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Voodoo Hill Explorer Club Soundtrack – 1970s Playlist

As you may know, I’m a student in the Southern Methodist University Writer’s Path program. I’m on the novel track and have been part of the program since last August. It’s a continuing education program. There is no degree at the end, but rather, disciplined training on how to prepare what is hoped to be a commercially successful manuscript.

In June I finished a 94,500-word first draft of a Washington DC news reporter who meets with an Edward Snowden type leaker in the near future and the leaker reveals that the US government is about to launch the world’s first quantum computer. When it’s reported, China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, who I’ve begun to call CRINK, see the quantum, code named IBIKTUS, for what it is–a first strike cyber-warfare weapon and they launch the long-predicted, devastating cyber attack on the US.

By orders/suggestions of the head of my program, the first draft is sitting on a shelf, outside of my mind at least until August. It’s breathing, fermenting, if you will, so that I can return to it with a clear head and no allegiances to keeping what I originally thought were pithy or witty sentences.

Da Do Ron RonAll that said, I’ve been challenged to write something new and different than the first work. That’s led me to create the story of a 13-year-old boy growing up on Northern Michigan’s KI Sawyer Air Force Base in 1977. I wasn’t that old, and I’ve taken some liberties with the local surroundings to tell the story, but the story is shaping up into a literary fiction work I’m quite excited about.

So here’s a trick I’ve found very helpful in my writing. (Actually, I can’t take credit for this, the Jedi Writing Master of the program suggested it back in November) I’ve created a 1970s playlist in iTunes and when I sit down to write, when I drive, when my mind is idle and obviously my subconscious is working on the new book, these songs are playing.

These songs help remind me of how it felt to be alive in those days.

If you’re writing, I encourage you to develop your own playlist appropriate for the time period you are writing.

For those of you who remember the time period, I ask, what’s missing? The period is June to December, 1977.

I have the boys in the story going to the Base Exchange Annex on Voodoo and one of them buying The Eagles Hotel California and another buying Shaun Cassidy’s Da Do Ron Ron.

Kodachrome – Paul Simon – 1973
Black and White – Three Dog Night – 1972
Deep Purple – Donny and Marie Osmond — 1976
Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five – Paul McCartney and Wings – 1973
Old Fashioned Love Song – Three Dog Night — 1971
Sister Golden Hair – America – 1975
Maggie May – Rod Stewart – 1971
Make Your Own Kind of Music – Mama Cass Elliot – 1969
You’re Sixteen – Ringo Starr – 1973
You’re So Vain – Carly Simon – 1972
Billy, Don’t Be a Hero – Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods – 1974
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks – 1974
Can’t Get It Out of My Head – ELO – 1974
The Hustle – Van McCoy – 1975
How Much Love – Leo Sayer – 1976
Photograph – Ringo Starr – 1973
Weekend In New England – Barry Manilow – 1976
Strange Magic – ELO – Feb. 1976
Rock Me Gently – Andy Kim – 1974
Telephone Line – ELO – 1976
Suspicious Minds – Elvis – 1969
You’re in My Heart – Rod Stewart – 1977
The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkle –1970
Mamunia – Paul McCartney and Wings – 1973
#9 Dream – John Lennon – 1974
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens – 1961
Shop Around – Captain and Tennille – 1976
Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn – 1973
I’m Not in Love – 10 cc – 1975
Sweet and Innocent – Donny Osmond – 1971
Jet – Paul McCartney and Wings – 1973
American Pie – Don McLean – 1971
Take A Chance On Me – ABBA – 1977
Same Kinda Love – Tony Defranco and the Defranco Family –1973
Instant Karma – John Lennon – 1970
Abra-ca-dabra – Tony Defranco and the Defranco Family – 1973
Sara Smile – Hall and Oates – 1975
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynard Skynard – 1974
Keep On Singing – Helen Reddy – 1972
Half-Breed – Cher – 1973
Sister Mary Elephant – Cheech and Chong – 1972
Moonshadow – Cat Stevens – 1970
Heartbeat It’s a Love Beat – Tony Defranco and the Defranco Family — 1973
Only Yesterday – The Carpenters – 1975
Muskrat Love – Captain and Tennille – 1976
How Do You Do? – Mouth and MacNeal — 1971
Amazing Grace – The Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipes & Drums
City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie – 1972
Snowbird – Anne Murray — 1969
Save the Last Dance for Me – Tony Defranco and the Defranco Family — 1974
It Never Rains in Southern California – Albert Hammond – 1972
The Air The I Breathe – The Hollies – 1974
Annie’s Song – John Denver –1974
Imagine – John Lennon — 1970
Me and You and a Dog Named Boo – Lobo – 1971
Star Wars Theme – Meco – 1977
Flight of the Gull – Neil Diamond – 1973
Love Train – The O’Jays – 1972
Dance with Me – Orleans – 1975
Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain and Tennille – 1975

With A Little Luck – Paul McCartney and Wings – 1978
It’s A Heartache – Bonnie Tyler – 1978


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