I was looking forward to seeing the movie “Jersey Boys.”
So I went, and enjoyed, though I could probably get the same result by buying a record. Because what I did, when the Four Seasons started singing, was close my eyes and remember.
I was in the booth of a cafe across the street from the campus at what was then North Texas State College and I was listening to a jukebox playing a tightly blended quartet crooning “Sherry, Baby.”
I travel back to the ’50s, and there are not only the Four Seasons, but also the Four Freshmen, the Four Tops and the Temptations, of which there are five. All good. All with wonderful harmonies.
You won’t hear much of that kind of music these days.
North Texas, which became North Texas University and finally, the University of North Texas, was a mecca for vets at that time, and there were thousands of young men, many with wives and children, who were taking advantage of the GI bill.
I lived in a dormitory, but there were also frat houses and sorority houses and, because of the times, a big Vet Village, to accommodate all the men home from World War II.
It was a time for the beginnings of child care outside the home, I think, because many of the wives were working to help their husbands get through college.
There was not only beautiful recorded music, but a real, live dance band, The Aces of Collegeland, playing for our listening enjoyment, because North Texas was, and still is, a big music school.
We had a symphony orchestra and a marching band. We had the Aces, the best Big Band you ever heard. We had an opera workshop and a harp ensemble. I suppose we had the equivalent of the One O’clock Lab Band, which continues to this day to win Grammy awards.
In the back of the student center was a big concrete slab, and you could go dancing there most every evening. It was conveniently just across the street from the journalism building.
Which is where I lived most of the time.
We also sang and danced up and down the long hall of that building, blowing off a little steam, I guess. I remember singing
“Nature Boy” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried.” If you remember those, you are getting a little long in the tooth.
Every afternoon, across from the dorm in the big music building, the marching band was rehearsing “St. Louis Blues March.” I bet I heard that rendition a million times. They also played it at the football game, of course.
North Texas was never a big winner in football, and not much in basketball either. To pass the reporting class, all us journalists were required to go to the basketball games and learn to be sports reporters.
But there was only one team that got what we would now call media attention.
And like the Seasons and the Freshmen and the Tops, there were only four.
They were members of the golf team, and they won the National Collegiate Golf Championship four times. They were Billy Maxwell, Don January, Joe Conrad and Marion Hiskey. Maxwell, Conrad and January went on to fame and fortune as professional golfers.
All this was a long, long time before the Mean Green, which began, I believe, with Mean Joe Green, of Coca-Cola commercial fame.
But even that far back in time, we wore our green with pride.