Husband Doug, niece Jena Beth and her husband Jared and I went on a special “date night” to Tulsa to hear and be entertained by the incredible showman Michael Bublé in concert. He was wonderfully entertaining and endearing to the sold-out BOK Center audience as he sang old favorites and made us laugh with his humor. A show well worth attending if you get the opportunity.
Today, Doug found out that Johnny Clegg, a favorite singer he’s followed since the 80’s, passed away. Johnny Clegg with the group Juluka were strongly anti-apartheid at a time when it was detrimental to their careers. Yet, he gave millions of Afrikaners hope as he entertained millions more world-wide. He was honored to be a part of the tribute to Nelson Mandela back in 2013, a testament to the impact of his honest and heart-felt music.
After reminiscing with Michael Bublé and then listening to Doug regale “I remember getting Juluka’s first cassette”, and “who I was working with at the time”, etc., I realized a connection between these two events: Music has a way of transporting us back to an earlier time. I mean in no-time-flat we could recall where we were, who we were with, what we were doing the moment a treasured song from our memory was played. It is an amazing thing that touches us all in one way or another. Sometimes we misunderstand the words and when we’re told what the correct lyrics, we return to that time of singing it (incorrectly) at the top of our lungs. (For instance “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” was actually Sir Elton John singing “hold me closer, tiny dancer”))
We slip back to that time, remember friends, fashions, TV shows, food, and family. Music is truly a time machine that can pinpoint a specific date in our past and return us there in a flash. No fancy technology to worry about; no concerns about being trapped in time or altering present-time. Just an emotional, fun-filled trip through the memories of songs and those that made them popular. We love it when those we reared choose some of our tunes for their playlist. They won’t admit it, but they know that’s “music from mom’s day.”
Our photos and videos of our travel are their own versions of time machines, too. We see a photo of the canals in Venice, or hear a radio commercial about a discount cruise to the Virgin Islands, or a news report of any of the places around the world we’ve visited and it takes us back there. It helps connect us to each other, and gives us a common denominator that erases stereotypes, political persuasions, nationalities and more. I think music is one of God’s greatest gifts to our world. Whether it’s Johnny Clegg’s 1987 hit “Asimbonango” (a tribute to Nelson Mandela) or Michael Bublé singing his signature 2005 hit “Home”, we can all pause, and take a mental trip back in time.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.