What are the first songs you remember in your life?
Of course, the answer may have something to do with when you were born. It may also have something to do with the type of music your parents listened to. And, believe it or not, it may also have to do with what your mother used to put you to sleep when you were a baby.
C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t remember:
Being born way, way back in 1954, I have the benefit of seeing Rock ‘n Roll grow up with me. Of course, one of the very first artists that really hit me as someone to emulate was known as the King. Oh, you might even have heard of him, too. Yep, the one and only Elvis Presley!
I think there were many songs that I heard as a youngster that really didn’t stick with me. What I do remember is a time when I was 4 years old. My mother and I were on vacation visiting my grandmother in Cranston, R.I. We’d gone shopping to pass the afternoon, and to get out of the heat of the apartment building (which had no air conditioning back then), and stepped into a Dime Store. (Once known as department stores … now known as having been devoured by Wal-Mart stores.) At the end of an aisle, I remember piles and piles of printed T-Shirts, stuffed animals, and an old 45 rpm record player cranked up to full volume playing Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater!”
After that, I started paying attention to music. It wasn’t long before I had my own record player and wasn’t shy about throwing a fit to get more and more records. (It’s a trick I still use today with my wife!) Thanks to a loving grandmother, I soon received my own copy of “Purple People Eater”, and the Three Stooges doing their version of this hit for kids.
I must admit, I didn’t really know much about Rock ‘n Roll at that time. Oh, Ed Sullivan’s Show and other variety shows we’d watch on a 19″ black and white television always had some singers of sorts, but I found that Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Sixteen Tons” and Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” were favorites of mine.
And, as much as I hate to admit it, three more novelty songs are next on my list of early memories.
And then, before you knew it, the Beatles came to America. Then the Rolling Stones, and Herman’s Hermits, and The Kinks, and … well, the story can only continue with the British Invasion and how it changed music in the states.
But, that’s another story!
(How about you? What was the first music you remember? Be sure to leave it in the comments below!)
Having grown up during the 50′s & 60′s, Rich was a personal witness to the confusion of the times. His love of music drew him into the conflicts of the day as he protested many of the atrocities in civil rights and an overseas war. Ironically, military service, during the final days of the Vietnam Conflict, ended a music career in a successful band. However, his love of music held true as he later chose a career as a radio announcer over law school. Here, along with being able to play the music he cherished, he interviewed many top music acts. This allowed him to gain much knowledge of the recording industry and the psyche of music artists in rock, jazz and R&B. Later, his love of performing transformed him into a career in stand-up comedy. Twenty years later, his love for music continues. Quote: “Being born in 1954, Rock ‘N Roll and I have grown up together. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!”