Music nostalgia

One of the reasons we remember certain songs so fondly is because they kindle old memories, if not of specific events then of certain periods in our lives. There were plenty of songs that I enjoyed, especially in my teens and twenties when popular music played such a big part of my life. But one can never remember them at will though sometimes all it takes are the opening bars of a song to have the memory of that song come flooding back.

So I was delighted when I was sent this website called The Nostalgia Machine. Pick a year and then click on the ‘Hit Me’ button and it brings up some of the hit songs from that year. I just randomly chose 1967 and I found so many songs that I used to love that I had forgotten, such as Something Stupid by Frank and Nancy Sinatra.

And For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield.

And I Dig Rock and Roll Music by Peter, Paul, and Mary.

And Georgy Girl by The Seekers.

Ah, good times!

I warn you, that site can become a real time sink as you get taken back to the past. But in these days when many are at home trying to find ways to pass the time, there could be worse options.

Unfortunately, you might also be reminded of songs that you would rather remain forgetten. I’m looking at your sappy songs, Bobby Goldsboro.


  1. says

    You could spend months looking through 1967. I could have picked twenty songs. I wasn’t around for it (born that year) but so many resonate and stand the test of time.

    Wikipedia is horrible as a reference, but you can see popular music lists by year. It’s interesting to go back and forth at five year intervals and see how styles changes drastically, rather than gradually year by year.

    I have an odd question about musical formats of your youth, if you’re willing…

  2. blf says

    I don’t now recall why or how I found it, but a few weeks ago I stumbled across some new work by an English artiste I used to follow (who, as explained in the link, refers to himself as a “ranter”), Attila the Stockbroker and Barnstormer 1649 (video). Not only some good memories, but still entertaining with pointed pointy points about (then-current, 2018) affairs (albeit, as explained in the video, he used to much more cutting).

  3. Mano Singham says

    Intransitive @#1,

    Thanks for those links that I enjoyed listening to. As soon Different Drum started playing I recognized the distinctive voice of Linda Ronstadt but I never knew, until now, that she started out her career as a member of a group known as the Stone Poneys. I had always thought that this was a solo recorded under her own name.

    Please go ahead and ask your ‘odd question’. I am intrigued!

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    1967? I remember it well. The year my voice broke. The year of “Penny Lane” and “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Some other OK stuff, but those are my immortals from that year.

  5. says

    Most people know only 33rpm 12 inch LPs and 45rpm 7″ singles. I grew up with a record player in the house that could play 78s, and there were a few (e.g. Flanagan & Allen). Were 78s common when you grew up?

    A few weeks ago I linked to Techmoan’s video on the 1949 format war, 33rpm LPs versus 45rpm 7″ singles. I learnt from other sources that 78s lost market share in the 1950s and in the 1960s disappeared from NA and Europe. But in the Philippines, they lasted until the 1970s, likely because it was cheaper not to change.

  6. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Wikipedia may be horrible as a reference, if you are interested in science or politics, but in pop culture it is usually thorough and accurate.

    Some years ago I had time to burn, and started looking what my favourite musicians were up to, and where they had come from. If you start from the British folkrock band Fairport Convention, you can spend hours clicking from one wikilink to another. I even coined a word for it: wikisurfing.

  7. sonofrojblake says

    This is what’s wrong with modern music consumption. My friends can just ask Alexa to play pretty much anything… that they can think of. Luddite me has a couple hundred gigabytes of music on a HDD that I have to actually scroll through to pick something to play on the WiFi multiroom speakers. (“Luddite” in pretty heavy quotes, obvs)
    This means I can stumble on stuff I’ve collected, instead of having to carry my playlist in my head.

  8. says

    Eek. I looked back at the late 60s through the 70s and was immediately reminded of the insipid dreck that oozed from radios everywhere. Precious little of what I listened to in those years is to be found in those listings: Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa, Renaissance, Mike Oldfield, Bruford, UK, National Health, Henry Cow, etc. Of course, Henry Cow’s “In Praise of Learning” or Zappa’s “Studio Tan” were never going to be “Number one with a bullet!”, although Yes and ELP occasionally broke through. And I still listen to all of it and a lot more.

    In some respects it’s worse today as it seems the “classic rock” stations just recycle the same tunes day after day. It’s either tired old Seger, Skynyrd, or (help us all) the caterwauling slide guitar at the end of “Layla”. Oh, for some Alan Holdsworth…

  9. consciousness razor says

    Billy Strayhorn and John Coltrane both died that year, so here are a few more for them (the first two by Strayhorn):
    1967: Isfahan — Johnny Hodges on alto, Duke Ellington’s band
    1963: My Little Brown Book — Ellington and Coltrane
    1964: Equinox — John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis, Elvin Jones

  10. blf says

    Intransitive@5, I know that all of our vinyl playback kit (record players) when I was growing up could play 78s, and there were some in my parent’s collection — albeit feck if I can remember what any of them were. Having said that, yes, the vast majority of the household’s combined collections where 33⅓, with some 45s (more than there were 78s). I simply cannot recall now, but suspect most of the 78s were from when my parents were growing, or from their time in Europe (before 78s disappeared).

    A completely different “modern” format which has vanished is DAT (Digital Audio Tape). I never(?) bought any DAT albums, but did use DAT to record live festivals (with permission!) and some off-the-air, etc. Sadly, I’ve misplaced my DAT unit now (and most of my tapes), so “cannot” play/(re-)record the few of my tapes which I find every now and then. (I also used DAT at work for some data backup (as one of many formats in my career).)

  11. mnb0 says

    “One of the reasons we remember certain songs so fondly is because they kindle old memories”
    The problems with this idea, afaIc, are that
    a) I have not that many nice old memories (things got considerably better when I turned 20);
    b) from that time many songs s**k badly imho;
    c) when I as a teen got interested in music I mostly preferred songs from the then recent past. Like


  12. consciousness razor says

    A completely different “modern” format which has vanished is DAT (Digital Audio Tape). I never(?) bought any DAT albums,

    Yeah, they were never meant for that market, where you’d buy an album in that format like you could with cassettes at a record store. (Maybe in Japan? They were apparently more popular there.)

    but did use DAT to record live festivals (with permission!) and some off-the-air, etc. Sadly, I’ve misplaced my DAT unit now (and most of my tapes), so “cannot” play/(re-)record the few of my tapes which I find every now and then.

    I used to record with DATs too, into the early 2000s. They’re still lurking around in some places…. To misquote Gandalf, “there are older and fouler things than Zooms™ in the deep places of the world.”

    You can still get DAT tapes and (used/refurbished) machines on ebay and so forth, but they look expensive.

    (I also used DAT at work for some data backup (as one of many formats in my career).)

    Interesting. I never used DATs for non-audio data.

    But back in the 80s, if I’m remembering correctly, I did have some of these puppies for an old computer: Quarter-inch cartridge. I bet they were something like the QIC-40 or QIC-80, which look right. And wiki says they used a standard floppy-disk controller chip, which probably means cheap so that sounds right too. So I guess they were only 40-120 MB.

  13. Mano Singham says

    Intransitive @#5,

    In Sri Lanka at the time we were growing up, having a record player and buying records was a luxury that only the very well off could afford. My middle class family and those of my friends did not have one. For popular music, we depended solely on the radio and only the government had broadcast rights. There were three broadcasts, one in each language. The English one would only be from 7:00am to 9:00am, 1:00pm-3:00pm, and from 5:00pm-11:00pm. During those limited hours they would have some time for popular music and that was pretty much my only source.

    The DJs for those few hours did a pretty good job but by necessity they would try to appeal to the broadest audience and so would rely heavily on popular hits and hence my knowledge of less popular singers and groups and songs was very limited. I had read about them but not heard many of them The 1970 film Woodstock was my first real exposure to Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Crosby-Stills-Nash, and the like. For reasons that I never understood, people in Sri Lanka were huge fans of country singer Jim Reeves and his songs were played in heavy rotation.

    We did own a reel-to-reel tape recorder and sometimes I would listen to the radio and whenever a song came on that I liked, I would hit the ‘record’ button. That is how I created a playlist. Mind you, the broadcasts were in AM since FM had not yet arrived and I was recording over the air, so the resulting sound quality was rotten by modern standards. But you make do with what you have.

    So while I listened to a lot of music during the 60s and 70s, they were of a relatively small group of musicians, leaving huge gaps in my knowledge.

  14. Malcolm says

    Does this site link to a you tube version? All I can see is a set of pictures that don’t actually do anything. Would be grateful for an idea of how this site is meant to work.

  15. blf says

    consciousness razor@14, There were definitely DAT albums available in London at the time, but never by any artistes I was interested in.

    I vaguely seeing QICs (for data storage), but have no recollection of ever using them. At first, I thought you meant Exabyte (also apparently called Data8), which I did use for backups. They were so impressive I almost got a unit for use at home, but was put off by the cost and the fact that if my unit broke, there (probably) wouldn’t be one I could borrow (i.e., a nasty single-point-of-failure).

  16. Mano Singham says

    Malcolm @#16,

    When you click on the image that represents a song, it should open a new window that takes you to a YouTube video that has the music. In my case, the window opens on the side of the same page.

    Does your browser settings allow you to open a new window when you click on a link?

  17. Malcolm says


    I have disabled the pop up blockers and ad blockers for the page with no result.. It is noce to know that is what happens. I will dig deeper in my settings.

  18. Jenora Feuer says

    Intransitive @5:
    The first record player I remember could still do 78s. (This was back in the 1970s.) My parents had a collection of at least a dozen Disney albums where each 78 would have four songs from one of their movies, two on each side.

  19. blf says

    Malcolm, It seems to be working fine for me — as Mano@18 describes — with ad-blockers, pop-up blockers, and other privacy and security measures. (Firefox 74 on Linux.)

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