A Self-Indulgent Walk through the Music of My Life
For My Grandpas
First Concert of Memory
Play list of my life
I can not place an order for my early life. I remember the songs, so I will go with my gut on the first few. I am sure the first songs I must have heard were favorites of my parents.I was born in 1961, so some of the songs are older than me. I remember a lot of music, but I guess the most vivid is going to see Jimmy Dean. We sat on the bleachers at the county fairgrounds, and he sat on a stage so far away on a stool. Seems to me he had a banjo, but it could've been a guitar. I remember that I fell asleep, and I think that after the concert Fireworks went off. I remember being very scared and screaming because they were so loud, and daddy laughing, trying to let me know it was alright.
16 Tons, 1956
Running Bear, 1959
Johnny and June Carter Cash
Throughout My Life
Whenever I have a memory there is always a song attached. When I got my first bathing suit my father sang "There She Is, Miss America, There she is, your ideal" as I came down the hallway to show them how it looked.
My grandparents took me to see the Sound of Music, in the theater. I watched "The Singing Nun" on TV. After these I went to my mother and told her, "I decided, I know what I want to be when I grow up." She said, "Oh and what is that, honey?" I said "I wanna be a Nun!" She laughed so hard saying, "Honey, you can't be a nun, we're not Catholic." I guessed that was just one more thing that was wrong with me.
When the neighbor boy could no longer get me alone to abuse me he used to sing "Hey Good Lookin' " and "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams. The songs tormented me, my stomach churns to this day.
Assorted favorites by Larry Norman are not up here, although they did have the biggest influence on my way of thinking, they are in a hub that is a Tribute to him. These songs here all influenced me as well.
There is not enough room for every song. Patsy Cline, I couldn't choose. I sing them all acappella to this day. Country Roads I have even come up with my own arrangement for in memory of my Father.
Missing from this list are the songs that adorn my other hubs, as I did not want to be redundant. Missing too are the songs that have meant something, yet i could not find.
In "Anger Management" when Adam Sandler is forced to sing "I Feel Pretty" it brings to mind the movie "West Side Story" which my sister said, "You can watch it but you won't like it, it's a musical." I went on to watch every Natalie Wood movie ever made. I wanted to be her. Even when she was playing a stripper in "Gypsy". She was beautiful, I so wanted to be beautiful.
To this day, musicals grace my video shelf. My son and I can sing almost every part of "Cats" and no one in the family will watch "Mama Mia" with us because we sing along, the whole way through. My son has been singing since he could talk, maybe before. I was in the car with the radio on, Sonny and Cher "I Got You, Babe" was playing. I parked the car and when I was getting him out of the car seat he was singing, "I got you Faye." So he didn't know all the words, but he wasn't even three yet. He sang "Dancing Queen" in the shopping cart of the grocery store when he was just a little guy, along with the piped in music coming from the speakers.
Music has been my teacher, my friend, my companion. It has comforted me when I was sad, healed me when I was sick. It has given me anchors for memories that get lost in the timeline. If I can remember the song, then I can find out the year.
I have total recall of words spoken, deeds done, but no dates or years. I remember back to when I was six months old, bits and pieces, this verified by family relatives when I asked questions about things no one else seemed to remember but me. In all of the memories I was three. I could talk but not walk, and that puzzled me.
As it turns out, and you might want to tuck this away in your memory. I thought I was talking. When everyone laughed and ran away I cried my head off. My grandmother came and gave me something to play with. For years I would ask her where it was on each subsequent trip to her house. There was a kitten that was wild, black. It hissed and spit and clawed everybody, but not me. I would crawl under the porch after it. Black widows nest under the porch brought all the men running to get me out of there. It wasn't until she was rocking one of my babies that she remembered, and explained how I lived with her when my mother was ill, for six months.
Now I know why I rocked myself to sleep, and that keening hum I sang to myself. I had been rocked and hummed to, and then it was gone. So I rocked and sang myself to sleep for so long the entire family thought there was something wrong with me.
Music... Always music...
Finale of the Carol Burnett Show
Jim Stafford at His Best
More of my Self-Indulgence
Hee Haw was here because my Grandpa Thomas (my Father's dad) was so angry that Grandpa Jones was on TV. They were contemporaries and Grandpa Thomas played fiddle with Grandpa Jones on the radio in Charleston, W.VA. When Grandpa Jones went to Nashville Grandpa couldn't go because he had a family to support. He thought there was no money to be made in music such as they played. He was also peeved, my Uncle writes, because they called the band Grandpa Jones and his sons, while he was older than Jones. I remember him saying "that should be me, I'm the Grandpa." He would never let that go. We used to have Hoe-Downs every trip, in someones basement. Grandpa would play his fiddle and chew tobacco, and spit and sing. He loved to do "The Wreck of The Old 97". Sometimes he'd get up and dance too. Unfortunately, although I would make no money off of the videos from Hee Haw, The Grand Ole Opry copyright prevents them from being displayed here.
Carol Burnett is here because although this was a later episode, we were watching The Carol Burnett Show the night my father died.
The Smother's Brothers and Jim Stafford, they came after. Mom loved them, she loved to laugh. Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a big influence on my upbringing too.
Now Butch, the oldest of my brothers, used to sell us his records when he got tired of them or needed money. Which is how my collection could ever include The Byrds. Of course this later version of My Back Pages was too sweet to pass up. There is a photo montage of many of my influences in it. As stated, I transcribed the words for my brother Joe, (the musician) to play them in his garage band.
At the end of this are the favorites of my parents and Grandparents, although Papa Reed never actually gave a favorite song. The next is for my girls, their daddy's favorite song, by his two favorite artists "Because The Night" by Patty Smith and Bruce Springstein.
And lastly the song of my life, first given to me by my first husband. Later My second ex-husband bought me the CD, so I could listen to it again, in stead of having to sing it form memory. (Okay, singing is not my forte' I sing anyway.) "Uninspired", by Traffic. For me the most inspirational song of all.
White Rabbit/Somebody to Love
With My Head against Stereo Speakers, I transcribed the Lyrics for my Brother's Garage Band
My Father's Favorite Song
Among My Mother's Favorite's Kathy Mattea. It made her think of her parents.
My Maternal Grandmother's Favorite Song
My Brother would Play this For our Paternal Grandparent's, never able to convince Grandpa Thomas that he hadn't written it
I Cried for My First Husband was not seeing this, his favorite song, by his two favorite artists on stage together.
The Song, My Song. The one that has had the most impact on my life. I give it as gifts, written out long hand from memory.
Carol Burnett Favorites
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