Welcome! I hope you enjoy.
here and there and back again
My first record/favorite song was "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" when I was about 3 or 4. My grandpa bought me three of them. I guess I broke the first two. I still have the third one. Grandpa was a major musical influence. His favorite instrument was accordian but he cld improvise on violin, piano, banjo and a few others. He played mostly by ear. He used to sing in vaudeville in a quartet. His daughter, my mom, played violin and piano and owned a ton of sheet music and 78s from the 40s. Mom played showtunes on the hi-fi, Dad played John Phillip Suza. Everyone in the family played musical instruments. It was not unusual to find the radio on in the kitchen, accordian being played upstairs, and saxaphone being played in the basement. imo, I lived in a treasure trove of musical influences.
I watched "The Wizard of Oz" every Easter for years. One of my favorite songs is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I hope to put my version of it up here sometime. I love Judy Garland's voice.
I began piano lessons at age 5. I started choosing stations on the radio when I was 7. Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, the Everly Brothers -- I didnt pay much attention to who then but I know them now by their songs. The radio went from rock to country to rock night after night.
Growing up my favorite songwriter was Stephen Foster. I could play a lot of his songs on the piano. I also played stuff like Blue Danube and Que Sera, Sera on my own time. Lessons were a lot of chord progressions and pseudo-classical pieces. I dealt w/the monotony of practicing chords by making up songs of chords upon chords. Friends of my parents wld say "that's lovely -- what are you playing?" I wld say "chords."
I probably saw every 40s musical comedy that they ever made -- at least twice, if not three times. I loved Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby and the big mouth singer, Martha Rae (thankyou for remembering her name, Richard). I learned to sing most of the songs on my mom's 78s. One of my favorites was a rather weird one called 'You'd be Surprised".
I was into Peter, Paul, and Mary when I first began to teach myself guitar about age 10-12. I found an old acoustic guitar in the attic (thank God my mom didnt follow the 7 year rule). A friend convinced me to buy the Joan Baez Songbook (a prized and well-worn possession). At this time I also became aware of Bob Dylan, the songwriter. Peter, Paul, and Mary was my first live concert. The Beatles were my second. I was crazy about the Beatles.
about this time I started putting words to the "chords" I played on piano and guitar ...