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A Self-Indulgent Walk through the Music of My Life

Updated on July 22, 2010

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.

Helping Mothers and Others

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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is such a great hub. When I was growing up, I listened to all sorts of music. My parents were from the United States Virgin Islands and South Carolina so in my house, there were variations of music from calypso, merengue, Latin rhythms to Brook Benton and country music.

      When I visited my maternal cousins in South Carolina during the 1960s and 1970s, there were the Four Seasons and James Brown. As a teenager, my tastes in music varied from Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 to Stevie Wonder. However, as I am reaching near the epitome of age( I won't tell you how old I am), I am appreciating Lena Horne, Shirley Bassey, and Carmen McCrae to my usual repetoire of music which includes Stevie Wonder, Kool and the Gang, and other peripheral favorites. I love music and have at least 900 cds in my apartment. Enjoyed this hub.

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Sometimes I am positively medieval, Epigramman. I have another hub, called a Small Circle of Friends. I will find some Kate Bush and put her there. The comments there display the latest first, so the latest will always be at the top.

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      I am back for more my dear friend - I could live at this hub - how much are you charging for rent?

      Nice story about one of my faves - Kate Bush - I just simply adore her and one of my favorite albums is THE KICK INSIDE with the two songs you mentioned above!

      You are a renaissance lady - high praise indeed!

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Would that I could fit all of them here, Mister Colin; I suppose I will have to do a part two. I remember the first time I ever saw Kate Bush, on an episode of Saturday Night Live. She was slotted tto do but one song; They had her do a second song because they received so many calls.

      The songs were "The Man With the Child in His Eyes" and "Rolling the Ball". It's almost as if we have walked the same roads.

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      Best music hub of all time: so says: duke ellington, edith piaf, bob wills, chuck berry, louis armstrong, ernest tubb, bob marley, chet baker, lawrence welk, patsy cline, sun ra, the kinks, scott walker, billie holiday, bobbie gentry, mahalia jackson, roy acuff, bernard hermman, kate bush,

      and Mister Colin!!!

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi Jacque Sue, I am so lucky to have you! I have been idle for a few weeks, I quit smoking and that weighs heavy on my nerves. Please write me if you need anything.

    • Jacque Sue profile image

      Jacque Sue 

      8 years ago

      This music you shared, brought memories for me I had forgotten...he walks with me and talks with me, made me weep...I am feeling like there are ways for me to stirs the deepest part of my soul, I grew up with music all around me...TY....Jacque Sue

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Writing it right now. My internet went down...LOL

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      please do, when you have time. I adore intentional emails.


    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Justine, that you came back again is a real honor. I will E-mail you about that. It's just a theory I have.

      Hi Sophs, I am so glad you stopped. I did get this idea from the forum asking the song for your life. I had too many to post,LOL.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this hub Faybe! I loved reading about all your memories, I have a song to go with alot of mine too. I especially liked the one about your Dad singing Miss America, aww that's so cute! Where would we be without music! :o thanks for sharing this, you did a great job!

      Hugs n Smiles! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      huh...trauma that brings our awareness....I don't personally remeber my birth, but have been reminded of it enough times that I know the story. The stories were traumatic. ahhh, music.

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you John, you look so young! I saw your avatar and thought you were a kid. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Sitting here listening to Steve Winwood and Traffic many thanks, I'm ten years up on you, so the sixties spoke to me bigtime!

      I had memories from 3 year old, remember falling down an iron staircase that ran down our building and cracking my shoulder blade!.... When my son was born I relived the missing years and took the opportunity to be the father I wished I'd had!

      Great hub...down memory lane!


    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Justine, it is still a mystery why some do and some don't.My brother the inventor remembers his birth, it was that traumatic. It is trauma that brings our awareness. Usually it is between the ages of three and five, the first separation anxiety. My brother was very early,that was his trauma.

      Rafini, Thank you. I had thought this would just be for me to reminisce.

    • Rafini profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere I can't get away from

      You know what they say...Music soothes the savage beast lol

      I enjoyed your reminiscence, it helped me reminisce too. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ive been thining aobut this ever since Sophs posed that question in the forums. This was fantastic. "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"

      And I remember stuff from when I was a baby too. No one ever believes me.

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank You Ken. I started looking for what I remembered and ran across stuff I forgot. I think I made myself cry, lol :)

      I am so glad you enjoyed it, your opinion is highly respected. I am so happy you stopped by.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Wow. Thank you for being self-indulgent. Most of these songs bring back memories, some good & some bad, but all worth revisiting.

      "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now . . ."


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