With shaky hands and glassy eyes, I stare at my iPhone. My breath quickens, my heart races.
“Oh, nooooo! You can’t leave me now! Speak to me!”
Having issued its ultimatum — about the maximum number of “free-listening” hours, Pandora Radio appears to have forced me to go doo-wopless cold-turkey until next month. That is, unless I want to tune in to it on my laptop. Or maybe bite the bullet and pay $3.99 a month for the ad-free upgrade.
Honestly, I used to be “clean”, partaking in moderation, waiting for KERA’s periodic doo-wop concerts.
“I can quit anytime I want,” I rationalized, as I lay back in my recliner, closed my eyes, and zoned out to Mel Carter’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” and The Diamonds’ “Little Darlin'” and “The Stroll.”
Weird thing is, when these songs were popular, circa 1956-1958, I wasn’t even “legal”, yet.
A month ago, when I fell in love, “Only You” became our song. For three weeks, I’d listen to Pandora Radio almost 24/7, waiting for that magical riff alerting me to drop what I was doing, even emerge, still soapy, from the shower, long enough to listen to the Platters’ velvety voices and swoon like a sixteen-year-old.
Although the Fifties yielded such classic artists as the Drifters, the Coasters, the Diamonds, and, of course, Elvis, no group can twist and tug at hearts like the Platters can. Besides for “Only You”, “My Prayer”, “Harbor Lights”, and “Twilight Time” allow us vintage listeners to remember what we were wearing, where we were, and who we were kissing at the moments when those songs crackled on radios in ’57 Chevys everywhere.
That three-week, whirlwind relationship with a fellow “user” has hit the bricks, but “Only You” — the most tender love song of all time, endures.