Picture it, 1964:
My mother, Sue, was 13 and heard “Baby Love” on the radio for the first time. Always dreaming of being happily married with two kids (and older boy and younger girl, which she did get), she’d never really “fallen in love.”
She did, however, fall in love with Diana Ross via The Supremes, whose billboard hit washed over the airwaves. This new-found passion for music lead her to take up her brother’s paper route so she could buy the 45 of “Baby Love.” At the house at the end of the street, an attractive Italian boy named Danny opened the door.
It was then that the golden voice of Diana Ross wrapped around Mom’s heart strings, repressing the beating vessel from a sudden explosion in her esophagus.
“Here’s the payment. Mom doesn’t want the paper anymore,” he said, rendering my mother speechless.
“Oh, okay,” is what she said but her head was screaming “Baby Love, I need you! Oh, how I need you!”
Somehow, as destined things do, it worked out and they became and on-and-off couple for six years. It was with Barbara Mason’s, “I’m Ready,” that they officially became a couple. He took her hand as the park radio boombox lifted Barbara Mason’s voice into the air, “I don’t even know how to hold your hand.” Mom knew the next line by heart, and sure enough, Danny found a way to “kiss [her] lips.”
The rest of the years flew by to a Supremes’ soundtrack. From the urging “I need you” of “Baby Love” to the warning, when he was untrue, “Stop! In the Name of Love” their love was defined by the 33s and 45s, along with my Mom, spinning in her room.
The love reconciled before Woodstock, but sadly, Danny met his death in a tragic motorcycle accident. Mom’s life has been defined by that tragedy, but moreover, by the strength and passion for music that she extracted from each groove of her worn-down records.
They say that love heals all wounds. If music is love, then I agree.
Cherish one another.
Be well and rock on,