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Music stirs the slumbering soul October 21, 2009

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

Lately, I’ve been short on inspiration to be honest. I readily chalk it up to the change of seasons—and the rapid decline of sunlight. It’s definitely my kryptonite. Football usually provides a boost at this time of year, but fellow Buffalo Bills fans can surely attest to how that’s going for me this season. Even running doesn’t seem to release the endorphins it used to.

The album Dreamland from Black Box included several hit singles, including "Strike It Up."

The album Dreamland from Black Box included several hit singles, including "Strike It Up."

So I was surprised that, while driving home from work earlier this week, inspiration came from my car radio. “Strike It Up” by Black Box was blasting through my speakers, a hard driving R&B dance tune that slipped into popular culture somewhere between 80s glamour pop and 90s grunge.

Actually, the year was 1991. I was a TV news producer living a pretty typical existence for a professional 20-something. Work could be very stressful at times, but it only fueled the playful adventure that characterized my life outside the Channel 13 newsroom. “Strike It Up” was among the songs I frequently blared from my cassette player while blowing off steam, and I also recall hearing it plenty at Rochester Americans hockey games—every time the home team scored a goal. Looking back, “Strike It Up” provided a soundtrack for an era of my life that filled me with awesome memories.

Back to 2009. As I pulled into my driveway, I thought, “I’ve got to find that song!” I went upstairs and pulled out a portable hard drive filled with an assortment of media goodies.PaulaThat includes the Billboard Hot 100 hits for each year dating back to the 1950s. I’d only scratched the surface in transferring some of it into my personal music collection, so I couldn’t help but think the song had to exist on it somewhere.

I started with 1990. What I encountered while browsing through files only stirred more memories. Long before David Archuleta learned of her desire to squish him, squeeze his head off and dangle it from her rearview mirror—or even before he was born for that matter—Paula Abdul was performing some pretty appealing pop music. And yes, I know, Milli Vanilli was a complete fraud—but ‘girl, you know it’s true,’ their songs sure were catchy.millivanilli

With toes tapping and fingers drumming on the desk, my spirits began to soar. It wasn’t long before I was dancing my way up and down the upstairs hallway. (Sorry to put that image in your head. I’m sure it looked every bit as awkward as you would imagine.) It was such a fun reminder of what it felt like to be 20-something again.

Anyway, after much searching—and dancing—I finally located “Strike It Up,” and it now lives along side plenty of other early 90s music on my iPod. Check out the music video that I located on YouTube and posted below. It represents the lesser-known lip-syncing scandal of that era. Take notice of the 100-pound supermodel lead singer. Her vocals actually belong to 400-pound Martha Wash—not exactly eye-candy for the MTV generation.

I’ve often said I have no interest in going back to relive my life, and it’s true. Been there, done that! But it’s the memories I cherish. They provide perspective as I navigate life’s peaks and valleys. And they provide entertainment—particularly when set to music.



1. Norma Holland - October 22, 2009

Gosh, Paul! I had no idea you were so cool!!!! Let’s get together and have a basement party and bust out all the old tunes! Maybe throw in a little Soul 2 Soul, C&C Music Factory, and Heavy D!

2. paulstella - October 22, 2009

You’re on, Norma! 🙂

3. Laura - October 22, 2009

Maybe you and Young MC can “Bust a Move” when your walk down memory lane sends you through 80’s rap. 🙂

4. Frank Battaglia - October 24, 2009

Ah, the aural equivalent of comfort food. I’d “bust a move”, but I’m afraid the only thing I’d wind up busting would be my knee…

5. Shorter days, even shorter fuse « Stellavision - October 24, 2010

[…] of bed. It’s that season, I know. The rapid decay of daily daylight really takes its toll on me. I whined about this last year. Fall is such a beautiful time of year, but it can be a dangerous time […]

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