The sound of music

By Mark S. Price - Contributing columnist


That’s the one word response you would receive if you asked me about my taste in music. Although I’m partial to modern country, my palate for the vocal melody is spread across several different genres, including gospel, heavy metal, pop, rap, rhythm & blues, and rock & roll.

As long as the tune sounds good to my eardrums, I’m down with it.

If you asked me what’s my favorite music time period, I would definitely have to say the 1980s. You either love it or you hate it. There’s no in between. “And if you hate it, talk to the hand. Cuz I don’t wanna hear it.” LOL!!!

That was the decade of big hair, mega rock stars, and fashion icons. I am definitely a child of the 1980s. Those were the years I was in high school and college, so I was coming into my own.

A few of my favorites were (and still are) Alabama, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tears for Fears, Wham, and Whitney Houston.

My favorite song and video of all time, bar none, is “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, the King of Pop himself, from his 1982 album of the same name. I loved the dance steps as much as I did the song.

I was a preacher’s kid (PK); so, of course, I grew up in church. Gospel music was, first and foremost, a part of my life, especially since my parents also sang and sometimes wrote their own tunes.

They even got all four of us kids involved in on the act — the Price Family Singers. Can you believe it? Looking back, I can’t even believe my brother John, who would rather be outside somewhere throwing a football, agreed to that.

Not to mention the fact, I never would have agreed to it myself if I realized I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. It wasn’t until “years” later when I was boisterously singing in church one Sunday morning that my then wife told me “straight up” that I couldn’t sing.

How rude!

And to think of all the times I sang in front of the entire church. My best friend, Billy Gibbons, and I used to sing duets all the time as part of the worship service. It sure would have been nice if someone broke the news to me much sooner.

How embarrassing!

At any rate, I thought it was the greatest thing to stand up during the worship service at church and clap my hands to “There’s Power in the Blood” and “I’ll Fly Away” as I swayed back and forth in the pew.

I didn’t even know there was any other kind of music besides gospel until my brother and I acquired a radio for our bedroom in 1980. That little blue box opened the door to another world I didn’t know existed.

It was only one year later that music television (MTV) was born. It was the most innovative cable network of all time.

The music videos made stars out of bands like Van Halen and Bon Jovi and made megastars out of solo acts like Michael Jackson, whose elaborate “Thriller” video helped sell over 500,000 albums in the five days after its first broadcast.

Although Michael Jackson was my main man, I went to the dark side New Year’s Eve 1984. I was at my friend, Ronald Shiderly’s grandparents house with all his relatives. We were in one of the bedrooms with his sister, Lisa, and several of their cousins listening to the “Top 100” songs of the year.

It was down to the last two songs — Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. I don’t know — I just wasn’t a huge fan of “Billie Jean” like my friend Ronald. Needless to say, we were about ready to choke each other for the title of #1 song.

I jumped up and down on the bed when they announced the No. 2 song. The Police had the No. 1 song in the nation; and I was on top of the world. It was my favorite tune of that year.

Music has come a long way since then. After getting an Amazon Prime membership, I discovered there were thousands of free songs at my disposal.

I went crazy downloading all my favorites to the cloud. Then I went outside and looked up at the sky wondering where this cloud was. “Is it that one or maybe that other one? LOL!!!

Not too long ago, my good friend and workout partner, Adam, talked me into getting wireless ear buds for the gym. I’m so glad I took his advice. My workouts are so much better listening to my favorite tunes on my phone.

After going out to dinner and a movie with Adam, he plugged in his auxiliary cord into my car stereo and Michael Jackson’s tunes blared out from my car speakers. I am now the proud owner of my on auxiliary cord.

Music is a huge part of my life. There’s just something about it that washes all my trials and tribulations down the drain. I love cranking up my music as I’m going down the highways and byways. Now, I must say, I’m a chronic car dancer.

You know what that is. I’ve seen a lot of people jamming out in the car. Well, I’m no exception, especially when one of my favorites comes on. My fingers start tapping the steering wheel then I begin playing imaginary drums. Before long I’m gyrating my upper body to the beat of the music.

I know the guy behind me at the traffic light thinks I’m nuts. But you know what? I don’t know him, or maybe I do and just don’t care. All I know is that I’m having a blast enjoying my music.

At least now if you see me in my car and think I’m having a seizure, you’ll know I’m just jamming out to my favorite tunes. Peace out!!!

By Mark S. Price

Contributing columnist

Mark S. Price is a former city government/county education reporter for The Sampson Independent. He currently resides in Clinton.

Mark S. Price is a former city government/county education reporter for The Sampson Independent. He currently resides in Clinton.