In elevators across the land, "Taps" is playing. Almost exactly 50 years to the day that the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly tragically perished in a plane crash, Fort Mill-based Muzak filed for bankruptcy.
While jokes about a fat lady singing are ripe for the picking and grinning, another chord has been struck signaling economic doom.
The day may be coming where we will strum along the path of life without a soundtrack in the background.
Instead of toe-tapping to Air Supply on the next journey up a few floors in a lift, you might have to withstand an uncomfortable silence or possibly tune out the raspy breathing of a fellow occupant. The only rocking and rolling you might hear on shopping trips will be from rickety carts.
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The last song you heard on the radio may now become the only way to jazz up the doldrums of the day and even that is in peril as stations are going under and satellite radio might be playing its final stanza. Worse yet, how will people stay calm and relaxed while waiting for the dentist or doctor to summon them to the back for a procedure? There will be no melodies to distract them from seeing the worried looks in the room or muffle the nervous wails of children.
In a poignant parallel to the lyrics of Don McLean's "American Pie," these following words ring as true today as they did half a century ago:
But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.
With financial blues hitting a wide spectrum of companies even driving a Chevy to the levee may soon become impossible.
I don't know if silence is golden, but it is apparent that selling music no longer is. I knew we all were out of luck. The day...the music...died.
Bye, bye, Miss American Pie.