Friday, June 5, 2009

Me, My Mom, & I ; Part Three


Ok... I'm back to Mom and myself again. Seems she's been a bigger influence than I thought!

As I sit here, bouncing back and forth between two computers, digitizing her albums, I realize she's also responsible for most of my musical tastes. Notice, I say "most". She can't be blamed for the heavy metal stuff or hard rock. That blame goes entirely to my sons!

My mother was working in a record shop when she and my father met. So music was there all along. She loved music. So did Dad, but not the same stuff. Since he was "first generation" born here in his family, he liked the old world German stuff. Polkas and the good old "beer drinking" German music. And of course, just to keep things interesting, he also liked Hank Williams (Sr, of course), and other "hillbilly" music artists.

In listening to "Rhapsody In Blue" played by Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops Orchestra, I miss her more than ever. You see, she won this set of 10 albums (she always was so lucky, it made me sick!) and because their record player died, and they never got another because of the new technology of cd's, she never heard them. So, now I'm making them into cds for Dad. And I'm sure she's listening to them, here with me right now.

I know she was listening when I digitized one album my father got for her. It was titled "How to Belly Dance for Your Husband". No, it's not a typo. Really, that's the title. It came with a little booklet and all. But that's a story for another time...

Going back to the music thing... She liked swing, jazz, Bobby Darin, Robert Goulet and Jack Jones, not to mention Ragtime! I could mention songs, and a lot of folks my own age wouldn't know what they were! All because of my mother. And, then there were Dad's favorites... Not everyone out there can sing "Mack the Knife" in German, can they? I can!

So as my boys were growing up, the poor kids were subjected to not only the Beatles, Tomy James & the Shondells, The Knack, and countless others, they also had to tollerate my mother's influence with things like "Rhapsody in Blue", and the like. And they really ran, when I pulled out Caterina Valente's German songs!!

To add insult to injury, I was left an Edison record player. Not too many folks know what those are, either. It was probably made about 1911 or so. My grandmother's brother bought it. (Another story for another time...) But he had opera, and if I remember correctly, there even may be some Caruso platters in the mix. (Those puppies are almost a quarter inch thick and weigh a lot for a record!) But I used to play some of those, too. My poor boys...

What this all boils down to, is when you really, and I mean really start thinking about things like music, it's amazing how much influence your parents have on you.

I'm not complaining... As a matter of fact, I'm proud of my music collection. I have cds sitting next to each other that if the artists knew, they'd have fits!! Can you imagine polka recordings next to hard rock recordings?? Well, they are in my house!