As a nine-almost-ten-year-old, Gracie Lee didn’t have much money but when she managed to save a little, she liked to buy a new record or two at Savage Tunes on Main Street. Most of the time, though, she was forced to listen for her favorite songs to be played on the radio. WHBQ in Memphis played the best music—mostly top forty—and unless it was stormy, clear reception traveled across the Mississippi River to her corner of Northeast Arkansas.
She liked country music, too. Daddy blasted everyone out of bed before sunrise with the music of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, so those songs grew on her.
Being a disc jockey and choosing the records that got played on the radio…now that sounded like an interesting job. Gracie Lee thought a lot about what she would be when she grew up, and although she hadn’t yet chosen one career over another, one thing was for sure—her future would not include farming. Or Arkansas. No way, Jose!
One year for Christmas, Santa brought Gracie Lee a portable cassette tape player. At first, it was pretty cool thing, being able to record her favorite songs and play them outside while she practiced her cartwheels. Unfortunately, her tape recorder didn’t work very well, and she spent more time trying to untangle tape than recording or playing music.
Here’s Gracie’s mixtape. As a fourth grader in the 1970s, she had phenomenal musical taste.
(If you missed the first post about Gracie Lee, the protagonist of my debut novel, catch up HERE.)
**click each song to play
Talya Tate Boerner
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Look for The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, soon to be released by SYP Publishing!