• NEENA LOVE

Love Dedications


Kids that grew up in the 80's and early 90's know all about radio dedications. In Hawai'i, the evening love dedications on the radio started at 8'ish. It could have been 9 but I'm pretty sure it was 8:00 p.m. The DJ always signaled the beginning of his show by playing Love Songs Are Back Again by Band of Gold. (I embedded the YouTube video at the bottom of this post.) I think of it with great fondness. Listening to the DJ send out messages from one person to another before playing a song always tickled my brain. I wondered the circumstances behind the dedications.


You would hear any combination of the following messages:


"This goes out to Jay in Pearl City from CeCe. She's thinking of you and hopes you're thinking of her too."


"Shawn wants Karen to know how sorry he is and that he is going to do whatever it takes to show you how much he loves you."


"Happy Anniversary Jake. From Lisa. Let's celebrate this weekend."


A song would play that the DJ selected to go with the dedications. I remember hearing Just Once by James Ingram a lot on the radio in the early to mid-80's. Almost Paradise from the Footloose Soundtrack. Endless Love, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. At such a young age, I couldn't have understood the lyrics the way I do now but the music certainly was beautiful. The lyrics of love songs have taken on new meaning now that I'm in my 4th decade of life and have suffered more broken hearts than one person should. But I lived to hear the nightly dedications back then. As the years wore on, the dedication songs gave way to You Are My Lady by Freddie Jackson, Through the Fire by Chaka Khan, and Whitney Houston's Saving All My Love For You, Still Say Yes by Klymaxx. There are so many songs that I could name that would take me back to the 80's and those late nights, laying in my bed, listening to the radio. The love ballads captured the different nuances of being in love or consequently, falling out of love.


I would write out love dedications in my journals. I actually broke out the journals that had all the love dedications to see what songs I was using back then.


February 16, 1989

TO: 1989Crush

SONG: Forgive Me For Dreaming by Elisa Fiorillo

MESSAGE: Forgive me

I bet this song brings back memories for those of us that came up in the late 80's. It reminds me of specific moments in time that I wish I could relive. Childhood was so free and chock full of brand new experiences. Love. Like. Hurt. Crush. All kinds of new emotions. My cousin and I would sit in her garage and listen to this song on repeat. We would talk about our secret crushes and all the guys we thought were cute. I miss the innocence of it all.


February 20, 1989

TO: 1989Crush

SONG: Tender Love by Force MD

MESSAGE: Here I lay all alone

The piano introduction of this song certainly takes me back to the 5th grade. There are two specific memories attached to this song, for me.

**First is the movie Krush Groove. The love scene between Sheila E. and Blair Underwood just about knocked my 10-year old socks off. My parents did not let us watch this movie. I had to sneak to watch it. I don't know how we happened upon the video but we got our hands on it. If only real life love scenes were like this one. It was beautiful. Tender!

**The second memory attached to this song -- 5th grade Class Trip to Camp Erdman. It was the night of the flashlight dance and there was an earthquake somewhere in the pacific which prompted an evacuation due to a tsunami warning. Growing up in Hawai'i, surrounded by nothing but water, tsunamis threats are just what it is. We evacuated away from the beach to Waialua High School where we played games until the all-clear was given. When we went back to Camp, we still had our dance and I remember Tender Love was most requested.


The only time I ever got through on the radio to make a dedication was in 2002. I can be certain of a date if I look it up in my handwritten journals because I distinctly remember writing about it. I was on my way to work, driving from Mililani to Waikiki on O'ahu. I worked for the Hilton back then and I was listening to the Frank B. Shaner Morning Show. Frank's show (I can call him by his first name and I'll explain why) was a Hawaiian music program. And if you have never heard his show, he is a crack up in an old-school Hawaiian style way. Consider my surprise when I saw a picture of him and he is on the lighter shade of Hawaiian with features to match. When I get through to talk to him, I tell him that I want to send a shout out to my dad working in the plant nursery at such-and-such place. He asks me my dad's name. I tell him. Low and behold, we're related! I'm skeptical because I don't recognize his name but after the conversation I definitely went through my family history and found his mother's obituary. What a small world and that was the green light for my dedication to my popps. I can't recall the song but it was a good one. Indeed love dedications can include shout outs to family.


I heard a song this morning on the Steve Harvey Morning Show on 101.3, the Big DM, Columbia, South Carolina. Ne-Yo's Good Man came on. Of course the tune is catchy. He samples D'Angelo's (Untitled) How Does It Feel. Using that song already hooks every single woman that has ever seen D'Angelo's video. But the lyrics. The lyrics that Ne-Yo penned for this song is so simple and so beautiful. I heard his interview with Steve Harvey when he released this song and he explained that he wrote this out for his wife. I think he said wife. I don't keep up with celebrity gossip. Ne-Yo explained how his girl told him from the beginning all of her deal-breakers when she is dating a man. He was so impressed. I am assuming because of her high standards. And the song is a result of how he wanted to be a better man for her.


Having said that, let me close with this. This is what I want from whatever man is brave enough to love me for life, maybe even forever. I want him to promise me the things that Ne-Yo talks about:


I ain't nowhere near perfect but I promise,

I promise to make it all worth it

Giving you the things to be the man you're deserving

Making sure you're smiling

Way more than you're hurting

Taking my time to hear you when you're talking

Remindin you how bad you are often

Keep them legs shaking

Making love and making sure you understand

That's in my plan

Said I just wanna be a good man, good man

To you girl, That's all I want to be

That's all I want to be baby


I wait for this love dedication to come my way and I hope it will stay for all the days of my life. Let this be his declaration to me and be the reminder that prompts him when he's feeling trapped in our relationship. Surely, years of being together with one person can certainly get dull. The hope is always that he will not give up on us. That he will find the strength to resist outside forces. I know that I don't want to grow old alone. I can see clearly me sitting in a rocking chair, on a porch somewhere, seated across the love of my life.... whoever he is. We're old and gray and STILL only have eyes for each other. I pray this will be me one day. And I pray that my heart will never be broken again.