The River's Badge

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ever Wonder ~ Why Wasn't This Song a Hit?

In 1994 I was ensconced in a corner office, through no effort of mine. My boss decided, on a whim, to just bestow it upon me. The first and last time I ever had a corner office. It was nice. At least I can say I once had one. Most of my working life has found me buried behind the grey prefab walls of a cubicle. It's all what you get used to - neither good nor bad. But a corner office is way better.

I was rather isolated, not in a bad way, but more in a "time to think" way. My employees were only a couple steps outside my door - I could walk out and shoot the breeze with them anytime I wanted. Some bosses don't do that; I did. Sure, I could close my door if I needed to, but how often does one really need to? A closed door becomes a crutch. I liked the people I worked with. I was just a naive fool anyway, bewildered by how in God's name I ever got put in charge of anything. To this day, I still don't know.

We had piped-in music where I worked. Most of it was annoying. If you've ever been subjected to Muzak, you know how it feels to want to reach up into the speakers and rip Andy Williams' guts out (no offense to Andy Williams). The music was just loud enough that it could not be denied. I heard it.

We didn't have the internet then - what the heck? A time when there wasn't an internet? We had computers, but all we did on them was compose Word documents and plug numbers into Excel spreadsheets. We barely had email. Our attention spans were much longer as a result.

I kept hearing this one song over the speakers, and I didn't know who was singing it (I had apparently banished all memories of Urban Cowboy from my brain). I stopped whatever numbers I was punching every time that song exploded out of the speakers. Who was it? It was a really excellent song!

I stopped into my local record store - I think the store was called Music City - and I asked the guy if he knew who sang that song about the bird. Fortuitously, the clerk knew what I was talking about, and he led me over to the "S" section of the CD rack and pointed out Boz Scaggs. Duh! Of course!

I loved this song from the first time I heard it and had no earthly idea who the singer was, and I love it now. Fate didn't make it a hit, I guess because fate prefers Mariah Carey or somebody. Fate has really bad taste.

But just listen to it. Boz didn't make a music video for the song. Music video? What the hell was that in 1994? Why, that was as alien as having a place where one could type in virtually anything and get information about any obscure topic one could conjure. Absurd!

Just so you don't have to ask your local record store clerk (as if there was such a thing as a record store!), the song is called FLY LIKE A BIRD:


Yes, you are most certainly welcome.













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