DAILY DIRT: As a baby boomer, I used to actually get up out of my easy chair to change the TV channel


Daily Dirt for Thursday, May 2, 2024

I also used to listen to music on transistor radios and contact people in something called a phone booth … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 937 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I’m a card-carrying baby boomer, and proud of it.

For those who might be unaware, boomers were born between 1946-64. I entered the world in late 1953, just a few days before 1954 — which puts me right in the middle of that time frame.

We boomers are given credit for driving the popularity of rock music. We were also guiding forces in the development of modern-day TV programming. You know, all the important stuff that helped form our society.

We boomers have been around a long time, and some of the things we have experienced those generations behind us have no idea about. Such as:

  • I used to look up numbers in a phone book. “A what?” one of my granddaughters asked when I inquired if she had ever heard of such a thing.
  • I still use and balance a checkbook. None of my four grandkids have any idea of even how to even write a check. Such is the curse of debit cards.
  • I used to play eight-track tapes. Obviously, neither the kids or grandkids could even imagine such a thing.
  • I actually sent faxes. I have four kids, and none of the four have ever done that. One of them has no idea what a fax even is, or was.
  • I listened to music on a transistor radio. “You mean your phone,” asked one of the grandsons, who had a difficult time dealing with the fact there were no cellphones in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and most of the ’90s.
  • I used to buy .45 RPM and LP “records” to play on on my “record player,” or “stereo”. I hope you’re not surprised the youngsters could not connect with this concept either, especially after the trouble they had with the eight-track tapes and transistor radios.
  • I used to use pay phones in something called a “phone booth,” a convenience that just about every street corner once provided.
  • I used to watch TV without a remote control. Yep, actually got up out of the chair to change the channel.
  • And I still had a rotary phone in our house until about 10 years ago.

As Bob Dylan once said, the times they are a changin’. (I won’t even try and explain to the grandkids who Bob Dylan is.)

2. Did you know (Part 5) …

  • That two of the backup singers for the Huey Lewis and the News hit “Hip To Be Square” were Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott of the San Francisco 49ers.
  • That Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was responsible for the percussion on Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower”.
  • That the Everly Brothers provided the backup vocals on the Paul Simon song “Graceland”. 
  • That the late Minnie Riperton (“Lovin’ You”) did all of the backup vocals on Steve Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” album. Riperton is also the mother of actress Maya Rudolph.
  • Mia Farrow is the daughter of Maureen O’Hara, the actress who played “Jane” in the 1930s and 1940s opposite Johnny Weismuller’s “Tarzan” in several of the popular jungle movies.
  • That Stephen Stills provided the percussion in the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing”.

3. This week’s celebrity birthdays we are recognizing include:

Pro wrestler-turned-action movie star Dewayne Johnson — a.k.a. “The Rock” — turns 52 today. I’ve always thought it would be awesome to have The Rock as our neighbor. He seems like a great guy.

Singer Franki Valli will be 87 on Friday — and still going strong.

Singer Adele turns 36 on Sunday. One of the great voices of this generation.

MLB Hall of Famer Willie Mays will be 93 on Monday. Say Hey!

Rocker Bob Seger turns 79, also on Monday. He’s still a ramblin’, gamblin’ man.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — The only Franki Valli (and the Four Seasons) .45 I ever bought was “C’mon Marianne” in 1967, which turned out to be their last top 10 record for a decade.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Okay, Boomer.

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