Today is more of a soundtrack of someone else. My Dad. Today would have been his 80th birthday. If I had to say one person influenced my love of music, it would be Dad. Was he a musician? No. However, he loved listening to music and fostered Giggles and I in taking music instruction.
We spent a lot of time in his car together, going to lessons, the mall, out to eat, on vacations. He'd get his news fixes, sure (I think that also fostered how Giggles and I became news junkies), but most of the time in the car, we had music. What was cool is that we girls would get to choose what we listened to as well. As different as our tastes might be, we somehow listened to it all. His big band, swing and golden oldies, my new wave, Giggle's top 40-it all got air time in the Dad mobile.
I think he got a kick out of my love for Jazz. I made a tape for his car of Basia's Time and Tide after I'd moved to Maryland and Giggles griped that she was subjected to that tape over and over. My first listen of that album told me that Dad would love it. He did.
Many times, he'd hear something and pick up the record for me. I've got quite a few 45's in the milk crates that Dad 'just happened to find while shopping'. Mind you, the visits to Record World and Sam Goody's were always at my insistence when we hit the mall-he'd make trips on his own to do this. One that stands out is Boney M's "By the Rivers of Babylon".
The shared love of music drove him to pay for lessons for both daughters. When my Papa found a piano in the Pennysaver for 300 dollars, he split the cost with Mom. The piano sits in my living room. She paid for the piano lessons, but when Mr. Thayer suggested voice lessons, I got them. Giggles got clarinet lessons.
Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band" was written about his Dad, but the sentiments expressed in it sum up many similar things.
I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, pap, I dont think i
Said i love you near enough --
I love you, Dad. Thanks for sharing the love of music.