Updated March 29 at 3:29pm

What you listen to can determine your fate

Everyone has their own time machine.

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What you listen to can determine your fate


Everyone has their own time machine.

The only question is: how are you using it?

The time machine I’m referring to is music. The music you grew up with and the music you listen to every day. I refer to it as the “music transportation department” because the right song can transport you back to an exact place and time in an instant – and create a great feeling.

Hopefully a positive place.

Hopefully a peaceful place.

Hopefully an inspirational place.

And surprisingly a sales place.

In 1983, I went to an “oldies” concert in Philadelphia. A bunch of doo-wop groups reassembled to sing 25-year-old songs. The music I grew up with. The opening group was The Dubs who started the show singing “Could This Be Magic.”

As I listened and sang along, I started to cry. It was the beginning of my true understanding of music. I’ve been a devout listener of doo-wop since 1955 and considered myself somewhat of an expert. But the memories it brought back were amazing. Overwhelming.

The Dubs provided my first recognized musical time machine, and I have been in the time machine warp ever since.

Fast forward to 2008. I started my subscription to a club here in Charlotte, N.C., called Music with Friends. They put on four concerts a year in a small venue (750 people) with great acoustics (actually an old converted church). I’ve got perfect seats (although there is not a bad seat in the house). And every event is total time machine music. Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Hall & Oates and Diana Ross to name a few.

Yes, I go to large arena music time machine events too. Carole King, Springsteen, and the incomparable Leonard Cohen.

And as a true music lover, I also see what is new. Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Rhianna.

There’s magic in live music.

Repetition is the mother of mastery. If you hear a song once, and you like it, you tap your foot to the music. After you hear that song five times, you can sing along. After you hear that song 10 times, you can sing it on your own.

And if you hear that same song 20 years later, it instantly transports you back to the exact time and place you first heard it.

If I play the right song for you, I can take you back to your first date, first kiss, summer romance, travel, school, riding in a car, first wedding dance, even your first divorce.

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