Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1977 – Break-up, Kenny Rogers, Staying Alive by Sally Cronin

I cannot remember a time when music and movies where not a part of my life.

1977 was a watershed year in many ways in my personal and working life. My first marriage ended in separation at the end of 1977 but I have no wish to rehash the elements that contributed to its demise.

I do believe that some relationships start great but have no stamina and I was too young at 20 to make a decision that would impact the rest of my life. Some people are, but I clearly was not. Thankfully I went on to meet my present husband in 1980 and we celebrated out 41st anniversary this week. I know that my first husband also remarried a number of years later and had a family and I hope that he found the happiness that I have.

That being said 1977 was a difficult year. The cracks were widening in our relationship for various reasons and we gave our notice in at the Harbour Lights in Cowes and put all our belongings into storage. We moved into a shared house for about six weeks whilst my husband underwent training in his new job. He was then posted to Brighton to continue this and I remained behind until he received his first management position with the company.

A friend of mine who had supplied me with frozen foods owned Geoff’s Frozen Food centre and in return for a few hours a day, he let me stay in a delightful flat he owned and usually let out in the summer. This was a life saver and gave me a chance to calmly evaluate the state of my marriage.

For me the vows that I had taken meant something and despite the difficulties I was determined to make it work. My husband was posted to Chelmsford in mid-September as a manager for a club there. I followed and we lived in a hotel for six weeks as we looked for a house to buy.

A couple of days after confirming that we would give our relationship another chance an event took place that made me realise that we were kidding ourselves. I left with my suitcase and never returned.

The last two months of 1977 were spent as a paying guest of a friend of my mother’s in Portsmouth and I worked as a temp whilst looking for a full time job. I did not want to remain in the town where both our families were living and I bought The Lady Magazine which offered pages of reputable ‘live-in’ jobs. I applied for several and had a couple of interviews in London as a nanny, including one with a well-known actor and his young family. They actually offered me the job but I felt that I was not really in the right frame of mind to look after three children under five.

I went for an interview to Sussex at a public school for 140 children the week before Christmas. The position was for a Housekeeper/caterer and at only twenty-four years old I was dubious that I would get the job. Luckily for me my experience of catering in the Harbour Lights, plus my training with Schooner Inns impressed the young headmaster and his wife. On Christmas Eve I got the best present ever. A telegram offering me the job, a cottage to live in and a start date in the first week of January. My luck appeared to have changed and 1978 was a time of new beginnings, friends and an environment that allowed me to regain my confidence.

There probably was only one constant in my life during 1977 and that was my love of music. I seldom switched the radio off especially when I began living on my own.

Johnny Mathis began the year at Number One with When A Child Is Born... David Soul came next with one of the greatest break-up songs of the year and particularly poignant for me with Don’t Give Up On Us.

Others in the top spot in 1977 were Abba, The Name Of The Game, Donna Summer, I Feel Love, Leo Sayer, When I Need You, Baccara with one of the dance hits of the summer, Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. For those wanting something to smooch to, The Manhattan Transfer gave us Chanson D’amour. Abba was in the charts with two tracks that got to the top of the charts with The Name Of The Game and Knowing You, Knowing Me.

I have to say that many of the songs I listened to seemed to mirror my situation and I expect most of you can relate to that when you have experienced romantic heartbreak.

However, I have chosen a song that I have always loved and still listen to today. Kenny Rogers is one of my country idols and he certainly knew how showcase a song.

Kenny Rogers with ‘Lucille‘.  Kenny Rogers

It is no surprise that I did not get to the movies much that year despite there being some amazing films in the cinemas. I eventually caught up with them on television or DVD over the years and many are still hugely popular. Star Wars hit the screens and Hans Solo became the pin-up of the decade. (and longer!) Others that have legendary status are Annie Hall, Saturday Night Fever, Close Encounters (amazing) The Spy Who Loved Me and Smokey And The Bandit.

We still watch Close Encounters every few years and it never dates. I heard the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever before I saw the movie when I bought it on tape after a trip into Brighton when I worked at the school in 1978. It certainly got the dancing started when the teaching staff of a similar age would get together in my cottage.

Here is John Travolta showing us how it should be done courtesy of the Bee Gees.
Staying Alive. beegees

 

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane and I hope you will join me again next week.  Sally.

58 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Memories, Music and Movies – 1977 – Break-up, Kenny Rogers, Staying Alive by Sally Cronin

  1. I graduated from high school in 1977, so Staying Alive and disco were going strong when I was a young man. My wife likes to tease me about a couple of old disco shirts I used to own. I was a fan of girls—not disco, but we guys didn’t want to look like total fools out on the dance floor.

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  2. I went to teacher training college from 1973 -76 so these most certainly are my musical memories.
    I remember the film Saturday night Fever.loved the music of the Bee Gees and was lucky enough to see them in concert in Toronto in 1979,
    I loved the Star Wars films too and still do.
    (P.S. Star Wars was the saving of Lego who were close to bankruptcy in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Star Wars and Lego! Still is popular.
    P.P.S. I was never really into Lego until I was given a big box of Lego… I didn’t want it but was persuaded – the box had ALL of the Star Wars sets from seasons 4/5/6 (apart from the Death Star). I was persuaded to take the box, which cost me £5, and that was my Saviour.
    It enabled me to focus on my life away from a horrible teaching experience, take on supply teaching and to write children’s books.

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  3. I married at 21, Sally, but luckily it stuck. 52 years so far. We did like the same kind of music, though – I think I was 10+ years older than you in 1977 – was in Chicago doing a post doc.
    Sad to see that Barry is the only BeeGee left!

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  4. Great songs and movies, even if it was a hard year. I’m happy it ended up on a high note, and I do remember you writing about your job at the school before. Looking forward to more of your memories. Thanks, Sally!

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  5. Your life certainly took a turn but like everything, it all worked out. So many of us have gone through something similar. Not many around who are with their first spouse. I too am glad that my first husband remarried and had a son. Since we shared two children, we have kept in touch and he came to my mother’s celebration of life. Love, Staying Alive!

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  6. I think we learn something from our “failures,” Sally, and are better prepared to make good choices because of them… and that applies to relationships as well as other parts of our lives. And funny how the music we listened to is so tightly linked to a time in our lives. A lovely post and great songs. Kenny is siing in the background as I type. 😀

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  7. Another fab insight into your journey through life. So interesting, Sally. I wonder if you ever met or went into the Inn on Cowes, owned by my great aunt Glad Robertson – The Bell Inn, Medina Road? She ran it for many years with her husband Robbie and daughter Sheila. The Lady, what a gem that was and is. I got my posting to the FCO in London in 1969 via The Lady. It always had such wonderful positions, and I like you, wanted a live-in position but I ended up with the job and a bed in a Civil Service hostel in Lancaster Gate, London. You have had such a varied life and it makes great reading. Long may your adventures continue. The music is a must.

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