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Driving to the Music: Padre Steve’s Traveling Music Part One

I’m back in North Carolina after a quick trip home and despite a number of things that I want to write about just feel like I want to chill out tonight.  I have been doing some reading of late, I finished a couple of books recently on religion and public life and I am continuing to read Eric Hoffer’s classic primer on the psychology of mass movements The True Believer and re-reading the first volume of Richard Evans trilogy on Nazi Germany The Coming of the Third Reich.  I have also started a book that I picked up a few years back Roger Knight’s tome on the life of Admiral Horatio Nelson The Pursuit of Victory. But enough about reading this article is about music, the kind of music that I like.

Sometimes it is good just to chill out. I haven’t spent much time online this weekend and with the exceptions of checking the headlines I haven’t done much looking at the news the past couple of days.

Since driving throughEastern North Carolinahas become a big part of my life over the past year and one of the few benefits to driving is listening to the music that I enjoyed in high school and college.  This is in large part due to dearth of interesting radio programming that exists in this part of the state. This article will be the fist of several dealing with some of my favorite songs and since I do a lot of driving between Virginia Beach and Camp LeJeune figured why not do a couple of articles about some of my favorite road music.

Sports radio, which is my default setting since I gave up AM Talk Radio afterIraqis in short supply. My local Virginia Beach ESPN Radio 94.1 only reaches toElizabethCityand the local ESPN AM stations in the Jacksonville-New Bern area are very limited in coverage being low power stations.  I like NPR but there are wide gaps in coverage in this area and the weekend line up is not the most exciting and sometimes by my standards pretty lame.  There are a plethora of low power “Christian” or “Gospel” stations as well as Country and Western stations along the route but I am not a big C&W fan and am definitely not a fan of what passes for music or preaching on the religious stations.  There is one pretty good “Oldies” station, FM 107.9 WNCT inGreenvillethat has a nice selection and good coverage area but there I times that I want to be in control of my music.  When I do get a new car when this tour is over and I don’t have to have to pay for two places to live I will get some kind of satellite radio system but for now I’ll make due with my collection of CDs especially the ones that I had made with collections of my favorite music. I know that I am dating myself with CDs but maybe I will eventually move all my music to the digital side of the house on my I-Phone someday but I’m too lazy and don’t want to spend the money until I have to actually do it, I think I remember doing the same with LPs, 45s and cassette tapes.

The music that I like was what was on the radio back when I rode the bus to junior high and high school and when I got my first car during my senior year of high school.  I remember listening to the late “Doctor” Donald D Rose who had the morning show on KFRC San Francisco during the 1970s as well as the local Stockton AM station KJOY both of which were AM Top 40 stations.  In college I would listen to Kasey Kasem’s American Top 40 on Saturday and Sunday mornings when making dough and doing food prep at Shakey’s Pizza.

Since I am a now a relic by the standards of young people having come of age in the 1970s and early 1980s my music taste reflects my era.  Now I do like other music but my favorite is the music that I grew up with so here are a few links to music videos of some of my favorite groups and artists who still manage to keep me alert and focused behind the wheel as I travel the highways and byways ofEastern North Carolina.

I always like the Eagles and for driving music one must start with Take it Easy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL683aq49_M which is a great driving song and relaxing at the same time as I start my trip on I-264 inVirginia Beach.

Of course driving in Hampton Roads is no picnic and Kenny Loggins Danger Zone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwL5xmhJejQ from the classic Naval Aviation movie Top Gun is a perfect song for traveling on our roads.

Olivia Newton’s John Magic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7WPwH8Rd6g is a bit of a change of pace when I get snarled in traffic in Chesapeake or when I hit the Downtown tunnel in Norfolk depending on the route that I try to use to get out of the Hampton Roads metro area.

Judy says that I never tire of Abba; indeed I think I have almost every song and album that the Swedish super group ever recorded.  I find that a lot of Abba songs are great road music and that Waterloo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj_9CiNkkn4 the hit that launched them to stardom in 1972 has a nice feel at 70 mph on the US 17 bypass around Washington NC.    


Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcjzHMhBtf0 is one that I like as I begin to pick up the pace on either US 17 or US 13 once I break free into the open country.

I always loved the big voice of the late Laura Branigan who died far too young of a brain aneurism in 2003, her song Gloria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tVutw8rjFk is about a woman living in the fast lane and going a bit crazy in the process. The song remained on the Billboard “Hot 100” for 36 weeks in 1982. The song makes for great open country driving, especially when you have to pass someone doing 48 mph in a 60 plus zone just because they can.


Blondie’s  Dreaming http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4-1MhH7dwQ and Heart of Glass http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1all9_blondie-heart-of-glass_music were favorites in college and from when Judy and I started dating back in 1979.   I can listen to Blondie songs all day long and on some trips Blondie is all that I listen.  Today was kind of cool because I listened to their new album Panic of Girls a couple of times on first part of the trip.

Rod Stewart was a favorite back then and still is for me today and though he has done a lot of work lately with classic pre-rock and roll era songs I always liked his early work the best including Maggie May http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfWl1Fn-FrE&feature=related .  This is a more recent concert version of the classic.

The music from the movie soundtrack of The Blues Brothers is always nice to drive to and when you are driving alone it is always good to know that Everybody needs Somebody to Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCTJeT2i9QU.

Then there is Starship and the great Grace Slick with Nothing’s Going to Stop us Now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w5s6V8rQH4 which is great on the final stretch of any trip.

That’s enough for tonight.  Have a great week and remember that this is Veteran’s Day week so thank a veteran.


Padre Steve+

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