This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is "Music." I mentioned in another post listening to my mother humming while she hung the clothes on the line...that's one of my earliest memories. She often hummed show tunes or hymns, or songs we'd hear on the Andy Williams or Ed Sullivan Show. She'd play records on the weekends: everything from Mario Lanza (opera) and Strauss waltzes, to the Kingston Trio (folk), Elvis Presley, Doris Day and later, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, so it's no wonder my own musical tastes are rather eclectic. Everything from Enya, to U-2, to you-name-it.
My first album was "The Monkees." As a pre-teen, I loved their music and argued passionately with my older sister as to whether or not they could be considered a "real band." Next came Bobby Sherman. Then I discovered Creedence Clearwater Revival, thanks to a friend's older brother. I ended up collecting all of their albums, which I later somehow lost during a move (Grrr!).
In third grade, I tried playing flute, for a year. Then in fourth grade I began piano lessons with our elementary school cafeteria lady, Mrs. Preston, who lived around the corner; she played the piano at church, and gave lessons after school. I walked to her house every Friday afternoon for eight years. The last two years, she kept telling Nanny (my grandma) that she'd taught me all that she could, that I should move on to one of the teachers from the community college, but I didn't want to go! Mrs. Preston did her best to encourage me to grow - inviting me to come back to the elementary school to play for the students there, which I did enjoy (it's not hard to impress little kids!)...and to audition for the accompaniest in girl's choir, which I won...then wimped out on ! I'd never accompanied other people singing before and I felt awful letting Mr. W., the choir teacher down. I still feel badly about that. Apart from a couple of 'hoot-nanny' gigs with some friends at a local folk music hangout, I never played the piano in public again.
Ah! How I loved that coffeehouse. That was one of our favorite hang-outs during my teen years. Music and food and cute musicians...one of my first boyfriends was a fiddler from a bluegrass band that played there. He had such a natural talent; he'd taught himself to play the fiddle. The last time I saw him was when I ran into him as an adult, playing with his band outside Bear Country Jamboree at Disneyland! I've often wondered what happened to him and his band.
I sang in Mixed Choir in junior high and high school. There was a school district-wide honor choir where we performed Vivaldi's Gloria - they recorded it and I still have the album, shown in this photo, here on the piano. Sang and danced in musical theater performances in high school. Getting a standing ovation for my performance as the Jester (um, I know it's traditionally a male role - let's just say Mary Martin was my role model!) in 'Once Upon a Mattress;' it was the high point of my high school years (sad, I know!) - that and attending the first California Jam, at the Ontario Speedway. Where we saw so many bands at once, it was like 12 concerts rolled up into one. Everyone from Seals & Crofts to Earth, Wind & Fire; Emmerson, Lake, & Palmer.
Another major musical memory was listening to Dr. Demento on Sunday nights! I loved the corny humorous music: "They're Coming to Take Me Away," and "The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati."
Folkdancing! Every Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Community Center, and once a month at the local temple. They no longer fit me (my feet grew after pregnancy) but I still have my opanki's (Turkish dancing shoes) and one surviving folk-dance record - "Pecurka." Later on, bellydancing (ha! Little Egypt, I'm not - but it was fun!) at the Recreation Center. Dancing at discos to the BeeGees and Donna Summer on Saturday nights. Sockhops at the high school. Dancing to almost anything, anywhere! Especially in my room, with headphones on (though everyone would still complain I would sing along with it too loudly!).
Now, all of us sing too loudly (and often, slightly off-key) at karaoke with my daughter's extended in-laws, at holiday get-togethers. It makes my classically-trained husband cringe - but I enjoy it! Then, too, we have karaoke time at the school where I work - and so I've grown thicker skin on my ears, I think! We do have fun, though.
During the summer months here in our town, there are outdoor musical performances twice weekly at the Bowl, that are basically free or on a donate-what-you-can basis. They 'pass the plate' at intermission and no one is frowned at if they don't have anything to give. They usually have quite a variety of music, and fairly well-known artists. Everything from Irish dance troupes to jazz. And every year they perform a musical - this year it's "Beauty and the Beast." I can't wait to take the grandgirls to that one! We've enjoyed so many picnic dinners listening to these concerts. It's one of the best things about living here, especially in my husband's opinion.
My hub studied music at Cal Arts; he plays classical guitar (though not often enough for me!). I love hearing him play. I love him - period! And I'm not going to get to see him as much this week - so I think I'll end this over-long post and go spend some time with him, and perhaps we'll make sweet music together...or not! More likely I'll talk his ear off, like I have yours!