Songs That Haunt and Bring Strong Memories.

Music has a powerful influence on people.

Video of Cashman & West, American City Suite
This song, a scantily followed piece from 1972 called “American City Suite” by Cashman & West. American City Suite haunted me in 1972 and over the years" as well for multiple reasons. One was the obvious. In 1972 I was a 15 year old New Yorker (well the suburbs). I always loved New York City. While this was before the fiscal crisis, which erupted in mid-1974 and peaked late in 1975 (remember Ford to City, Drop Dead?) NYC was clearly falling apart. Subways and large parts of the city were becoming downright dangerous. Racial tensions, exacerbated by the Forest Hills controversy were escalating. Mayor Lindsay was becoming very unpopular.

And a personal reason as well; I first listed to the song earlier in 1972. On December 15, 1972 my mother told me that my father’s cancer was terminal. He died on January 5, 1973. When I played a copy that I downloaded from reel to reel, my mother said it was “too sad” to listen to. I asked “why” and she referred to my father’s then-recent death. I responded “two things, he’s not dying, he’s dead, and it’s about New York City, not Jerry (last name omitted).” Nevertheless my father’s death was forever intertwined with that song, though I still play it in my car rather often.

When I went through the worst break up of my life, I used to drive around listening to Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Let Her Cry” and, of course, cry. A couple months ago, the radio station I was listening to was promoting Darius Rucker for some reason (maybe he was going to be in concert?), and they played just a few seconds of the song, but just those few seconds were enough to really throw off my mood.