Growing up in the 1950’s, diseases flourished and I got them all, German measles twice. Kids don’t get that disease now, as starting in 1969 a vaccine was given to all children. The second time I had German measles was 54 years ago, just before my twelfth birthday. Whenever I was sick and home from school, Dr. Rowan would come by the house with his wooden tongue depresser and black leather medical bag. This day he just told Mom to keep me in bed for a couple of days and give me plenty of liquids.
This really was a good deal for me, as the the liquids of the day were 7-Up and Vernor’s Ginger Ale. I wasn’t planning on getting out of my soft flannel pajamas until maybe Monday. Mom set the family radio on my bookcase headboard and brought me a cold, green, seven ounce bottle of 7 -Up with a paper straw. I was feeling better already. My favorite thing to do was to listen to rock & roll on the radio and it was nearly time for Pop Shop. The local radio station only played rock & roll from 4 – 5 pm, and a Saturday morning top ten show. The number one song, “Running Bear” so my favorite song and was getting lots of spins. By tuning and turning the radio I could pick up stations in nearby towns and hear “Running Bear” over and over!
Top 40 pop music was an adventure in listening, as the variety of musical genres proved that yes you can please everyone. Top hits like Andy Williams “Village of St. Bernadette”, and Marty Robbins “El Paso” were enjoyed by my Grandpa as well as by me.