bus as the band heads back to school after a football game, Price Walker across the aisle from me. Two underclasswomen, African Americans, call out to Price, that his younger brother, Willie (RIP) can Say It Loud, presumably because of Willie's football exploits that night.  "Can you, Price?", they call.  Musicians, especially in high school, don't relish comparisons with football players. But Price just smiled good naturedly. They weren't taunting. Rather it was affectionate teasing. They, and the rest of us listening, knew Price could Say It Loud--then, later, and now. 
 
"I've Been Hurt", the Tams Steve Lanier The Tams played at the DST Senior Dance in May, 1969. A lot of effort and fundraising took place to make this dance a special event for the Class of 69 Greeks and their dates. 
"Baby, Now that I've Found You" Bubba Head This reminds me of a glorious underclasswoman, whom I adored
"Hair", The Cowsills Bubba Head Same glorious underclasswoman...
"A Groovy Kind of Love" John Drew For my British girlfriend Jennifer Davies and me, the version by nearby Manchester band Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders was entrancing, and we first danced to it at the Wilmslow, Cheshire Congregational Church teen club. "Wouldn't you agree, baby, you and me got a groovy kind of love?" 
"Wouldn't It Be Nice?" John Drew

Continuing with my tale of life in the North of England in 1965 and 1966, another of the songs that spoke to Jennifer and me was "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys. While the album "Pet Sounds" received tepid response in the U.S. where Capital Records was concerned that it didn't fit their under-three-minute hit format, the parent company, BMI in England, loved Brian Wilson's departure from "surf sounds," and the single skyrocketed in the British Isles.

Jen and I would listen late night to the latest rock & roll on Radio Luxembourg and the pirate radio station Radio Caroline North in the nearby Irish Sea and, when "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys came out, its lyrics articulated our feelings.

When a Man Loves a Woman Brad Hendricks Any teenaged guy who had his heart broken did his best soul singing in the car listening to Percy Sledge. If you never sang along with every ounce of energy you had, you may have never had your heart broken. Also, the song was every guy's ally in the back seat of a car at the Edgewood Drive In. 
Slip Away Brad Hendricks

Girls loved it, and loved to slow dance to it. Further, I sayeth not. 

Ticket to Ride John Drew

Early in 1965, my father's career took us to the North of England, and my parents and I relocated to Wilmslow, Cheshire for almost two years. So, I spent much of the eighth grade and my entire freshman year in a British school.  I was suddenly immersed in the British arts school revolution whence sprang the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and so many other English bands. Liverpool was forty miles away, Gene Clark of The Hollies lived within walking distance of our flat, and in our town of 20,000 people, there were three teen nightclubs of which I was a member.
And I was in love for the first time with Jennifer Davies, an entrancing, lithesome blonde who lived in the next town to the north, ten minutes away by train. Jennifer and I spent almost every Friday and Saturday night dancing in the town's teen night clubs or at The Manor Lounge, the sister club of Liverpool's legendary Cavern.
The number one song on the British charts that year was Ticket to Ride by the Beatles. 

"Sunshine of Your Love" Weyman Johnson Murphy Jenkins, RIP, always had something fun to talk about to relieve the boredom of school. Because of the alphabet, Murphy and I were seated together in a hopeless class setting regularly from the 8th grade through graduation from CHS. In some otherwise unmemorable class in our senior year, Murphy (incidentally also a great free-throw shooter) regaled me with his testimony--as he pounded the rhythm on his desk-- about Sunshine of Your Love and the artistry of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. 'This song is a turning point in rock', he said. I did not believe him then. But now I do. 
"A Change is Gonna Come" Weyman Johnson

It was the morning after MLK Jr.'s assassination. For some reason the CHS band was assembled outside, in Weracoba Park. A friend--white like me but a much better musician--was talking about the murder, MLK, and the news coverage. 'Eric Sevareid last night compared him to Jesus. That's going a little far. But he was amazing, and this is bad, real bad.'

I tried to change the subject. He told me I should find Sam Cooke's 'A Change is Gonna Come.' He told me it was the flip side of 'Shake.' 'But this is the best song. Find it. And don't believe all you hear about Sam Cooke.' 

"Green River" Dana Ingram I put a Ranger 8 track tape player in my 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 under the dashboard and two speakers out of a Lincoln Continental in the back shelf under the window. I must have played that CCR tape a billion times. Had to keep buying the same one because I would wear it out. Anyone remember tapes coming out of the container and putting a pencil in the roller to get it back in? CCR is still tIhe most played group on my stereo at home and in the car. My car stereo is much better these days. 
"Be Young, Be Foolish, & Be Happy" Dana Ingram

 I remember hearing this song being sung by Joe Pope of the Tams on the roof of the Ralston Hotel. If I am correct the Tams played up there at least twice during 1968 and 1969. Many years later while living in North Myrtle Beach I bought Mr. Pope a drink during a break and told him about seeing them play at the Ralston. During the next set he invited me up on stage and we sang BY, BF, BH and I've Been Hurt. I can't sing a bit. I think they turned my mike off. Still love the Tams today. 

"My Girl" Dana Ingram This song came out in 1964 but was still being played on the radio and at every dance there was. Carol Roberts and I went to a party at the Columbus Country Club ( I believe this was while attending Richards Jr. High) and a band made up of CHS stiudents played My Girl. This was the first time I had ever danced with a girl and it was a SLOW dance. I was scared and in heaven at the same time. Even today you can't dance to a better song than My Girl with the love of your life. 
"Midnight Confessions" Otis White As far as I could tell, Jimmy Lovell hated every song on the radio . . . with one exception. This song. (He even hated "Hey Jude." Who hated "Hey Jude"?) Every time I hear this song, I think of Jimmy.
"People Are Strange" Otis White I took my Doors albums to a girlfriend's house, where I played them to the obvious distress of her parents. Hey, I thought I was being considerate. The other option was my Janis Joplin albums.
"(Sittin' On)The Dock of the Bay Otis White I remember hearing about Otis Redding's death when we were juniors. It was devastating news. A few months later, this song came out, and if you hadn't understood Otis Redding's genius before, you knew it then.
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Otis White This song was much discussed under the Smoking Tree, which was behind the gym. Consensus of the smokers: This song was about drugs. No doubt about it.
"Soul Man" Otis White Byron Richardson asked me once who my favorite group was. I think I said the Beatles. He said his favorite was Sam & Dave. I didn't think so at the time, but I'm convinced now that Byron was on to something. Sam & Dave were great. And their music still is.