A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Volare #atozchallenge

Dean Martin   "Volare"  (1958)


        Music always filled my family's home when I was growing up.  I recall as a very young child listening on a portable record player to 78's that belonged to my mother and ones that she'd bought for me.   I loved them all whether it was "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" in my collection or "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" in my mother's collection.   For me all music was good.

        In 1958 when we moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my parents bought brand new furniture for every room of the duplex they moved into.    The furniture they bought for this move  was the first they ever owned in their marriage.  Prior to that we'd lived in furnished rental houses.   It was like being born into a world where everything was new and for us I guess it was.

         One of the highlights of the new furniture was a hi-fi record player that they put in the dining room. The hi-fi design matched the rest of the furniture.  It was a Danish modern-looking affair light in color that stood on four dowel-like legs.  You could put a stack of LP records on the spindle and they'd play a couple hours.

         My mother would put a stack of records on and do her housecleaning while I swirled around the house acting like a kid.   I don't know where she got those first record albums but she had an assortment of compilations of the hits of the day along with albums by the popular artists like Frank Sinatra, Perez Prado, and Louis Prima with Keely Smith.  I enjoyed my mother's music and listening to it seemed to brighten her days.

         Then there was the radio.  When the hi-fi wasn't playing, the radio was often on.   The AM stations mainly played music.  I don't know if there was much in the way of talk stations then. If there was, that's not what my mother listened to in the daytime while my father was at work.  She listened to the music.

          And I listened to the music.  The boppy tunes and happy ditties.  Or sometimes it was those haunting tunes that were kind of happy and kind of sad.  Songs like "Volare" where Dean Martin sang about happy hearts and flying away and words in a mysterious language that made no sense to me.  It was a song that mystified me yet made me feel happy.

          The music of my mother and father is now my music along with so many other kinds of music. There are times I'd be content to fly off to the clouds on that old music.  In my mind, I'm still dancing in circles in the living room of that Pittsburgh duplex as my happy heart sings "Volare".

          What songs do you associate most with your childhood?    Did you have a stay-at-home mom and did she listen to music in the daytime?    How old were you when you first began to appreciate music?

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  1. My mother was anti-music. She complained that the beat made her heart beat too fast. *rolling eyes* My dad had a HiFi but rarely got to use it. He got a stereo and put it in the out building used for recreation and would listen to his music in there and I'd join him. He'd do his paperwork for his business and listen to Ray Conniff, Dean Martin, stuff like that and I'd be colouring or making crafts. The only rock music I got to hear was when my cousins came up in summer, till my uncle gave me my first transistor at age 7 or 8. Then all I heard the rest of my life living at home (after I got my own stereo) was 'TURN THAT DOWN!'

  2. Lee-

    What saddens me is how rarely it seems to be that people put on a piece of music just to listen to it these days.

    Not that your mother having music as background to clean to is a bad thing-I have music playing in my house, car, office, etc virtually around the clock.

    But I also make time several times a week, to just put on an album and sit myself down between the speakers and listen.

    I do not know many people who do that any more. I know that as we age, responsibilities get in the way (children, yard work, "honey-do" lists).

    But I often wonder if any teenagers listen like that these days.

    Anyway, as I read your post, I was picturing the old console record player we had in our living room...I saw one for sale a few years ago at a garage sale, and I was really tempted to pick it up.


    For my mom, it was Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

    I heard those records so much, I now have my own CD copies (and will probably pick up the records one day).


  3. I grew up with Johnny Cash and Hank Williams-Country Music. I loved rock. Today, there's not much in music that I don't like. I love classical, christian, country and rock -- nearly all of it.

    PS when I was nine years old, I loved Dean Martin with all my heart. :)

  4. It's funny how much we become what our mothers were. Your mom loved music and played it often. My mom wasn't a big fan of music. I rarely remembered it being played in our home so I never became a fan of music and even now only listen to it on the radio in the car. I don't have an ipod, I don't download music, I don't buy CDs.

    But mom loved books and I grew up with a love of reading. Mom loved games so I have every game imaginable. Mom loved puzzles, so I in turn love puzzles, even though now I do them online.

  5. You inspired a blog about memories of my mom with this post. I linked back to your post.

  6. My earliest memories are Sherry and A Summer Place. Growing up with a sister ten years older, you get a good early appreciation of music.

  7. JoJo -- Sad that your mother was so anti-music. I don't understand how anyone can be like that.

    Larry -- My parents would both like to just listen to music. And they would sing along and when my sister and I were kids we'd love it. My father would often sing along to the radio and sometimes my sister would sing along with him. They had such a wide range of music in their collection--I guess that's where I picked up my eclecticism. Especially in college I would sit and listen for hours to music. Also all the years on the road I listened to music while I drived. We had hundreds of cassettes in our van and I was continually buying new ones.

    Teresa -- I faithfully tuned in to Dean Martin's TV show every week. I was in high school at that time. Always liked Dino.

    Alicia -- I share the same interests that my parents had and more. It's what we grew up with I guess and what makes us feel comfortable.

    CW -- I used to hear "Summer Place" all the time. We must have had the record in the house. It was on the radio a lot too.



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