In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Papa Loves Mambo.”
Music is such a part of my life that I don’t think there are many times that pass without its presence somewhere. I turn on the radio as soon as I wake up…find songs to listen to while at work…jam out on the way home. Music is central to nearly everything I do, and it started at home.
Growing up, my dad listened to mostly classic rock and mom listened to mostly 80s pop music. Through the years, their tastes ebbed and flowed; mom got further into the music of the 70s and country music. Dad decided classic rock and blues were his go-to. But, no matter the year or the musical phase, I can’t think of a day that went by without music in some form being played in my house…pretty much nonstop.
I began my musical journey in earnest in 5th grade when I tried out for the band. My intention was to play saxophone (it’s a sexy instrument after all, and this was the height of the Kenny G craze). However, the teacher noticed something (to this day, I’m still not sure what that ‘something’ was) and decided I should try clarinet. I actually enjoyed it and stuck with it after we moved to Tennessee. I continued with music or choir in some form until the day I left highschool. But enough about that…let’s talk about home…
Games. My dad played games with songs. “Who sang this one?” was a common question anytime we were in the car. A more common answer was “I don’t know, who?” followed by “no…Who sang it!” (It was always a song done by The Who…and he loved to mess with us.) This would go on for hours, but it got me to start paying attention to the people behind the music. Of all the things I learned (or didn’t learn, as it were) from my father, musical appreciation is the absolute best. It’s his fault I pay such close attention to song lyrics and the artists behind them. It’s his fault I know every word to nearly every popular classic rock song in existence from 1963 and onward.
As I grew, I developed my own ear for music, but in reality it tended to stay pretty close to center (at least, in between what mom and dad both liked). I liked the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I liked Garth Brooks and George Strait. I heard Nirvana for the first time and dreamed I’d one day play a guitar in a great band like them.
I no longer look for music of a particular genre; I’ve decided that there are two kinds of music and I should just embrace it. There’s good and bad music…good music makes you really *feel* what they’re saying and own it. Bad music can be catchy, but it lacks substance…and I just can’t get behind it. No way, no how.
Today, I’m a huge fan of the blues and of acoustic music in general. I listen to nearly anything I can get my hands on, but I still have a special place in my heard for the blues and for jazz records. When you want to get onto me for liking so much music…remember to just thank my parents.