My Mother’s Record Collection [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]
You know what happens when you assume...but I am assuming that one of my mother's new year's resolutions is to do some housecleaning. And, I am the beneficiary!!
Friday evening, my sister stopped by, and presented me with a big stack of vinyl. I had thought that many of these albums went into the "circular file" (trash) more than 20 years ago. And, I was amazed how many of the albums I remembered! And, fondly!!
The albums (below) represent a cross-section of my new-found bounty. And, represent the soundtrack of my childhood, as played by my parents on the family stereo (above).
Barbra Streisand is/was a major artist in my parent's home. And, I thought with the few CD albums that I have, and an "Essential" CD or two, that I had Barbra's career covered!
"People" introduced the world to Barbra's talents in 1964. The title track went to #5 on the Hot 100 charts that year!
Percy Faith, and his Orchestra of about 45 musicians, were mainstays in the adult radio format called "Beautiful Music."
Lush instrumentals. Original songs, music from Broadway and the silver screen, and covers of hit contemporary (rock) records. As the liner notes explain: "This album began in a bar at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 30th Street (in New York City) after the last session for the Porgy And Bess album." My mom bought this album in 1960.
(Arthur) Ferrante and (Louis) Teicher were piano prodigies. Teicher attended the Juliard School of Music before he was 6, and graduated at 15!
Their works were also "Beautiful Music" staples.
"101 Strings" also was a major force in adult music, "Easy Listening" in the 1960s and 1970s.
Sadly, we lost Andy Williams in 2012. His TV variety show, and especially the annual Christmas specials, from 1963 til the early 1970s, were "Must-See-TV" in my parent's home.
"Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" is one of my favorite Christmas songs! Andy sang many of "Jersey's Favorite Christmas Classics and Holiday Hits!"
Martin Denny originated the "Exotic Sounds" in Hawaii in the late 1950s. His orchestrations included the vibes and marimba. As the liner notes state, Denny has "created a style and form of music that is unique and all his own...It sounds and feels the same every time, yet it is always brand new...fresh and exciting."
The single "Quiet Village" was a #4 record in 1959!
Al Hirt was a trumpet virtuoso in the 1960s, specializing in a "dixieland sound." "Java" was his biggest hit...climbing to #4 on the charts in 1964!
I can still hear Hirt's version of "Red Roses For A Blue Lady" and "Danke Schoen" in my head, without even dropping the needle on the vinyl. I heard this record that much! I assume that its pretty scratchy...
But, not all of the surviving records from my mother's collection are "Beautiful Music."
As the 1970s progressed, my mom began to hear (and like) more "popular" music. By example, whose parents didn't think that John Denver was (in his own words) "Far OUT!" Denver's music crossed the generational divide.
Nor are all the albums...all music! Some are "spoken word."
Merry Christmas! I don't think I'm going to wait a whole year to revisit Sir Laurence Olivier reading "A Christmas Carol." Far out! Um....sorry...its from the '70s...
Props to mom for helping to foster my love of "Old Time Radio." Very early on, she showed me that there was a radio before "musicradio." Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Bob Hope, Fred Allen. Classic comedy from the 1930s through the 1950s! I listen to all the shows that I can get my hands on, and have read the biographies and autobiographies of all the greats...
But, wait...there's more! As witnessed below, there was a seismic shift in my mother's music listening in the "Big 80s!"
She discovered "Contemporary Hit Radio" (Top-40) as it was being reborn in 1982. Mom put the "easy listening" vinyl on the shelf to stay...and became a "rocker." Billy Joel. Culture Club. Even Billy Idol! She enjoyed my "Saturday Night 80s" show on Philly radio in the late 1990s. And, enjoys "Saturday Night Jersey 80s" now, here on New Jersey 101.5!
I am going to enjoy "dropping the needle" on all these "classics." What memories!
I am amazed by what albums have survived through the years! And, I'm thrilled to have them. They're in GOOD hands, mom!
But, I'm still wondering: What happened to Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" album.... It will live on, forever, in my memory.