I grew up in the 70’s. My Mom likes Judy Collins, John Denver and listened to easy listening from the 70’s and a little bit of Elvis. Our car was always set to either an easy listening station or an oldies station. Dean Martin’s Standing on the Corner and Everybody Loves Somebody got a lot of play.
My Dad listened to whatever was on the radio but loved the movies “Singing in the Rain,” “The Benny Goodman Story,” and “The Great Caruso.”
I was introduced to the Beatles through the Beatles cartoon series. Two of my favorite shows were the The Muppet Show and The Monkees. The Muppets in particular introduced me to a lot of music like Girl from Ipanema, Mr Cellophane, and The Lullaby of Broadway and Buddy Rich having a drum duel with Animal. We had a cassette tape of Disney Songs that my brother and I listened to until it wore out.
I was introduced to a lot of the Great American Songbook through movie musicals. Our local theater had this summer program where kids could go watch a different movie every day. Old stuff like Brigadoon, Dr Doolittle, and Shakiest Gun in the West. That was also the kind of stuff they showed in TV then. That and things like HeeHaw, the Barbara Mandrel Show, Lawrence Welk, and Jerry Lewis Telethons. That might be how I became a fan of Sinatra.
Sinatra was maybe the most influential artist on my life and tastes. I think I might have discovered him trying to learn more about the music Dad liked. Which is funny because Dad wasn’t so into Frank. He respected how Sinatra stood by his friends and knew the stories how he’d help out people but not such a huge fan of his music. Where as for me, people were calling me to offer condolences when he died. I wasn’t that distraught. Never met the man, but maybe people thought it was my version of a Kurt Cobain moment. I appreciate the concern if nothing else.
I picked up classic rock through friends and U2 and the Eagles when my brother went to college. I got into Motown through the movie “The Commitments”
My 3rd grade teacher had the class listen to “Cats” as a music appreciation thing and I was hooked on Loyd Webber. My brother brought home a copy of Les Miserables and I must have listened to that a thousand times. Local theater company did a performance of Sweeney Todd and I was a Sondheim fan for life.
Great American Songbook and singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr is home base for me.
I listen to mostly Motown and Classic Rock when I workout and also while driving. But lately have gotten back into the stuff my Mom listens to. John Denver, Kenny Rogers, James Taylor. Long plane trips or when I just want to really listen, I listen to concept albums or show soundtracks.
If I really think about it, everything I listen to is a reflection of the people and times that make me who I am. I listen as much for the music as I do the memories.