Richard Oliff: Music helps to unlock my memories

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Music is a wonderful diary if, like me, you don’t put time aside to fill in the detail from your daily life in a journal.

One can hear the first note from a tune and be suddenly transported way back through the mists of time to a moment or place without having to trawl through pages of hand written notes from the past.

I like to call them holiday or event records, some of which would never, under normal circumstances, be chosen as a song to play at leisure, purely because of taste or preference.

Yet there they sit, a full set of musical “ear-worms” – reminders of the events that make up a life.

Sealed with a Kiss by Brian Hyland takes me to our regular summer holiday destination of Scratby in Norfolk, where many a carefree childhood day was spent with my family at a little sea-view bungalow called Kingsley.

If I hear Honky Tonk Women by the Rolling Stones, or Oh Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, I’m taken immediately to the summer of 1969.

In 1972 my friend Roy and I were sitting at the back of a coach heading for Bournemouth when a song came on the radio: 10538 Overture by the Electric Light Orchestra.

In 1973, following my first experience of flying, George Harrison’s Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) still reminds me of an amazing holiday and my 18th birthday celebrations in Vancouver.

The following year, during a return visit to Canada, my cousin took me on a drive south to the USA.

En route there was one song continuously playing on the car radio that has become synonymous with my memory of that entire experience: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Hats off to Enfield and Whitehouse! Everyone has a holiday song!