I didn't grow up in the best of areas. The type of music the kids were listening to around me was music I was forbidden to listen to as a young child. Of course, by today's standards, this music seems tame. But, at the time, my parents did what they could to protect my young mind. Instead of listening to the radio, I listened to what I could get my hands on. This usually meant older music.
My dad had a decent record collection. Though most of it was the singer/songwriter stuff of the mid to late 70s, there were a few records I did enjoy. One of them was his Paul McCartney album. At the time, I did not know who The Beatles were, though as I got older they became my all time favorite band. I practically wore one song out, and that was Maybe I'm Amazed. To this day, I still immensely enjoy this song.
Another record that I enjoyed I have only recently started to admit. If you know how particular I am, you would never guess that I still secretly, from time to time, listen to selected songs from this album. And, here I am, announcing to the world that I enjoy Taco. Taco, who? Exactly. They were a synth band that did covers of jazz standards. You gotta love the 80s. There were four songs in particular that I would play. They were Puttin on the Ritz, Singing in the Rain, Cheek to Cheek, and La Vie En Rose.
Another thing I am going to
proudly admit? Though I had never seen Singing in the Rain, I was aware of the dance scene in the film. When it rained, I would put this song on as loud as I could, open all the windows and doors, and dance with an umbrella. I thought I was Gene Kelly. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was the strangest kid they had ever seen.
I think that this early exposure helped me to have the wide musical taste I have now, and to enjoy music from all decades. Other experiences involved cassette tapes. I don't know what the occasion was, but my grandfather had purchased a box set of oldies for my mother. It was music from the late 50s and early 60s. I don't think my mother ever even opened the package, but I did - and she never saw them again. I would also listen to these tapes over and over. My favorite songs were Why Do Fools Fall in Love and Mr. Sandman. I still remember all the words.
What are some of your early musical memories? Do you have any embarrassing musical stories? I'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, please listen to Taco's version of Puttin on the Ritz below. Please, remember that this was the early 80s, and political correctness was not invented yet.