Norm Houseman: Songs of Auburn

This Labyrinth I Roam

My first full-time, permanent job after getting my MS in Education was for the State in Auburn, Indiana. Nobody was hiring English teachers. I had been through college and in the army, but my musical tastes were still pretty much stuck in the 1960’s. After moving to Auburn, I developed a new group of friends and they introduced me to a variety of new, to me, artists. My friend, John, loaned me albums by The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Randy Newman, and Jerry Jeff Walker. I worked with Sandy and Bill. One evening after work we went for pizza and beer with another fellow employee, Jane. Bill started playing music on the jukebox. I knew most of the songs but then Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and the Eagle’s Tequila Sunrise  played. I had not heard them before. I listened as Sandy and Bill sang along to Queen and Jane decided…

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Norm Houseman: Early Jazz Favorites

Here is another of my mixtapes that was used on This Labyrinth I Roam. Thanks Anju.

This Labyrinth I Roam

Between my senior year in high school, and my first year of college, I decided that I needed to expand my musical palette. So, I went to a record store and started browsing through the bins. I came to the jazz section and started looking. There I found The Dave Brubeck Quartet. I had heard of them when they had a hit with Take Five. As an added attraction most of their album covers had modern art paintings. I chose Countdown: Time in Outer Space. I took it home, played it, and couldn’t stop playing it. I became a lifelong fan. My freshman year at Indiana University they came for a concert. I had to go! My sister and brother-in-law also attended as I recall. In my dorm there was a fellow who lived a few doors down the hall from me and he had a small collection…

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Norm Houseman: Songs of 1971

Once again my dear friend allowed me to put together another mixtape. Thanks!

This Labyrinth I Roam

I could have picked any year at random and put together a mixtape, but I chose 1971 because it was the year that I got out of the army. It was August 25, 1971 to be exact. It isn’t a date I am never likely to forget. I heard many of these songs for the first time on the Armed Forces Network when I was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. The rest I heard on various AM and FM stations back in my hometown, Rolling Prairie, Indiana. I’ve long since moved on from Rolling Prairie, but these songs always sound fresh to me.

As part of mynew mixtapes project, I have asked select friends to curate playlists for me. This mixtape is specially curated for us by Norm. He quickly became a true friend and confidant 7 years ago when…

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Norm Houseman: Early Folk

Putting together these mixtapes allows me to wallow in nostalgia for brief periods. Thanks to Cupitonians for giving me this additional outlet.

This Labyrinth I Roam

My first two musical loves were rock & roll and folk music. I started listening to folk music in the late 1950s, but for me, the 1960s was the golden age of the genre. Plus, that was when I started earning enough money that I could afford to buy folk albums. I remember my sister giving me a Brother’s Four album as a gift. And I remember buying her an album by The Chad Mitchell Trio but deciding to keep it for myself. I don’t think she was a big folk music fan anyway. The first concert I went to, where I paid my own way, was The Chad Mitchell Trio in late 1964 or early ’65 in the Morris Civic Auditorium in South Bend, Indiana. These songs are some of my earliest favorites. I could have added other artists such as Bud & Travis, The Journeymen, Joe & Eddie…

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