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Between the Uprights

February 20, 2015

Since the Grammy’s just went down, I got to thinking about sports and music. The first thing that came to mind was Jock Jams. Released in 1995, “Jock Jams Volume 1” was a triumph of Western Civilization; “Naughty by Nature” and “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock on demand? Sign me up.

Keep in mind this was the 90s. The internet was barely a thing, and streaming music on the internet was basically witchcraft.

As a sports fanatic all you had to do was head down to Wal-Mart and pick up a copy of “Jock Jams” on CD. You’d throw it in your portable CD player (which cost like $15 now as opposed to $75 then), try to fit the damn thing in your pocket and go about your business.

It was one of those things that was extremely cool when it came out but it started to grow like a fungus on the back of your brain. You’d wake up at 3 a.m. chanting or clapping along. Overplaying jock jams is an utter sin punishable by doing the wave for 36 straight hours.

And now three things you might not have known about “Jock Jams” a.k.a. the Soundtrack to My Youth.

1. Michael Buffer batted leadoff on the album, with his signature “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE” call to action. Did you know Michael Buffer is worth $400 million? He found a niche, obviously. If he lives long enough for me to get married, I’ll sell the farm to get him to kick off the ceremonies, “LET’S GET READY TO DOMESTICATE.”

2. “Jock Jams Volume 1” got to #30 on the Billboard Hot 200. The “Pocahontas” soundtrack was #1 at the time which illustrates how weird we were as a society in 1995. Nothing against “Colors of the Wind,” but that seems a bit insane to me. Name another song that could possibly be on that album, I dare you.

3. “Jock Jams” was produced by Tommy Boy Records which has produced records for artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Coolio, RZA of Wu-Tang fame and De La soul. They did five volumes of “Jock Jams.” Volumes 2, 3 and 4 followed by the pseudo-great hits record “Jock Jams: The All-Star Jock Jams.” (Very creative name, ESPN).

Cotton candy, sweet and low, let me see that tootsie roll. Indeed, 69 Boyz, indeed.

Ace Henricks

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