I always heard this little slice of 70s country-rock when I worked at the hospital there. You see, the only radio station we could get was the local station, KCII 106.1. True to its tag line, it was today’s news and yesterday’s music. Over 10 years after I last listened to that station, it’s still got the same tag. Some things never change. They played stuff up until right around the early 90s. I was forever trying to figure out what the most recent song they would play was. I don’t really remember what the winning song was when I changed jobs in 2004, but I think it was Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love.” By now, they are probably letting Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” sneak on the air from time to time.
Anyway, the bulk of the stuff that KCII played was 70s and 80s stuff. I loved it, of course, as that was the music that defined my coming of age. I have a fondness for soft rock from the 70s, probably because my mom was always playing that stuff when I was growing up. Pure Prairie League’s “Amie” is certainly from that vein. Songs like this remind me of old commercials – likely because a lot of them were used in the late 70s/early 80s for just such a purpose – and give me this vague sense of comfort. It’s like remembering a summer day in the late 70s when you were trying to remember to come in from playing so that you didn’t miss “Battle of the Network Stars.” or a rerun of a favorite “Laverne & Shirley” episode.
The trouble with KCII is that they may have played yesterday’s music, but the slice of yesterday’s music that they played was pretty slim. They played the same stuff over and over again. Much like when I worked at Drug Town, you could almost tell what time of day it was by what KCII was playing. Songs like the original Richard Harris version of “MacArthur Park” made us cringe, but mostly, it served as background music.
“Amie” on the other hand, always made me think of a nurse that worked there at the time named Amy. Probably why the song has such a strong association. I have fond memories of my days working there. I still think of her when I hear this song and wonder whatever happened to her. Sadly, I’ve fallen out of contact with nearly everyone I knew there and interacted with on a daily basis. The fleeting nature of human relationships is as real as it is frustrating. Relationships where a shared work environment is the biggest bond are, I’ve discovered, the hardest to keep going once you no longer share that work environment. Even with Facebook, it’s hard.
But there’s nothing hard about Pure Prairie League. They’re as soft-rock as country-rock gets. That’s not a bad thing – in fact, I’m kinda glad they are what they are, even though I’m hard pressed to be able to name another one of their songs.