Music Monday: Going Out of My Head and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by The Lettermen

This week I’m doing something a little different. I had a memory from when I was an inch big and it brought back the song by The Lettermen who I adored long after they had their moment or moments of fame. The following is the memory and below the video. I hope it’s somewhat interesting. The video is more than a little cheesy by our current standards but there’s something about quaintness.


You will reach a point in your life where you will try to reconstruct a memory from when you were five only to have no one to consult because the other actors are dead.

Your mother and grandmother were glamorous ladies. Ladies who drank exotic drinks at lunch. Grasshoppers with their pale minty green color and Manhattans in squat glasses and martinis in sophisticated ones.

It was the 1960s when ladies lunched and you being knee high to a minty green grasshopper tagged along.

You never saw your grandmother wear anything but pencil skirts, neat blouses, hose, and red lipstick until she grew too old to dye her hair and, shortly after, die of emphysema. She was your adored “Mom” until dysfunctional family reared its head.

You always had a Shirley Temple and if the waitress was of the mind and thought you were cute enough (you frequently were), you received more than one cherry.

Your grandmother worked for a photographer, you think, in gray Prince George’s County. I’m certain that Prince George’s County had bright sunny days with blue skies, but you always remember it as gray, even when you went to the old Korvette’s store and practically placed their entire record stock in your shopping cart. Vinyl records like the Kingston Trio and The Lettermen so you could listen to their blend of “Going Out of My Head and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and there would have been Gordon Lightfoot and Tom Rush, Joan Baez and Fleetwood Mac. Gray sky, gray and fawn colored buildings. Gray PG County.

But PG County and DC have changed, even more than your distorted memory would claim.

There are no henna haired grandmother’s wearing pencil skirts feeding you endless cans of tuna fish, calling you…hunkel, which is probably a wrong word/spelling but who do you ask, now? For the first three (or more) years of her life she only spoke German although she was born in the US, Baltimore County, in the early 1900s. And her parents were American, born and bred but kept up the language of their ancestry. You imagine that her German may have not been the same as spoken by natives because when you’ve looked up her word for thunder, it’s not close. But, again, who do you ask?

You remember the name Cannon’s. Why? You have no idea and can now only Google to find that it was a steak house that doesn’t look inside like your memory but let’s say it was there at one of their white-linened tables. Let’s say your grandmother offered you a sip of icy grasshopper and you grinned because it tasted like a peppermint patty. Let’s say that this is your memory of a particular Wednesday when you had lunch with your mother and grandmother and you feel content because you think they were happy, you were happy, and it’s so long ago that happiness feels more like joy and this, this memory coming moments after you place your head on your pillow, helps you sleep. And you forget your yearning for truth of time and place and language and that only, for a little while, you all love each other. Even if it’s a dream, a faulty memory. It’s good.

And then you can listen to The Lettermen sing a sweet song in harmony:

2 thoughts on “Music Monday: Going Out of My Head and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by The Lettermen

  1. I love this! I think we had the same grandmother, at least the German part. My mom wore pencil skirts all the time and, you may notice, these are still with us. 🙂 I love the Letterman and the Association. Classic! not cheesy. Something this good is never cheesy. However some of the hair additions on the women are pretty interesting. Why did we think that piled high hair (even if it wasn’t “ours”) was a good idea??? It’s nice to have memories that make you happy.

    1. Thanks, Maggie. I’ve never done any of the hair things. In the 60s and 70s I was too little. In the 80s and 90s I just missed the trend mostly because I adored my hair. Brown red (near auburn) and naturally curly, just like that character from Peanuts. My hair was my one vanity. I should have taken better care of it. lol And, no, no. I didn’t call the acts cheesy. I thought the production in the video was cheesy but I loved the music.

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