WHERE WERE YOU IN 1965? #FlashbackFriday #MusicalMemories

34 Comments#FlashbackFriday, #MusicalMemories, Blogfests, Memoir, Music

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1965 | #FlashbackFriday #MusicalMemories

Flashback Friday, introduced by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined and hosted by Jemima Pett, is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.”

This was originally published on June 18, 2015, and was the first in a continuing series. Click HERE to view. Despite all good intentions, I never got past the second installment. It’s my hope to pick it up again, soon.

Musical Memories, The Doglady's Den

The year was 1965.

My father, an officer in the Canadian army, had been away since July of 1964, commanding a UN peacekeeping force in the Gaza Strip area of Palestine. At home in London (Ontario), my mother received word that after the current tour of duty ended in June, we would be transferred back to Germany, where my parents had met and married and where I was born. In fact, that birthplace – the town of Soest – was our assigned posting. My mother was happy about this, as she would be near her parents and other family members. I was relieved to be getting away from the xenophobic school bullies who tormented me. We moved the first week of July. My father flew in from Cairo and we stayed at my grandparents’ place for about two weeks, until our apartment was ready. New continent, new friends, new experiences…..


London Canada to Soest Germany
Map Data ©2015 Google, INEGI

I lived a double life.

canadian german heritage

Canadian army brat during the week, German girl on the weekends. Every Friday after my father finished work, we went shopping at the Canex (army stores) for my grandparents (groceries, cigarettes and alcohol were much cheaper there), then spent the weekend with them. It was only an hour’s drive away, and their large apartment had plenty of room.

Great aunt Mathilde and uncle Eugen lived in a neighbouring city. They owned a large pub, with living quarters upstairs. This was a magical place for me, and we visited often, sometimes spending the night. Picture this: Dark, well-worn hardwood floors. A long wooden bar, either walnut or mahogany, ornately carved, with matching bar stools. Wooden booths lined the far wall, and matching tables were found in an adjoining room. Also in that room was a 19th century piano and a giant jukebox, fully loaded. This is where the magic happened! On the playlist that summer: [For those who can’t view the first video due to restrictions, please scroll down for an alternative at the end of the post.]

You might recognize the first one as a German version of “The Birds And The Bees” by Jewel Atkins. Listen to the original HERE, if you like. The Rolling Stones finally caught my attention that summer. When I heard the B-side of “The Last Time”, it was love at first listen. “Play with Fire” is still one of my favourites, 50 years later! From then on, The Beatles had to share space in my heart with The Stones. “Satisfaction” hit the airwaves in October, and that sealed the deal.

The rest of that year was spent settling in, getting re-acquainted with relatives (whom I hadn’t seen since 1959 – our last time in Germany), and making new friends in two languages.

Where were you in 1965?
Looking forward to your comments!



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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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34 thoughts on “WHERE WERE YOU IN 1965? #FlashbackFriday #MusicalMemories

  1. My family had a hard time making ends meet in 1965. I spent time in an orphanage near the Dutch border at that time, and was glued to the radio station Hilversum 3. … Awesome post, friend D … Love, cat.

    1. I’m sorry your family was having such a rough time in 1965, cat. 🙁 It must have been hard living in an orphanage. I looked up Hilversum 3. Apparently, it had just started up that year. My favourite station was Radio Luxembourg; especially the English music at night. Thanks for reading my story. More to come! 🙂

  2. 1965 was difficult for my family, as we were trying to make ends meet. I remember being glued to the Dutch radio station Hilversum 3 …. Awesome posts you have here, friend D …. Love, c.

  3. Howdy, DEBBIE!
    I signed up my blog to participate in this Flashback Friday blogfest, but I keep forgetting to do it. How many people actively participate, do you know? Because I have a feeling I’m not the only “no-show”.

    In 1965, I was only this many: IIIIII.
    So, mostly, I was just riding my imaginary horse and shooting imaginary outlaws in Orange County, California. It was a good life back then!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    1. I figured you are younger than me, Stephen. 🙂 Orange County must have been a nice place to grow up. As for Flashback Friday, a few people are still doing it, but the linky list was closed, so it might be petering out. I think it’s a great idea though and will continue on. We all have posts that deserve more exposure. Thanks for dropping in.

  4. Debbie, I lived in southern WV with my parents. I turned four in December 1965. So, unfortunately being so young I don’t have any distinct memories. All of your mewsic is stuff I grew up hearing or at least a few of these songs I recall. Either I forgot or I’m just now learning that you were born in Germany. I think I remember your dad was in the service, though. I have a hard time piecing facts together sometimes. Oh well, great Flashback Friday post. The mewsic is great! 🙂

    1. Hi, Cathy; Southern WV must be a lovely place to grow up. Yes, I’m binational and bilingual. 🙂 My mother was German and my father was Canadian, of German descent. Thanks for reading my story. I hope to continue this series in future. I only got as far as 1966, which will be the next #FlashbackFriday entry.

  5. Hey Debbie,

    I loved this! For the record, I wasn’t born in ’65 nor do I think I was being thought of. However, I do appreciate strolling down memory lane with you. 😉


    1. Hi Bren; Thanks for reading my story. I hope to continue with more instalments. I know many people weren’t born yet in 1965. I guess that makes me officially old. Not in my head, though. 😀 Nice to see you have the new site up and running. I’ll definitely check it out!

  6. Love reading your post. What an interesting life, Debbie! I love jukeboxes–there is something so exciting about them. I remember the first one I ever saw. It was a magical experience. Where was I in 1965? Mumbai and two years old. Growing up with my Grandma, Aunts and Uncles, and of course, Mom. I have vague memories : our family, already a joint family with loads of laughter, made our house seem like Liberty Hall, what with cousins coming and going all the time. Those were the days! Zero technology, radio being our sole entertainment, besides the movies.

    1. Thanks for reading my story, Vidya. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 It has been an interesting, intercontinental life. Your extended family sounds wonderful! There’s something to be said for zero technology. We did have TV as well as radio, though.

  7. That’s so interesting. My father is a teacher and sometimes when I hear or read about transferable jobs and how kids move with parents, I miss that part.
    1965, I don’t know. Maybe my earlier life somewhere 😉

    1. I loved being part of an intercontinental family, Parul. 🙂 It’s so educational to experience life in different countries. I realize many people weren’t even born in 1965. I was 10, which officially makes me old. 😉 Thanks for reading my story.

  8. Oh, wow… I just listened to “Play With Fire” this week… That is a powerful recording.

    I enjoyed this trip back down Memory Lane. You are multi-faceted.

    1. “Play with Fire” is a stirring song and it’s too bad it was relegated to the “B” side. Thanks for reading my story, Myke. It has been an interesting, intercontinental life. 🙂

  9. Fascinating times you had! I can well understand your joy at visiting your grand-folks – their bar sounds rich with old world charm – and I can tell they had a truly positive influence on you.
    Already a wanderer at seven, and unaccustomed to the city (Tucson), I was hit by a car as I defiantly crossed a busy street to visit a new friend. Knowing I’d be in trouble, I took off running. But the driver followed me, knocking on every apartment door; frantically exaggerating my bloodied description, until my nanny answered our door. I was on restriction most of that summer. But they’d sent me back to the sticks (western outskirts) where I was quite content to (safely) roam the desert, sing along to “Mr. Tambourine Man”, devour peanut butter cups, and listen to grown-ups talk about Vietnam in worried whispers.

    1. That period in Europe (1965-1969) was the best time of my youth, diedre. 🙂 I’m glad you weren’t seriously hurt by the car. Good for the driver, wanting to make sure you were okay. Thanks for sharing your memories of 1965.

    1. Those photos you see were taken in 2013 when I went back home for the first time in 41 years. It was a pleasant surprise to see that both apartment buildings had been beautifully restored. 🙂 Planning your wedding must have been exciting, Carol. Thanks for reading my story.

  10. I was born in 1965, but being the youngest of six kids, I had the pleasure of listening to my older siblings music. I really enjoyed the German version of Cindy Lou. It’s always been a catchy tune for me. As for the Stones, Satisfaction has always been one of my favorites. Great post, Debbie. I enjoyed learning a bit more about you.

    1. Thanks for reading my story, Mary. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Listening to “Cindy Lou” brings me right back to that pub in 1965, when I was 10 years old.

    1. I was wondering if anyone else was still doing Flashback Friday. It’s a good idea and I hope it doesn’t die out. Thanks for reading my story. Glad you enjoyed it! That was probably the nicest period of my youth.

  11. Sounds like an interesting time in your life. All the songs except for “Il Silenzio” are familiar to me other than the trumpet melody of “Taps” incorporated into the tune–and actually that song does sound vaguely familiar though I think I’m confusing it with another very similar sounding recording.

    Weird to hear “Birds and Bees” in German.

    IN 1965 I was in junior high living in Northern Indiana not far from Chicago. I was listening to a lot of top 40 radio by that time and following the hits.

    Arlee Bird

    1. Lee, those years living in Europe (1965-69) were probably the best times of my life growing up. The travel opportunities alone were amazing and being close to family was also nice. Yes, the German version of “Birds and the Bees” sounds a little strange. 🙂 “Il Silenzio” was a worldwide hit. From Wikipedia:

      its thematic melody being an extension of the same Italian Cavalry bugle call used by the Russian composer Tchaikovsky to open his Capriccio Italien (often mistaken for the U.S. military bugle call “Taps”).

      You’ve certainly lived in many different places as well. Makes for an interesting life!

  12. My biped had just moved house and had to start a new school which turned out to be much nicer than the old one, so she was making new friends as well.

    I wasn’t even a twinkle in my daddy’s eye and he wasn’t even a twinkle in his daddy’s eye… I think you get the idea! 😀