New (Old) Road Trip Music

More Americans go on road trips in the summer than any other time of year and part of the fun is -- what songs do we want to hear on the playlist?
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More Americans go on road trips in the summer than any other time of year and part of the fun is -- what songs do we want to hear on the playlist?

Sometimes it's good ol' reliable James Taylor (can never go wrong with his melodic, upbeat tunes) or perhaps the catchy summer hit that's spawned a gazillion YouTube covers "Call Me Maybe" by Canadian Idol contestant Carly Rae Jepsen who told Nightline that she thought of her song as a modern day "Walking On Broken Glass" from Eurythmics.

Some of us love our SiriusXM satellite radio because unlike terrestrial radio of old, if you were cruising on a seemingly deserted highway in places like New Mexico, there used to be a dearth of channel selections back in the day. This way, you can listen to a channel that time warps you instantly back to relive a period of time, rediscover old hits we forgot about and always have your favorite channel available and tune into what others are listening to at the same time in the country.

Sometimes you want the music to keep up your mood if it's a long strip of road, or music to "go with" the lovely scenery, like the scenic Highway One in California. It's also fun to "discover" a song (even if it's an old one to others) for the first time and add it to your favorite playlist.

Ever hear a song that sounds familiar, like you should know it, but not really? On SiriusXM's 1980s New Wave channel called 1st Wave, we had to look at the screen to examine this one catchy song we heard that sounded as fresh as it probably did when it came out two decades ago. This upbeat pop song also had a sense of longing (if that's possible) and an optimistic flair that might be what would give away its age. It was called "Together in Electric Dreams" by Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder.

I iTuned it immediately. It's now on repeat mode. Then looked up the lyrics that make you want to sing along with (that's one nice thing about technology, admits the luddite looking the song up on an iPhone). How come we've never heard this one before, or had we, but just forgotten? And who knew Philip Oakey was the lead singer of the Human League? Should have known that one. It was for the soundtrack of the 1984 movie "Electric Dreams" about a love triangle between a man, woman and a computer, with actress Virginia Madsen.

One might not have known this new (old) song wasn't one of its YouTube-cover-generating counterparts of today if we hadn't looked it up online. The only thing is, you just can't full on dance in the car, but hey, you'll stay awake singing. Love the familiar sounding hook that repeats in the background, "Love Never Ends/We'll Always Be Together/However Far It Seems."

Whatever your taste in music, enjoy the great American summer road trip!