Soundtrack of my Life: 1981

This is my fifth entry in a “soundtrack of my life” project — one song that is representative of each year of my life since about 1977, when I was five years old and was approximately the time when I have specific memories of music.

1981: “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbit

Oh, man, we listened to this tape constantly. It was always going in the car or in the house; if it were possible to wear out an 8-Track (and I’m not sure it is, given how many of them are still in my parents’ basement), this would’ve been the likely candidate from dad’s collection of tapes. Even today, it’s a catchy song that just pleads for you to sing along with it, and as a nice bonus the song is basically 95% repeating the line “I love a rainy night.”

This song is also notable on this list because, as I cheat and look ahead on my master list, it’s the last entry that can be attributed to “we listened to the music my parents listened to.” I turned nine years old in 1981, and by this time was getting to the point that I was discovering music on my own. None of it really has stuck around to today; I tend to not be a person who latches on to music from a certain era and then listens to that music forever. I like finding new things, and as I do the old things just invariably get relegated to the archives.

Songs like “I Love a Rainy Night” or “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” by Barbara Mandrell from 1978 or songs by Janie Fricke or Crystal Gail or Tom T. Hall or Charlie Pride were a significant part of my childhood, but they don’t bare any reflection on the kinds of music I’m listening to now. But they served their purpose of introducing me to music, getting me to enjoy it, and leading me to discover the things that are an important part of my everyday life today.

The Soundtrack of My Life

1977: “Yesterday When I Was Young,” by Roy Clark
1978: “Main Title” by John Williams (“Star Wars” theme)
1979: “The Gambler,” by Kenny Rogers
1980: “The Imperial March,” by John Williams
1981: “I Love a Rainy Night,” by Eddie Rabbit

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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