Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Perfect Songs - Loving Arms

Music can be discovered anywhere, anytime and forge memories you can't fathom. I have no idea how old I was, but it must have been about 8 or 9, tops. Like most kids my age at the time, I watched tons of probably inappropriate TV. Well, I have a very clear memory of one specific episode of one such show, Starsky and Hutch, which, like most kids my age, I'm sure I was into because of the car. Anyway, this one episode, ended with Hutch, or was it Starsky, no, it was Hutch, singing. It was a country song, and I'd never heard it before, but it stuck with me for years. Many years, just stuck in the back in my head, unknown to me. It would be years before I realized it was stored there, but before I get to that, here's the scene, queued up for you.

Starsky and Hutch S02E23 Long Walk Down A Short... by starskyandhutch1

So, years later, when I was maybe 14 or 15 my uncle tasked me with a project that literally changed my life (well, maybe not that dramatic, but still). He was a huge Elvis fan and had all the vinyl albums and singles, or at least a whole lot of them, and wanted me to transfer it all to that technology of the future: cassette. So for months, I had possession of a collection of albums spanning Elvis's entire career and I wound up hearing everything from every era and became very familiar with all of it. So, I know my Elvis shit, is what is I'm saying, but I digress.

Elvis records
I heard all that shit.
And that's when it all came together. I put one song on, called "Loving Arms" and it immediately triggered the vivid memory of Starsky and Hutch and the connection was overwhelming. How could I remember that scene all those years later? A throwaway scene at the end of some stupid show stuck with me until I found out what it was. No Internets. No Shazam. No nothing. Just the fucked up way my brain stores seemingly trivial shit until it eventually makes sense. I'm not saying I'm special, but you know, maybe. But maybe it's just a good song.

Anyway, this is probably my favorite 70s Elvis song, and it might be, at least partially,  because of this connection. But overall, it's just a perfect song, really. It was written, the Internet now tells me, by a man named Tom Jans and it's been recorded by tons of people, including The Dixie Chicks, which is a version I also like. It's a country ballad with a very slight southern soul tinge, buried in there if you listen very closely. The melancholy of Elvis' version is palpable to me, painting a picture of a man realizing what he's lost, after leaving for the road, for ever. I love this shit and every time I hear it I feel like Starsky, or is it Hutch, no Starsky, just thrilled to hear his buddy singing it and joining in.

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