The site happens to have an apt title that resonates with me,because I was almost literally raised on the radio by parents who were, and still are, drawn to the music of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The literal edge of being raised on the radio stems from the fact that Dad, Tony, is a lead guitarist in several bands and jams professionally at musical events and functions. I suppose piano lessons, including those in jazz and pop, also allow me to call myself a “radio baby.”
Being raised by a musician was quite akin to a ride on Disneyworld’s Space Mountain. I never quite knew what thrills or spills to expect. I never knew where dad’s next gig would take us to or who we would end up meeting. It is the same today. One can describe being raised by him in any number of ways, but one thing it was certainly not-ordinary. Being his daughter meant encounters with a few of Singapore’s radio and musical personalities.
“Raised on the radio”, as far as I am concerned, equates with a little pressure. Dad used to, and always sets, high standards. It can be a challenge living up to his expectations, especially of musicianship. With that pressure came the opportunity to learn, grow and embrace the new, certainly different types of music.
Many thanks to Dad for raising me on the radio. I have put together a Raised By Dad’s Radio Mixtape of songs I was raised with! I hope you’ll enjoy this selection!
The Way You Look Tonight
Originally performed by the Fred Astaire cum Ginger Rogers pair and featured in the song Swing Time, The Way You Look Tonight won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936. Written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, it has become a standard for swing.
The song certainly emotes, and has unsurprisingly spawned cover versions by Bing Crosby and the latest by Michael Buble. Let’s go a little retro and view the original, shall we?
Going Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
This hit medley for the Lettermen in 1968 showcases the soothing vocals of these fine singers with a little pomp.
With 16 Top Ten Singles including a number 1 on the Billboard Charts, the close-harmony group has scored 5 grammy nominations and 11 gold records. Eclectic harmonies ensure that their tunes cannot be done without.
If one has discounted the medicinal of jazz, surely he has to listen to this. Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim for the Brazilian singer Sylvia Telles, nicknamed Dindi, who unfortunately met with a fatal motor accident in 1966.
Soothing and haunting, this is a good number to prompt a little romance or simply lull the senses into soothing sleep. I include a cover version of the song by none other than our favorite swing singer, Ol’ Blue Eyes.
Girl from Ipanema
Again by the musically illustrious Antonio Carlos Jobim, the sexy bossa nova charm of this piece makes it a to-die-for draw. The Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius De Morales give the song a mysterious, sensual edge that has not been lost till this day.
The version performed by Astrud Gilberto became a US hit in 1964, peaking at number 5 on the hot 100 and was at number one for two weeks on the Easy Listening chart.
I seem to have a little affinity with Frank, so include a version sung by him.
Just the way you are
When I interviewed my father viz his favorite song choices, I almost did a war whoop when he picked one of my eternal favorites, Just the Way You Are. What draws me to this Billy Joel number is its meaningful lyrics that stress unconditional acceptance in relationships with others.
From his 1977 album, The Stranger, the song was Joel’s first US Top 10, reaching number three on Billboard. It made a positive change for Joel’s career, giving it the long-lasting success that it has had.
Many thanks to dad for suggesting 5 great songs and to my friends at Raised on the Radio for allowing me to make a guest contribution this week! Do enjoy this playlist!
About the Author:
Michelle Liew is a literature cum ardent pet lover who simply loves music! Fiction and poetry make her tick! Read her wonderful blog Getting Literal