Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sweet Local News Story: Elderly Embrace Old Songs; Make Us Feel Good

A 99-year-old woman enjoys some music
and memories at an Atlanta, Georiga assisting
living facility in a WXIA-TV news piece.  
Often, on a slow new day, local TV stations fill time with stories that aren't all that important, just fluff.  Sometimes these stories are kinda boring, frankly.

Sometimes, though, when they're done right, those "fluff" stories are actually pretty amazing.

WXIA in Atlanta recently put together a feature on a music therapist who works with the elderly in an assisted living facility.

That doesn't sound like a big deal, but the producers edited and reported the piece in such a way that it was quite moving.

You'll see in the video at the bottom of this post how WXIA mixed interviews, images of the elderly enjoying the music, and flashes of the mementos they cling onto as they remember these old songs.

"Music memories last longer than other memories," said John Abel, the music therapist featured in the WXIA piece.

It's true. I bet you agree with me that some songs you heard in your youth, even tunes that aren't even really that good, evoke strong memories. Usually they're memories that have nothing to do with the song, but that's OK.

For some reason, the song "Rhiannon"by Fleetwood Mac  is my current earworm and it makes me think of a glorious spring hike I took in 1976, when the song was a hit. No rhyme or reason to the memory, it just is.

I'm sure everyone reading has this experience.

As the WXIA piece shows, sometimes these musical memories are absolutely poignant and beautiful.

At WXIA, one of the news anchors actually started weeping a bit when the piece ended (this is included in the video below), because it reminded him of his own father.

Without further ado, watch the piece. It's very nice:

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