I THINK my Dad would have been proud of me.
He loved music so much, my father did. It was a common thing to have a pianist at my father's birthdays. It was not just one pianist, sometimes there would be three or more. And there were times when pianists and violinists and other musicians would ham it up.
My father had booklets printed with all his favorite songs. He would distribute them to all his guests who would gather around the living room and the terrace of their home. And people would sing and laugh and sing even more. The pianist would play non stop and everyone would raise their voices in unison and sing all the songs of their youth.
Most of the songs were from the 40' and 50's but there was a spattering of 60's. It was fun and it was invigorating. My father would be beside the piano and he would sing in his own version of "second" voice while his friends would belt out with gusto and nostalgia.
My father's birthday was never complete without his sessions. It was fun, invigorating and to a certain extent, healthy. My father's house was like a concert hall punctuated by "All The Things You Are, I'm in The Mood for Love, Strangers in The Night" and all those wonderful songs. But then he died and so did the music.
I wonder what has happened to that wide collection of songs that he had. It is common knowledge that he had this magnificent library of songs. I was so impressed with his collection because it was really extensive and deep. He just did not have the standard standards but he had rare and hard to find songs.
I just hope that the collection is still intact because those songs are a treasure for those who love music.
My father had a positive impact on me and the one thing that I inherited from him was his love for music. In my ipod are thousands of songs ranging from classical to Cuban, from cathedral to Celtic, to choruses to quartets, from rock to rock and roll, from 60's to 70's 80's and the 90's.
I have African tribal music, haunting Japanese bamboo flute melodies, Broadway, TV themes, soundtracks, OPM, crossover, jazz, dance, poetry, instrumentals, spiritual, world, new age and all those that come between. (Music has always been my sanctuary, my refuge.)
And yet in my playlist of songs there are two lists that have the most number of songs. The first of course is the category I call The 70's for obvious reasons.
I have over a thousand songs from the 70's era. And for obvious reasons after all that was the decade that I grew up in. I have spent a small fortune collecting CDs from that era but what can I do? I love music.
And the second playlist that consists of hundreds of songs is what I call the Oh Yeah list. All the songs in that list are standards. And my dad would be proud of me because I have collected quite a number of songs from that those times. The 40's and 50's were a wonderful time for songs.
There were a lot of talented singers at that time. Jo Stafford is a favorite. And of course Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. I have spent also quite a fortune collecting songs from those times. Sometimes when I have time in my hands I scour the Net looking for CDs of that era and sound. I love the music of the 40's and the 50's like I love the music of my youth.
I do not know why I do. I love I'll Never Smile Again, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, I'll Be Seeing You, Dear Heart, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition ( yes there is such a song!), Till, Where or When, As Time Goes by, Opl Cape Cod, The Candy Man, Embraceable You, Come Fly With Me, Don't Fence Me in and many more.
And I have to thank my father for introducing me to those songs. I grew up listening to his songs and I have carried those songs with me. I think that if my father could see my collection he would probably be proud that I have such a library. My father taught me a lot of things and his music will be something that I shall be thankful for.
Sometimes when I listen to the songs I see my father. I see him standing beside the piano and singing his heart out.