the sound of your morning: bonney family edition


This morning is a very special edition of the Monday music mix because . . . my parents are taking over. Okay, not entirely, but they’re outnumbering me two to one. Before dinner yesterday, I was thinking about this column and how we could pool the diverse Bonney family musical tastes into one post. Rather than trying to find a single musical theme, we focused on any music that reminded us of growing up. My parents picks from the 60s are vastly superior to my 80s choices, but I did my best to represent my own decade (Debbie Gibson, anyone?). And as an added bonus, I included some embarrassing photos from my childhood. Including one especially incriminating photo from a New Kids on the Block show.


Image above: My parents (Chris and Elaine) in the 70s, before they were married

Whether you’re with your family right now or just thinking of them, I hope you’ll join in the fun and share some of the music that reminds you of growing up. If your parents can’t chime in, don’t worry; your own decade’s music will be welcome company. xo, grace

Tommy James and The Shondells, “Mony Mony” (Elaine/Mom) — “This song was the theme song for our junior prom. I was in love with a local band, and their lead singer sang this song. Young love, it does leave an impression.”

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, “Wooly Bully” (Elaine/Mom) — “We used to go to White Lake, NC, on vacation, and there was a jukebox on the end of the pier where we were staying. My sister Marsha and I would go fill the jukebox with quarters, and this was one of the songs we used to play over and over.”

Dave Clark Five, “Glad All Over” (Elaine/Mom) — “This was the first concert I ever saw, and it was when I really fell in love with rock music — and guys in general.”

CLICK HERE for the rest of the mix (My Dad’s Top 4 Songs, My Top 4 and my NKOTB pics) after the jump!

Four Tops, “Shake Me Wake Me (When It’s Over)” and “I’ll Be There” (Chris/Dad) — “These first two songs were the music of high school — dances and dates.”

Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (Chris/Dad) — “For me, this marked a transition from the more innocent songs of Motown to an era of more rebellious music.”

The Standells, “Dirty Water” (Chris/Dad) — “My friend Ron Mclaine had a band and played that song, and I thought they had written it because I’d never heard it before.”

Michael Jackson, “Thriller” (Grace) — My friend Courtney and I (see last week’s post about her massive two-record collection) loved this song so much. Her dad bought me a Thriller shirt to wear when we were three or four years old, and my mom swears I wore it to sleep for days and days in a row.

Deniece Williams, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (Grace) — We lived in an apartment complex when I was little that had a community pool. My mom told me that when this song came on, I would dance around the pool and perform it. It doesn’t elicit quite the same reaction these days, though I still can’t help but sing along.

Debbie Gibson, “Out of the Blue” (Grace) — Did any of you NOT want to tear a hole in your jeans and draw a smiley face on your knee? No? Then you didn’t grow up in the 80s. I wanted to be Debbie Gibson so badly, bowler hat and all.

New Kids On The Block, “Step by Step” (Grace) — It’s embarrassing enough to have this as a favorite song from your childhood, but I figured I’d go in full force with this one. Not only did I own a Joe doll and attend an NKOTB concert in the throes of bronchitis with my cousin Dori (incriminating photo below — laugh away), but I also bought a “Backstage Pass” from Claire’s accessory store and really truly thought it was real. I was so disappointed to find out it wasn’t.* I don’t know what I was thinking about preferring Joe, though; clearly, Jordan was the cute one.

*Bonus embarrassment: We couldn’t afford two sets of binoculars (you can imagine how good our seats were), so Dori and I SHARED a set and looked through one eye-hole a piece. But I was convinced they were STILL just singing for me.

*Extra bonus embarrassment: My mom is making me include this photo (below) from when I was three. I loved these headphones so much that I apparently wore them around the house, unplugged, because I thought they looked cool.

  1. Emelie says:

    On a side note, I just remembered my dad trying to explain to me how NKOTB didn’t really have musical talent per say… and that I cried. LOL!

  2. Emily says:

    Great posting Grace. I’ll be standing happily in that garden Sunday. I’m obviously older than all of your other responders. Anyone remember Elvis in his early hay days?

  3. cecilia says:

    Grace, I love the idea of re-visiting music that we grew up to. I’m older than you as well, but DO remember sitting in my cousins’ family room glued to the TV the first time we saw the Thriller video (and then remembering watching MTV for music videos – as opposed to reality shows that we now watch today – or I’ll speak for myself the Laguna Beach/Hills junkie that I was). The photos of your parents before they were married, and the one of you with the headphones are precious. My little brother used to play a toy guitar and sing into the TV antennae (as a microphone) to Shaun Cassidy, so your photo reminded me of a similar one we have of him. I love how music stirs the soul and brings back memories and evoke such emotion. Thanks for sharing your family photos!

  4. Sarah says:

    Grace, your first two songs describe my young childhood to a T. I think we’re about the same age because I had Thriller on tape and I called it Thriver and would beg my dad to play it, “Thriver Daddy, Thriver!” every time we got in the car.

    As for “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” I had the Footloose soundtrack on a record and would dance around the living room with pom poms I have the incriminating pictures to prove it. Those songs along with the Sesame Street Disco pretty much summed up my very early years.

  5. cecilia says:

    …and I wonder, where is that wing chair now? (in the headphones photo). Do you parents still own it? It’s got great bones. I was noticing how TV’s have changed and can date our photos, but look at how classic that wing chair is…it can stand the test of time.

  6. Sue says:

    Great post! It brought me some morning chuckles because I totally relate except my time was the late 70’s-early 80’s. Mullets for the boys and lots of junk jewelry with fingerless lace gloves and Madonna style garb for many girls. Ugh!
    Thanks for the post. It was fun.

  7. Deb Plapp says:

    Love this music, brings back memories. Elaine did you do the “jerk” to any of these? I’m sure I did. :)

  8. Grace, I have been meaning to contact you for quite some time. I am from the same generation as your parents but also have the same last name!!!!! (before marriage). I am excited that you have included some Bonney family history, something I love and cherish. Look forward to seeing more of it!

    1. grace says:

      thanks carol! nice to meet another bonney :)

      g

  9. Cecilia, my uncle and aunt had that wing chair in their home for many years. My father (Grace’s grandfather) intercepted it when my aunt was going to throw it out. It has since been rebuilt and recovered three times and is sitting in our family room today, as sturdy as ever.

  10. shelley says:

    Grace! Love the pictures (and the cute Welsh Terrier)…YOU look just like your beautiful mom.
    My music growing up: Carole King, Carly Simon (even named my daughter, Carly!), John Denver, Barbra Streisand, lots of Broadway (guess I was kinda nerdy).
    Today – pretty much the same…besides country, the “coolest” thing I listen to is Jason Mraz!

  11. Jennifer McGee says:

    My first concert ever was NKOTB…and I am soooo giddy to be seeing them this summer. I will forever be a “Joe-girl” :-)

    Also, Grace, I totally did the same thing with my dad’s humongous ear phones…and apparently also sang in to the plug because I thought it was a microphone haha

  12. Jonathan says:

    Ah my favorite post of the week and am I ready with a list DAMN SKIPPY! Now I was never TOUGH enough to Hang with the musical geniuses that are/were NKOTB. Not since the times, of Mozart and Beethoven, have humans been able to witness the pure genius that is/was NKOTB. What would my life be today if I wasn’t able to witness the phenomenon of adolescent girls (wearing tight rolled acid wash jeans, chunky socks, IOU sweatshirts, white kids/canvas tretorns, and who had bleached/frosted hair that had bangs that could touch the ceiling) freaking out over such talent. I told myself that if such talent EVER graced the stage again I was going to make sure that I got on board and that is why I am excited to tell the world that I have BEIBER FEVER! So without further ado I list, in order that I heard them:
    •Frankie Vallie and the 4 seasons: December 1963
    •Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Keys of Life album
    •Barry Manilow: Copacobana
    •Elvis: Jail House Rock
    •Beach Boys: Good Vibrations/ I was hooked from then on
    •Led Zepplin: Fool In The Rain
    •Genesis: Its No Fun Being an Illegal Alien
    •Jackson Browne: Lawyers in Love
    •Joe Jackson: Steppin’ Out/ still one of my all time top 10
    •Village People: In the Navy
    •I’m RICK JAMES: Superfreak
    •The Boss: Hungry Heart/ The Obsession begins
    •Thriller
    •The Police: Synchronicity album
    •Nena: 99 Luftballons
    •U2: New Years Day/ I was hooked from then on
    •Jimmy Buffet: Cheeseburger In Paradise
    •Prince: Purple Rain
    •Madonna: Holiday
    •Beastie Boys: License to Ill
    •Run DMC: Raising Hell
    •U2: Joshua Tree
    •The Boss: Born in The USA
    •Cameo: Word Up
    •Huey Lewis and the News: Everything
    •George Thorogood and The Deleware Destroyers: Bad to the Bone/ my blues love affair begins
    • REM: Document/ Green Album
    •Jane’s Addiction: All their Albums
    •Sonic Youth: Goo
    •Pearl Jam: Ten
    •Nirvana: Nevermind
    •Sir Mix A LOT: Baby Got Back
    Thanks for the post and allowing me the opportunity to make music playlist at least once a week.

  13. emily says:

    i think music playing consistently in any household is a must. even for the younger ones, and I don’t mean Elmo or “bullfrogs & butterflies.” mom and I used to go on walks when I was little, and she’d sing songs like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” or “Brown Eyed Girl” to me and later WITH me. loved that kind of an education!

  14. Aw, Grace! Such precious family photos! You haven’t changed much at all! Such a fun post! Thanks!

  15. Shereen says:

    This is great! I am 33, and had an 80’s party last year and it was such a hit because we were all the same age and just spent the night trying to out dance and out sing each other with every NKOTB/Tiffany/Micheal Jackson (etc.) song that came on! Does anyone remember Debbie Gibson’s perfume “Electric Youth”?! My friends and I wore it all the time until someone’s bottle broke in the gym locker room in 6th grade and the principle banned it from the school! I think that locker room still smells like it…hahah!

  16. Jillian says:

    Not only did I also have a Joe doll, but are those glow rings? We had them too, and spent the whole night in the hotel room after (two brave mothers took four very excited little girls to an out-of-town concert) spelling out Joe and then a heart shape with our glow rings.

  17. Ha ha ha! This post is so funny and awesome. I’m a just enough older than you to have been mortified when my mom gave me a Jordan doll for Christmas. But I did LOVE Debbie Gibson and that photo of her on the album cover, too. Tiffany played a free show on my college campus about 10 years ago when she was trying to make a comeback. Everyone got so into it when she played her old hits!

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