By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Like many across the country, Gainesville residents will buy cards, flowers and chocolates to mark Valentine’s Day, but long after the cards are tucked away and the newness of a gift fades, a love song can rekindle feelings of love.
When asked recently about their favorite love songs many Gainesville area residents knew the tune and words but had to scramble for the title. Some had to ask their wives. Others had to search the Internet.
Many had a story associated with their favorite love song. They all agreed that there was a time when a certain tune touched their hearts and became an integral part of their life.
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynette Pettigrew, cited a song written by her husband Don Pettigrew as her favorite love song.
“When we first met, Don was a busy songwriter,” she said. “My favorite song he wrote is called ‘Most of All.’”
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have someone write a song for them but the list for favorite love songs can cover every style of music and every generation.
Gainesville Economic Director, Kent Sharp and his wife, Angela, believe in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Gary Alexander’s favorite love song is “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson.
“I have always loved good writing and this song is so poignant,” he said. “ It reminds me of a bittersweet time in my life 30 years ago.”
VFW member Fred Rosenbaum loves anything by the Platters. In particular “My Prayer” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” “These are the songs of another era but they are great to dance to when you can just hold your sweetheart close,” he said.
Cooke County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Fletcher knew immediately his favorite song “What If We Fall in Love.”
Former sheriff Mike Compton’s wife Lynne Compton said she loves anything by the Eagles.
North Texas Medical Center’s Gayla Blanton spoke for herself and her husband Dee Blanton when she said “music is a really big part of our life together. ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’ by the Stylistics was played at our wedding 31 years ago,” she said.
Rob Samsel, NTMC Program Director for Connections chose the Michael Buble’ song, “Everything.”
In naming her favorite love song “When A Man Loves A Woman”, Kathi Kirby of Abigail’s Arms said she is hopeful to find someone to sing it to her.
Many love songs have been popularized in the movies.
“Unchained Melody “ by the Righteous Brothers was re-introduced to a whole new generation with the 1990 release of “Ghost.”
“When the movie came out, it became the most popular love song in America,” said North Central Texas College media relations specialist Darin Allred. “ Too bad I didn’t have any pottery skills....Since I’m single, I guess ‘I Just Haven’t Met You Yet’ by Michael Buble’ would be more appropriate for me.”
“My Heart Will Go On” from the movie “Titanic” and “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca” both defined generations as popular love songs.
Kylen Straley of Pro Cuts in Gainesville loves country music. “My favorite love song now is ‘Cross My Heart’ by George Strait,” Straley said. “ I hope to meet someone to share a song with some day.”
Cooke County United Way Executive Director Angie Hare met her husband, John Hare, over 22 years ago when he was a youth pastor in Fort Worth. A planned group outing included taking ballroom dance lessons. Through the efforts of a group member, Angie and John were partnered up.
“The funny thing is that our song is Dion’s “The Wanderer” which we warmed up to in dance class doing the East Coast Swing,” Hare said. “ We tried to find another one but it always came back to this one.”
From Elvis Presley’s “’Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’” to Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time’ a love song can define an age, a moment in time or a memory. Perhaps music will be in the air this Valentine’s Day as Gainesville residents hum along to “their songs.”