I was way to young to know why or when I developed an aptitude for music.  I always enjoyed the musical landscapes around me.  Not just the notes;  with all the talk and technique, notes are still only half the picture.  But I think I can tell you when I developed an appreciation for popular music.  I have many influences but these are different times.  Again, I am not trying to be a learned historian, and as a young kid the timing of events were hazy at best and are not clear to me even now.   You were lucky to have one radio station that played your favorite songs.  Three major network TV stations and no Internet, no cable, no Wi-Fi, no downloads, no digital.  Hard to imagine now.  WE had limited choices.   But there were pockets of musicians and savvy citizens, sharing, listening and teaching, just as there are now.

If you were into astronomy, you could find lens grinders or professors or local enthusiasts that could show you the universe.  Photographers, carpenters, everyone searching for their own needs.  I started searching for new music.  I could say new styles, but in a way they were all new.  I am drifting a little here as I think back.  I have been interested in anything that was beyond ‘standard, normal, traditional, formal or cookie-cutter songs’.  Old movie musicals, TV show and commercial jingles, and the various music cultures (Country, Broadway, Classical, ancient “Pop”…) might have been cute, but after I listened a few times, there was no excitement in listening to the song.  Kinda’ like; I already know the punch line, so why listen to the joke?  I can be a harsh critic.  But fair is fair, I throw stones at my own glass house.

There have been many songs that lead up to this.  I hate to give credit to one song.  I hope I remember the name of a song from Billie Holiday called Strange Fruitrecorded around 1939.  At the time I did not know what it meant.  I was still innocent.  This was devastating poetry mixed with liquid emotion.

From this point on I knew… I knew there was some thing that could reach my core.   I don’t mean to say ‘soul’, but that is the closest and easiest word to use.  Find me at my depth and talk to me.   And that meant I could also talk to others from those depths.   I found a language and at the same time not necessarily a family, but a culture of musicians.  I still have a weakness for female vocalists that make their own way.  I am a succor for a Hammond B3 Organ and a great brass section too.  I would like to share a few of them with you from time to time.

Comments
  1. liquid emotion… I know what you mean

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      In my younger days I would try to describe some feelings and emotions as a spiralling whirlpool…. Sometimes swirling up…… Sometimes swirling down, unable to control them. I bet you had similar experiences based on your understanding of liquid emotion. Good to know I am not alone and if I am right, neither are you. LOVE the name keyboardslayer, by the way!

      Like

      • When I was a kid, I used to say “hey mum, you left the music running in the living room”, like music was water, leaking out of the radio like water leaks out of the tap. I guess there’s some kind of liquidity I see in music, and what is music if not emotion? So, if you ask me, liquid emotion sound pretty darn right… Also, thanks for the compliment!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. David Kennedy says:

    Very seminal work for me as well… I cannot pin down when I heard it, and took me a while to absorb but what an impact when I did!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      It is amazing to look back and discover events and experiences that shaped our lives even though most of it has been buried for years…. writing songs with you, learning music and creativity from Tom Robinson, and listening to great artists along the way. Only now am I able to appreciate the profound impact and fortune they gave me.

      Like

  3. katmicari says:

    I watched this version of her doing the song when I was researching for my voice lessons, and I was moved to tears. So powerful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

    Liked by 1 person

  4. elliemonstr says:

    Tragic content combined with a distinct and emotion heavy voice. This woman has a piece of my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • midimike says:

      I was afraid this was a little to far back in time for many readers, but I have been amazed how many people agree with your thoughts. Her life was not always simple or pleasant, but the music she gave to all of us will live well into the future for many generations.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. MissMay says:

    I chose her as the topic for my 6th grade black history month report…
    I have been in love with her ever since, going on 19 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Wow! You were on top of it and ahead of the curve even in the 6th grade! I thought I was one of the few affected be her work. She deserves so much more recognition than she got during her life time. Thank you for letting throne know.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MissMay says:

    The best part for me was, they did not have her on anything but vinyl at our library and I was lucky enough to have one in our garage. That baby went in my room and I played it for hours laying on the floor.
    Miss Holiday still gives me goosebumps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      ARGH!!! I almost lost this post after reading it and could not find it until now! I had the same experience! Once I heard her sing Strange Fruit I was pulled in by the gravity of her voice and her life story. I too spent many hours listening, enjoying and then finally understanding her music. Every time I listen to those songs I still get that feeling. Thank you for sharing this with me. I thought I was the only one that felt that way!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. MissMay says:

    😀 This makes me happy!

    Liked by 1 person

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