What music did and do you like?
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Growing up, I heard a lot of Limeliters, Clancy Brothers, Flanders and Swann, sort of witty folk music. I remember my parents buying me a Herb Alpert record when I was rying to learn the trumpet in fifth and sixth grade. By the time I was in eighth grade, I was listening to top 40 on AM radio. In high school I remember a schism between those who liked psychedelic music and those (including me) who preferred soul music. I mean, come on, sit around and think heavy thoughts or dance with girls? It wasn't a tough choice!
In my twenties I developed a taste for jazz that I still have. My wife's love of traditional music has broadened my horizon a bit; she especially likes hammered-dulcimer music, and we enjoy a range of regional artists including Great Big Sea, Gaelic Storm, and Donal Lunny. I've been a life-long fan of Van Morrison; other favorites include Richard Thompson, Jimmy Ruffin, Al Kooper, Jane Olivor, Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, William Grant Still, and the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band.
How about you?
I loved the Motown music and the surf music. Later, during the British Invasion I listened to the Beatles, the Dave Clark 5, Petula Clark, Herman's Hermits, etc. The psychedelic stuff started when I was in college, but I never liked it as much. I also LOVED the folk music. Peter, Paul and Mary, Chad Mitchell Trio, Peter Seeger, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.
I remember my parents occasionally bought Elvis Presley 45's, and The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan). Then my older brothers went out and bought a stereo record player, and all Hades broke loose. We suddenly had albums by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Moody Blues... I used to listen to Cousin Brucie on (I think WABC) radio 77 AM out of New York. Then I found FM radio - Jonathan Schwartz (who's first book I'm currently rereading after a 20+ year search), Vin Skelsa, Roscoe Lee Brown, John Zacherle, and Allison Steele (the Nightbird - still the most sultry voice to ever be broadcasted ~anywhere~) on Progressive Rock WNEW-FM (102.7). Also, on Sunday mornings, I would always tune into Pete Fornatelle and Mixed Bag - a two-hour folk-oriented radio show, that (I just found out) is still airing on WFUV. I'm going to have to see if I can find it on the net!!!
By the time I got into high school, I was also listening to 'College Jazz', but mostly rock and roll. I liked folk rock quite a bit, and when I started playing drums in garage bands (one was Dr. Thompson's Vegetarian Piranha Fish Expedition), I always steered the group to tunes done by the Byrds, and the Love Group. I have to admit, though that I felt I did my best when we were covering songs by the Who, Jimi Hendrix and Cream, and yes, I could play Toad, an 18-minute drum solo. We also covered In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but only because people wanted to hear it; not because any of us particularly liked it.
I also picked up a huge appreciation for classical music while in high school. The lead singer for one of my bands convinced me to join the high school band (marching and concert), in the percussion section, despite the fact that I couldn't read music. So I did. It changed my life. I couldn't get enough of it, and took a class of Music Theory in my senior year. I've got a fairly sizeable collection of classical LPs, cassettes and CDs. As I'm writing this, the radio is playing Grainger's Spoon River.
I had to stop playing the drums. I was going deaf from the garage band guitar amplifiers (usually set up behind me). When I was a freshman in high school, a friend (Ron K) tried to teach me how to play the guitar, specifically, the Bee Gees tune The New York Mining Disaster of 1941. One of my older brothers had a guitar, but it was never in tune, and I wasn't 'allowed' to touch it. After I got my drums, we made a deal, but still, neither of us knew how to tune the guitar. Well, my lead singer friend (Dave J) tuned it up for me, and despite the fact that 3 years had gone by, I still remembered the finger placement for an A-minor chord, and that got me going. I bought lots of guitar 'fake' books (over 100, and I've still got every one of them), and bought a Framus 12-string guitar (which had neck-warp so bad I had to get rid of it eventually, and then a Yamaha 6-string guitar that I still play. They're acoustic guitars, so despite the fact that must of what I played were R&R tunes, I had to 'fill in' a lot of otherwise empty 'sound', so I developed a non-standard style of strumming, which eventually lead to abandoning the guitar pick altogether.
I played guitar in coffee houses around New Jersey and "upstate" (Orange and Rockland Counties) New York. As I have never been accused of being able to actually sing, I was appreciated more for my guitar work, period. I'm in the Who's He in Folk Music as the guy who literally super glued and nailed the coffin shut on the Folk Movement in the NY area. I rally enjoyed playing Simon & Garfunkel tunes, Neil Young, Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot,
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I also bought an autoharp, a few other guitars, and a sitar. I thing I was in an anal-retentive phase at the time, because for several years, all I wanted to listen to was Ravi Shankar. I learned the tunings, and wore out a few of his LPs, but I turned out to be a fairly decent sitar player. Of course, no one else I knew was at all interested in it, and certainly didn't want to play any instrument along with me. Eventually, the sitar (literally) fell apart. It's part of the Jersey landfill now.
I had another friend, Larry B, who went to college to study music. He majored in keyboards, specifically, organs. He excelled in composition, though, and wrote very nice stuff. I helped him (on guitar) with an Easter Sunrise service the Spring after my motorcycle accident. We also wrote adaptations of pieces of music for several different instruments. He had friends at Julliard who were also going to be playing. He wrote 12 new pieces in the time it took me to transpose just 2 of them. Since I still wasn't walking (a full 9 months after the motorcycle accident), he found work for me with an acquaintance - an organ builder - pipe organs. I mostly sat around a wired up relay boards, but also assisted in tuning the pipes. I got to listen to classical music all day - mostly organ music, of course, and sit at the console and select the voices to play so (Alan O) could bring the pipes in sync. I learned a lot about counting 'beats'... Then, I had to pretend I could actually play the organ, and learned to fake it. Glorious sounds!
Eventually, I went off to college in the Adirondacks to get a degree in Forestry. Music up there was primarily whatever other students happened to bring with them, and the college radio station. Once I got my 2nd Class Radio Operator's License, I could DJ and engineer my own shows. I played whatever I felt like. One night, it was Tommy night; another time, it was songs that mentioned "bells" in them. Most nights, I played a range of things - rock, classical, folk, bluegrass, a raga... Occasionally, I'd get someone else to bring his guitar down to the station, and we did a 'live' show. I remember doing Al Stewart's Road to Moscow, among others.
I could insert my 'FOMTHAA' story here, but this has gone on long enough already.
So, I currently listen to classical music primarily. You could find me listening to almost anything really, but classical music takes first place. I'm otherwise very partial to Folk Music (singer/songwriter is the term used most often tough). I never miss a John Gorka or Lucy Kaplansky concert if they come to Austin. I really like Richard Shindell, but he never comes this way. I have figured out how to play 95% of all their songs on my guitar. I also enjoy listening to, and watching Leo Kottke, Tom Rush, and Adrian Legg. And The Austin Lounge Lizards - gotta love those guys!
When I got serious about piano lessons in my late teens, I finally learned to love classical music. Graduall, I developed pretty ecclectic tastes. I like a lot of different stuff: pop, rock, jazz, classical, bluegrass, ragtime, praise & worship and Gospel music. I suppose I still listen to rock/pop more than any kind of music.
As a teen, I listened to Casey Kasum also, and watched American Bandstand, and Midnight Special. I liked Chicago, Boston, ELO, Kansas, REO Speedwagon, The Eagles, Queen, and the like.
Mostly now I listen to the Oldies station. I also like Big Band, some jazz, and Celtic music. I'm mostly musically challenged, and will pretty much listen to anything except rap and opera. Those are the only kinds I have really strong feelings against.
If I could Time Travel I'd hop back into the 60s and 70s once more. I also remember listening to America's Top 40 with Casey Kasem and an AM Radio Station from West Virginia that had Tom Cat Wheeler as the DJ. Anyone out there also remember Tom Cat Wheeler too? I used to listen to WINX and at night I could pick up Baseball games from Boston's Fenway Park, Detroit's Tiger Stadium, the O's at Memorial Stadium, the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium, the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, the Phillies at Veterans Stadium,Cubs at Wrigley Field, White Sox at Commiskey Park, Yankees Stadium, among others too.
I believe Tom Cat Wheeler was on WWVA if memory serves me correct.
Dad played jazz trumpet and toured the midwest in the 40s with some of the smaller bands and hated classical and kept trying to get me to like jazz. Jazz makes me nervous. Some of it I can handle now, but no screaming saxophones.
And of course, Dad HATED the Beatles and rock and roll.
Ten people I loved as a teenager and young adult: Carole King, Cat Stevens, Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle, Vangelis, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Santana, Chicago, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Elton John. More, but that's the ones I can think of offhand. The records are still upstairs in the media room. We don't even have a turntable right now.
Now I don't make time to listen to music very much. When I do, it's J.S. Bach or other Baroque music. Occasionally classical guitar.
When I hear a rock and roll song that takes me back I always say I'll start listening to music again, but don't make the time.
Now I know what she was singing about...B-) Those were the days...
...when my daddy drove me to kindergarten (1956-57), we listened to KFSB (local radio station); I knew the words to Catch a Falling Star, Sugar in the Morning, the Witch Doctor song (Alvin and the Chipmonks sang that later).
...when I was 9, I won a record player in the spelling bee. My parents bought mostly gospel music (Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Johnson Brothers were my favorites) and Christmas albums. I can remember the first time that I heard O Holy Night and How Great Thou Art. All I can say is that they both affect me greatly, emotionally, to this day!
...when I was about 12, I began listening to music other than the radio station that my parents listened to. The first songs I remember are Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and Purple People Eater; then Last Kiss and The Letter.
...when I was 16, I bought my first record album: Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-da-Vita. Quite a change from the gospel music and bubblegum stuff! One of the next few albums I bought included Carole King's Tapestry. We almost wore out that album - my mom and I loved it! In fact, we usually liked a lot of the same music! She bought me my first Beatles records.
I listen mostly to country and light rock now, but I love Southern Gospel. (Oh, those wonderful Cathedrals!!!)
Nowdays, I like folk, classical, Celtic, and Christian
You and me and rain on the roof,
Caught up in a summer shower,
Drying while it soaks the flowers.
Maybe we'll be caught for hours.
The other one that stuck out for me on it was "Coconut Grove".