The Soundtracks of My Salad Days

Greenman Tim of Walking the Berkshires started this meme.  And it was a bit difficult simply because there was so much to work with. The question was “what were the 10 most formative albums of your teenage years?”

I’m not sure how to answer that; only rarely has music had a shaping influence on me.  But I do love music of all sorts and I love the nostalgic feelings that working on this brought about.  I thought about the music that meant the most to me for whatever reason. I couldn’t keep it to ten. So a lot of it is not profound–hey, we were teenagers–but it is what it is.

Technically speaking, I was a teenager from October 3, 1967–just after the Summer of Love–to October 2, 1974.  That short period covers a lot of ground culturally in America.  The music that I heard then I heard first on the AM rockers: during the day, KQEO 920 AM in Albuquerque; at night KOMA out of Oklahoma City. Later, after we moved, it was Music Power KMBY 1240 AM in Monterey, California, and of course, the greatest West Coast rocker of all, San Francisco’s legendary KFRC 610 AM.  Toward the end of my teen years, I was listening to the KEDI-AM/KCMS-FM combo (“Colorado’s Music Mother!”) out of Manitou Springs, Colorado, which became KIIQ-AM-FM (“Top  of the Rock”–a geo-musical pun). And I worked at a couple of radio stations, which I’ll have more about in some future post.

It’s a fairly eclectic list. That has to do in part with the constrained formats of commercial radio in those days. There wasn’t proliferation of individual formats; for the most part, it all got played on the same stations. Anyway, to do this, I referred to Billboard magazine’s Hot 200 Albums to help refresh my memory for the years in question, although I do own many of these.  So here we go:


The Fifth Dimension, Up, Up, and Away

Paul Revere and the Raiders, Revolution!

The Temptations, Temptations with a Lot o’ SoulCraig & wife & friend meet The Temptations

Diana Ross and the Supremes, Greatest Hits (charted #1 in US and UK)

Simon & Garfunkel,  Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

The Association, Insight Out

The Jimi Henrdix Experience, Are You Experienced? (the first album I ever bought myself!)


Judy Collins, Wildflowers

Craig & posse visit with The  Temptations

Glen Campbell, Witchita Lineman (Glen’s uncle, the late Dick Bills, was a radio and television celebrity in Albuquerque at the time).

The Chambers Brothers, Time Has Come

Barbra Streisand, Simply Streisand

The Rascals, Groovin”

The Moody Blues, Days of Future Past (you couldn’t hear this on AM radio in 1967; You had to find a cool friend who had a weird thing called an FM radio!).

Jose Feliciano, Feliciano!

Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul


The Beatles, Let It Be

Blood, Sweat and Tears, Blood, Sweat and Tears (Grammy Award, Best Album of the Year)

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River

Isaac Hayes (a moment of silence, please . . .), Hot Buttered Soul

Donovan, The Hurdy Gurdy Man

The Who, Tommy

Three Dog Night, Suitable for Framing

The Fifth Dimension, The Age of Aquarius


Blood, Sweat and Tears, BST III

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo’s Factory

Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Crosby, Stills and Nash

Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Waters

1971–a year of romance for me!

The Carpenters, Close to You and Carpenters

Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells a Story

Marvin Gaye, What’s Goin’ On?

Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tiller Man and Teaser and the Fire Cat

Chicago, Chicago III

Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On

Elton John, Madman Across the Water

Neil Young, After the Gold Rush

Barbra Streisand, Stony End and Barbra Joan Streisand

1972–one of the best years of my adolescence!

Alice Cooper, School’s OutAlice Cooper

The Carpenters, A Song For You

Carole ingCarole King, Tapestry

Al Green, Let’s Stay Together

Bread, Baby I’m-a Want You

Don MacLean, American Pie

Elton John, Honky Chateau

Isaac Hayes, Shaft and Black Moses


Carly Simon, Anticipation and No Secrets

Bette Midler, The Divine Miss M

Carole King; Fantasy

Seals and Crofts, Diamond Girl

The Doobie Brothers, The Captain and Me

The O’Jays, Backstabbers

Al Green, I’m Still in Love with You

Elton John, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player


John Denver, Back Home Again

Elton John, Good-Bye, Yellow Brick Road

Rufus and Chaka Khan, Rags to RufusChaka Khan

The Beach Boys, Endless Summer

Gladys Knight and the Pips, Imagination

Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were

Love Unlimited Orchestra with Barry White, Rhapsody in White


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One Response to “The Soundtracks of My Salad Days”

  • Jasia says:

    Great sounds, Craig! Yeah, those were the days weren’t they? Reading your list brought back so many memories, and all good ones. The late 60s and 70s produced some wonderful musicians that I’m sure will stand the test of time. As I read your list I realized that I completely forgot to add the Motown greats to my list… The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder… here in Motown we heard that music all the time and absolutely loved it. Thanks for the memories!

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