It's my mom's birthday today and if it weren't for her, I don't know if I would love music as deeply as I do. She is a person who is naturally musically gifted and is always sharing her God-given voice with those around her. She instilled in me a discerning palate as well as an open mind. We would critically talk about music and its value in the world when I was little and we still do. These songs are the songs that always remind me of my mom.
1. Different Drum - Stone Ponies
This song came out in 1967, when my mom was still single, and from what I've gathered, my father was not the only man vying for my mother's attention. Of course, my mother is hopelessly devoted to my father, so she doesn't rub it in too much. He's aware. Every time this song comes on, she sings along and she gets a big smile on her face. It's contagious. Seriously, have a moment with this one.
2. What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
I was raised to truly appreciate Tina Turner. I have so many memories attached to this song, but my favorite is hearing my mom telling the story of going to a formal with my dad in the 80s and having the best time ever. My mom is quite the dancer when she gets going. Dad always asks her dance, and while he's bit rhythmically challenged, their love is strong enough to overcome it. I was not present at this party, even though I was in fact, alive. It was for grown ups. Now I rock out to this song and dance with whoever has the best rhythm in the room and wants to lead.
3. It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing - Ella Fitzgerald
My mom was never one to go out of her way to check out a live band or concert just to say she did. I finally asked her why she wasn't more excited when I go on and on about finally getting to see my favorite artists that I waited years to see, like Fiona Apple, Hall & Oates, Cyndi Lauper, the list goes on. Finally she said something that made sense to me - "I saw Ella Fitzgerald in the 60s. It was never going to get better than that." I believe her.
4. Till There Was You - Shirley Jones
I put this song on the first mix CD I ever made for my mom back in 2002 and it was the last song I put on the CD and I kind of just threw it on there. It turned out to be her favorite song on the CD. You know why? Because she said she used to sing it to me when I was a baby. I don't think she had ever told me that until that moment, or maybe I didn't appreciate when she did. I guess some part of me remembered. Go ahead. Have a good cry. It's the best love song ever.
5. The Beatles - Daytripper
I was in a band that I can't remember the name of (if we even had a name, it was one of a few iterations of Barstow's finest circa 1999) and we were practicing in the garage and she came in and said "Why don't you play 'Daytripper?!" I don't think we ever did. I'm sure we started playing something that we all made up that wasn't nearly as good. Maybe we could have really made something of ourselves if we had listened. It's a great song. The backing track is all that's available on YouTube so I'm sorry, you're going to have to sing your way out of this one kids!
Here's a picture of me and my mom. If you'd like to wish her a Happy Birthday let me know and I will pass it along! I give her a social media report on a regular basis. She has more fans than she realizes.