Answer by Jim Ashby:
I find that nothing connects me to my past like music from my past. When I hear a familiar old song, it invokes mental images of where I was when I first enjoyed the song. I hear "China Grove", by the Doobie Brothers, and I'm back in Air Force boot camp in San Antonio, Texas. I hear Led Zeppelin and I'm back in high school, smoking pot in the parking lot.
I really can't think of anything else that so vividly invokes the past as easily and reliably. Something about music must imprint in our minds, particularly when we're young.