Soul Town, What Would I Do Without You?

There’s a guy — a cool guy — out there in Blogger World who, like quite a few bloggers, doesn’t reveal his real name. But as I say, he’s cool. How do I know? Well, anyone who calls himself Cincinnati Babyhead has got to be cool. And maybe a tad loopy too?Whatever, I dig him, though we’ve never met. But we’ve conversed with one another a lot in the comments sections of our stories, and we seem to blend like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Like me, he’s a lover of music and film. Those are the subjects that he mostly writes about on his blog, which you can visit by clicking here. CB comes at you straight from the heart. He’s down-to-earth and nicely nitty-gritty. Go, man, go.

But hey, that’s all the free publicity I’m going to send CB’s way! I ain’t all that generous normally. What am I trying to do? Turn over a new leaf? Anyway, my reason for bringing up CB is that on January 7 of this year he wrote about a rocking song by the late, great Jackie Wilson and, as these things sometimes happen, I heard that song, Baby Workout, on the radio two days later. It’s a hell of a tune, bright and audacious and finger-snapping good. It came to me on Soul Town, one of SiriusXM satellite radio’s channels, and one that I’d be hard-pressed to live without. During a 20-minute period that day, Soul Town made my day.

When my wife Sandy and I bought our newest car six years ago, little did I know that I’d fall madly in love with SiriusXM, with which it came equipped. But I did, and quickly. So many channels! A dozen or more of them became close friends, including Soul Town, to which I listen maybe more often than any of the others. Who doesn’t like Marvin Gaye, The Delfonics, The Stylistics, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, to name a few of the soul and R&B artists that Soul Town plays round the clock? Huh? You in the fourth row aren’t a fan? I’ve just notified Security. They’re going to escort you out of the classroom and bar you from ever again entering a WordPress site. That’ll learn ya’!

There I was, then, returning home from the supermarket in mid-afternoon on that storied Soul Town day. I pressed the SiriusXM button and then let my right index finger tap on channel 49. My timing was perfect, as I caught the opening notes of Baby Workout, a ditty that has been with us since 1963.

I tell you, I couldn’t contain myself. I hadn’t heard the song in ages and had forgotten just how saucy and slithery it is. Jackie is coaxing a girl to join him on the dance floor, and he’s showing her his dance moves. Me, I started to move too, bouncing around in the driver’s seat like a wild man, slapping away at the steering wheel and ceiling in unusual fashion. Good thing nobody was around to see me. But uh-oh, there was. Flashing lights appeared behind me, a siren wailed righteously. I pulled over.

“Your license and registration, sir,” said Officer Bea Bopp. I handed over the documents and watched her peruse them. “What in the world are you doing? Don’t you know it’s incredibly unsightly for a septuagenarian to boogie down? Sir, you’d do well to keep your antics confined to the privacy of your own home. And there, be sure to have your shades drawn, unless you want some of your neighbors to die from laughing too hard.”

Rolling her gentle, pale green eyes, Officer Bopp handed back my papers. I thanked her and drove away.

Baby Workout was ending at this point. I was in a sweat and needed to calm down. “I’ll put on the Sinatra channel,” I said in my head, and was about to press its button when the opening, heavy piano chords of Cool Jerk came out of the speakers. Man, you’re not about to find me turning away from Cool Jerk. The song is a trip, replete with giddy whoops and hollers and hipper-than-hip lyrics. The Capitols, pretty much a one-hit wonder, nailed Cool Jerk when they entered a Detroit recording studio back in 1966. This song has never gone away. And never will.

Yeah, you guessed it. The same thing happened with Cool Jerk as with Baby Workout. I became a sight to behold within my metal cubicle. I kept glancing in the rear view mirror. Nervously. I didn’t notice any police vehicles.

Four blocks from my house Cool Jerk came to its end. But Soul Town wasn’t done with me. How do you follow-up two kick-ass numbers? The programing genius at Soul Town’s controls knew what was needed: a heady, spacey, swirling funk song that goes on and on and on. That’s what Creative Source’s 1973 cover of a Bill Withers tune is all about. Who Is He (And What Is He To You)? flowed from my car’s radio like a psychedelic dream. What was a guy to do? Pull up in front of his house, turn up the volume, keep the engine running and get out of his car, leaving the door wide open to let the music be heard, that’s what. And dance along the street with arms widespread and a beatific smile on his face.

I nearly was afloat. And I wasn’t surprised by what happened next. One, then two, then three house doors opened. My neighbors too were under a spell. Soon we all were gliding on the road, deep into the music, visiting the galaxies above.  This was a scene straight out of a movie. And it got better. Somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I returned to Earth and turned to see Officer Bea Bopp staring at me.

“Sir,” she said, “I’ve been following you. In my 32 years on the force I’ve never seen anyone behave like you did in your car. And now this?”

I gulped. But then she smiled bashfully. I looked into her entrancing eyes. Their soft tint went swimmingly with her blue uniform. I was sort of in love.

“Sir,” she continued, “I’m two days away from retirement. Is it against the law for an officer of the law to have some fun? It isn’t.”

She closed her eyes, held out her arms and began to groove to the music. It was a lovely sight. By the time that the final notes of Who Is He dissolved into the ethers, she had sailed to the next block. Dreams of many rosy days ahead, I imagine, were playing in her head.

(This story isn’t total fantasy. I heard those three songs on Soul Town in my car that afternoon, and CB walks among us. As for the rest . . . )

(If you enjoyed this story, then don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing it on Facebook, Twitter and the like. I thank you.)

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37 thoughts on “Soul Town, What Would I Do Without You?

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 15, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      Hi, and thanks for stopping by.
      You can’t go wrong with these songs. They are really good ones.

      Like

  1. bone&silver January 15, 2018 / 1:41 am

    I LOVE soul music… and I really wanted this story to be true all the way to the end!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The Lockwood Echo January 15, 2018 / 5:36 am

    That’s was great fun 😉 Officer Bea Bopp! Love it when the radio knows what you need on a drive. I’d describe myself as a rock chick but would have been more than happy with this triplet on the road.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 15, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      Hi. I like the way you describe the radio as sometimes seeming to know what we need to hear. Excellent insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Artist's Child January 15, 2018 / 7:03 am

    That music is so good your story is believable. I’m sure most people would find it difficult not dance to such great songs. It would be great music for a dancing flash mob.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. tylerus January 15, 2018 / 7:38 am

    I so rarely listen to music these days and I so used to love it. Thank you – I’m going to sit back and listen to some soul today, and chill. Thanks for a most enjoyable post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joyce January 15, 2018 / 8:29 am

    Fun story….always like hearing the songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. andrewcferguson January 15, 2018 / 10:43 am

    Great tunes, Neil – send Officer Bea Bopp over! This grey part of the northern hemisphere needs more groovetastic law enforcement…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Coleman January 15, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    I never knew Sirius existed until it came with a new car we bought. Like you, I now love it! As for the car dancing, I say you go! My husband has been embarrassing our kids for years by doing that as he drives down the highway…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 15, 2018 / 4:16 pm

      Thanks for visiting, Ann.
      I have one big gripe about Sirius. One of my favorite channels is The Loft. For the last six or so weeks, Sirius has “temporarily” replaced it with a channel devoted to The Eagles. I have a feeling that The Loft isn’t coming back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman January 15, 2018 / 4:27 pm

        I used to listen to the Loft, too. I didn’t know they did that…. You’d think they could add one more channel without taking one away.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Alyson January 15, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    Some tunes just can’t stop you from bopping Neil, even in the car – I would have been the same. I love listening to music in the car as it’s the only place you don’t feel guilty about taking time out from doing other things – Can’t be doing chores when driving, thankfully. Wish we had Sirius where I live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 15, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Let’s keep on rocking!

      Thanks for stopping by, Alyson. As always, I appreciate it.

      Like

  9. America On Coffee January 18, 2018 / 12:33 am

    (Long Sigh)….yeah, I agree with the moral of your story, sometimes we have to change our tune.😃💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cincinnatibabyhead January 18, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    CB wants to shake a leg with that cop. Great piece, great great tunes (I have to spend more time with the Philly sound. Feel free to turn us on to more). That CB guy is pretty cool. Thanks for pumping his tires. He’s changing his name to Cincinnati “Bigger” Babyhead. I’m getting up to shake it right now. Jackie Wilson is calling. CB has no style but lots of nerve and he ain’t shy. See you on the floor Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. cmwriter January 19, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    Loved this story! Listened to all three. Yes, truly hard to sit still!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 19, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Hi there, Carol. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this semi-fantasy. Many thanks for stopping by.

      Neil

      Like

  12. Aunt Beulah January 20, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    I’ll read your musical fantasies whenever you wish to write them, Neil. This one was a treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 20, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      Hello there, Janet. I appreciate a lot what you say. Many thanks.
      Take care. I’ll be seeing you —

      Neil

      Like

  13. alhenry January 31, 2018 / 11:11 am

    You nailed it, Neil–the reason the radio must never be left in the dust of digital development and i tunes self-programming. The randomness of a great radio station, the serendipity of THE perfect song for that particular moment appearing out of thin air as you cruise our nation’s roads–there’s nothing else so magical and fine and right-er out there. Yes, I have my little iPod for the gym, stocked with self-selected playlists of favorite songs, BUT great moments, like yesterday, when I punched in my local oldies station as I was driving, and Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee” came out of the ether at full volume–those moments belong only to radio. Bless it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      Amy, I totally agree with what you said. I like randomness. It can make life interesting. A few nights ago, for instance, I heard a great song on the radio: Blue Velvet, by The Moonglows. I might try to work it into a story.

      Many thanks for stopping by. See ya —

      Liked by 1 person

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