The Prompt: What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up and how has it influenced your life?
The Andrews Sisters, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, Spike Jones. These are the only records I can remember from my parents’ collection. When I got older, I listened to my 4 years older sister’s records: Pat Boone, Elvis–jitterbug music. When I got to record collecting age it was the era of the sad story: Johnny Get Angry, girls killed in car wrecks, My Boyfriend’s Back (and he’s comin’ after you-ooo.,) Red Roses for a Blue Lady. The songs were narrative and told pretty basic stories of love, death and teenage angst.
I think they did have an effect because I still want a song with a strong narrative. For this reason I like the Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, Brett Dinnen, Chris Smither, Joe Purdy, Townes Van Zandt, Rickie Lee Jones, Steve Earle, Tom Waits…oh, lots of others–who tell stories and interpret them in their own distinctive way. I love harmony ala the Andrews Sisters–A modern equivalent is the Wailin’ Jennys. When I was small, in the days before TV, we had an big Victrola cabinet radio/record player that had a record changer so you could put a stack on. I still associate those songs of the forties and fifties with my parents.
Our living room with maroon rug, puce/maroon walls and chartreuse and maroon drapes. The Victrola can be seen in the corner–an important piece of furniture when the only other entertainment was books or weekend movies in the theater on Main Street. Those lamps are chartreuse as well, as are the planter and one of the candy dishes on the blonde coffee table. I talked about this room during yesterday’s prompt, so if you haven’t read it, you may find it HERE.