Did I waste my time collecting Motown music over the last few years? As an adult, like many other adults, I wound up getting nostalgic for something from my childhood that I missed. For me, it turned out to be a certain genre of music. People at my office would be a little shocked to see me listening to Motown, although some of the older employees were kind of impressed. Actually, they were very helpful in my quest. I was looking for certain Motown records, songs, and groups.
I missed Motown as a kid given the age I was, but my grandfather loved it. His retirement home had a pool in the backyard, was less than twenty minutes from the beach, and he had a huge television with an original Nintendo. My sister and I loved visiting there for almost a month every summer. We would swim and laugh and play and eat heartily, while he usually just watched over us from the porch smoking his cigars and listened to his Motown collection. Those songs got burned into my head as being the music of happiness and youth.
Those trips I always looked forward to. As I got older I started figuring out why my parents looked forward to them so much too. Much as they loved me and my sister, a month without kids is a god-send to working parents. Eventually it stopped though, as my grandparents passed while I was in college. Several states away I could not get my hands on those records, and everyone was grieving, so I did not press the issue, eventually just assuming they were gone.
Once a working adult, I tried building my own collection from memory, sometimes just remembering three or four words from one song. An older coworker often could tell me the band, record, and song, just from that, and I flooded my iTunes account and playlist with so much of Detroit’s finest music from the 1960s.
I thought I was about done one day when I could not recollect a single song from memory that I did not have an MP3 for in my collection. That was the same day my mother called and said she found the full record collection in her basement when she was cleaning things up for the spring. She and I both laughed, but I am happy. Motown music sounds better on vinyl.