Music has always been a part of my life. As a child, I heard it in every house—my own, my grandparents, my great aunts and uncles. I spent hours in the kitchen dancing around to records chosen by my mom who listened to music while doing chores. My dog, Sandy, would jump and chase, trying to catch the end of my nightgown with her teeth. The song selection included an eclectic mix of artists: Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Bobby Vinton, Leonard Bernstein, Gershwin, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, soundtracks from Walt Disney Movies, The Doors, Ann-Margaret, Emmy Lou Harris, Etta James. . .the list is endless. No genre was ignored--classical, jazz, rock n' roll, polka, show tunes, and country.
When I was three years old, I attended my older sister’s dance recital, and instead of sitting in my seat, I danced in the aisle. My mom enrolled me in dance lessons the next term. Where there are dance lessons, there is music. I danced all of my childhood and was eventually involved in Community Theater. After high school, I wanted to escape to New York City and become a Broadway star. However, the voices of practicality won, and I went to college. But I majored in dance.
The Dave Matthews Band was an obsession that took me to 25 of their concerts. It was somewhat similar to the obsession I had with Prince when I was a sophomore in high school. Although I never saw him live, I listened to nothing but Prince for an entire year. My mom was worried and tired of hearing her teen daughter listening to such provocative music, so one day she said, “We are going to the mall and you can pick out any record you want, as long as it’s not Prince.” I chose Sting’s “The Dream of the Blue Turtles.”
Bonnaroo. Pearl Jam headlined and I fought my way to the front with my man, whom I coincidentally met on MySpace while searching for music.
Today, I continue to listen to an eclectic mix of music and choosing ten songs that best tell the story of my life is a daunting task. I fear I will leave something out that is of significance. Even so, music has always been there for me, an escape. And I can’t resist this tribute, if you will, to something I am immensely grateful for, and without it, I would be someone else entirely.
- Ann-Margaret, Bye-Bye Birdie Reprise
- Soundtrack from Lady and the Tramp, The Siamese Cat Song
- Lawrence Welk, Pennsylvania Polka
- Linda Ronstadt, Love is a Rose
- Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire
- West Side Story (movie), Dance at the Gym
- Nirvana, Sliver
- Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
- The Avett Brothers, Kick Drum Heart
- Pearl Jam, Who You Are
photo credit: GraceOda via photopin cc
photo credit: erokCom via photopin cc