Monday, January 20, 2014

Harry Chapin "Cat's In The Cradle"

With "Cat's In The Cradle," either you tear up a bit at the story, or you find it to be a huge pile of schmatlz.

For me, it's neither.

Instead it brings back a bit of warm nostalgia for 70s Pop culture. 

No, "Cat's In The Cradle" makes me fondly recall the days of K-Tel Records.

For those of you too young to remember, TV in the 1970s (especially those UHF channels) had an endless parade of commercials for K-Tel and their "20 Original Hits!  20 Original Stars!" slogan.

In the 90s and 2000s, the "That's What I Call Music" compilations did the same kind of thing---collect the big hits of that year on one album.

But it was the commercials of the 70s that grabbed you, by stringing together the hooks of a dozen-plus earworms.

Dad must've got sucked in by one of these spots (or, he just couldn't wait a full week until the next episode to hear the theme songs of "The Rockford Files"), because we had the 1975 compilation called "Music Express."

I knew "Cat's In The Cradle" from the radio, but it was on Dad's LP that I was able to listen through again and again to suss out the sorry tale of parental karma.

Looking back at the track list (which you can see here), I must've only listened to Side One, because I can still sing all those songs by heart, while I have been unable to even hum a bit of the melody of most tracks on Side Two.**

I can say with certainty that my love of both the album (which was really my first exposure to the idea of a mixed tape) and the commercials (which was an early introduction to the power of editing) predicted the career I'd end up in, where I have spent a life creating playlists and crafting music beds, for broadcast and commercials, and for fun.

**The exception of course, is "The Rockford Files" theme, which I still know.  One of the highlights of childhood, was being allowed to stay up an extra 5 minutes past bedtime, so that I could sit with Dad and watch the opening credits to "The Rockford Files" which contained a different "Answering Machine" gag every week.  Dad would roar.  I'd laugh too, though I'm sure the humor sailed over my head 90% of the time.

Hear the song on Youtube.

See some vintage K-Tel commercials on Youtube.

Hear "The Rockford Files" intro on Youtube.

Hear a whole bunch of answering machine messages on Youtube.

Hear ALL the songs on the "Music Express" album on Youtube.

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