I Got The Music In Me. You Got It In You?

You know how one thing leads to another? Well, when I wrote yesterday’s post about my “unconventional” mothering ways, I started to think about all the music I used to play in the house when the kids were growing up, which leads me to the subject of music….

I love music. I adore my cd collections. My ex-husband inherited all our vinyl and that’s ok because I have most of the stuff on CD anyway—and some on my IPhone.

Thinking back, I am well-aware that my love for music came from my parents. Growing up, they had quite the album collection. In addition, my stay-at-home mother always had the radio on AND would ALWAYS watch Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

Dick Clark

Dick Clark was a very popular guy in our house when I was very young!

If it were not for Dick Clark and my mother, I would have never learned how to dance “The Stroll” (I’m giving my age away) or any of the many dances that were in fashion during the early 1960’s. I must’ve been about five years old when my mother would grab me, place my body across from hers, and we would rhythmically “stroll” the width of the living room; just stopping short of the small black and white TV. Then we would both run up to the sofa and continue our “stroll” back up the beautifully waxed hardwood living room floor while never missing the beat!

The Stroll

The Stroll. Take a look at the couple in the middle. The couple would “stroll” down the aisle to the beat and when they reached the end, the top couple would stroll down. I LOVED doing this with my mother–mostly because it was one of the few times I wasn’t getting in some sort of trouble with her!

As I entered the pre-teen years and acquired a transistor radio, I traveled from “American” Bandstand to the “British Invasion”. My first crush was Ray Davies of the “Kinks”. Followed by Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone! The Beatles’ crushes changed on a weekly basis.


The Beatles and The Kinks. Kinks were and still are my number one. I’ve never been a Stones fan–and never liked The Who until I became pregnant. It was the weirdest thing. I actually CRAVED The Who the way other pregnant women crave pickles and pizza! I would listen to “Tommy” and “Who’s Next” all day!


…and that cute little Peter Noone, aka “Herman”. He still looks good…but..

Ray Davis of the Kinks. Still looking cute as ever!

..not as good as my one true love, Ray Davies!

Into my early teens, and throughout the remainder of my teen years, the transistor radio was replaced with “FM” radio. Those songs of pre-teen innocence gone. Woodstock and the Hippie generation brought a new musical age of enlightenment with Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and The Mamas and The Papas. I traded my “British Musical Miles” in for a return trip to America—only THIS time it was to the Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco love fest!

One of the best of all time CSN

This-quite possibly one of the greatest Albums/CD’s of all time! I can pop this in to the player and still manage to sing all the words to all the songs!  Helplessy Hoping that my memory serves me right–huh?

Best Creedence CD Collection ever!

CCR!  MY favorite song is the not-too-popular “Hey Tonight”. I play it over and over and over and over………

Joni Mitchel of the perfect voice and the perfect phrasings.

..and there is the beautiful and iconic California Hip/chic Joni Mitchell. Her songs will always remind me of one of my childhood friends who passed away a few years ago.

While too young to rebel against “The Establishment”, and too afraid of my parents to start dressing like a hippie rather than a plaid-skirted, knee-socked, Bass Weejun proper schoolgirl, music gave me the opportunity to enter that rebel world without leaving my room!

A babysitting job when I was 14 years old got me hooked on Classical music. Yeah. I babysat for a couple who had gotten married when they were “older”. She was an ex-nun and he was an ex-priest. They had two daughters and no TV. The job was so boring without a TV, and they didn’t have any junk food,  but they paid so well! Anyway, they DID have a stereo. And lurking through their vast collection, I noticed they had nothing but classical music. Trust me, up until that babysitting job the only knowledge of classical music that I had was that it was used in many soundtracks for cartoons!

Completely bored but intrigued, I took one of the albums from the collection and listened to it. It was actually a “Readers Digest Light Classical Collection” that contained a few albums.  The music was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I actually looked forward to returning to their home to sit the girls. Listening to the music took me away from the chaotic house of four other siblings that shared our hectic household lifestyle. I was in a state of relaxation.

Festival of light classical music

This was my proper introduction to the world of classical music. I honestly wish I had this collection right now!

I grew to love that collection so much that I would take it out of our local library on a regular basis and lock myself in my room listening to the soothing orchestrations while I read or did homework.

Also by this time in my life, I went through two more music “crushes”— Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix! Two beautiful male specimens to fantasize about while listening to the Classics!

I don't care what his new name is, he's always going to be Cat in CD form

He may not be well-liked and under appreciated these days due to his change to the Islamic world but his music has always remained poetic and ethereal and I’ll always love it!  “Wild World” will always remind me of a high school crush who ended up going out with one of my best friends! Wild!


Too bad he doesn’t look like THIS anymore! Right?

Jimi! Hey Joe. The best slow dance song of all time

Jimi. I had such a crush on him that I delusionally believed I could have saved him. No. I wasn’t taking LSD either. My dad was a police officer! BTW, Number 3 “Hey Joe” was the best slow dance song of all time! I had my then-not-so-fat-ass grabbed a few times while dancing to that song!


He personified hippie chic!  If you get the chance, watch “Hear My Train A Comin'” It’s a great documentary. Hey. Bonaparte liked it–and he HATES rock music!!!!

Yes. Now heavily into my teenaged years of angst, discovery and awkwardness not only was I enthralled with Cat and Jimi, but I was also a big fan of Led Zeppelin—probably because Robert Plant’s hair was more beautiful than mine. It just wasn’t fair that a man could have beautiful curly hair like that and I had a mass of frizz!

Robert plant

Not only was I jealous of his hair, but Plant’s voice was so loud he didn’t need a mike. Imagine. He was louder than I am!

I spent my baby sitting money on albums. I loved the cover art. I loved the feel of the vinyl. I loved reading the credits. The albums were my tangible links between me and the musicians who understood what I was going through at any given time!

axis bold as love

Ok..so I’m overloading on Jimi today. But I dare anyone to argue that this isn’t GREAT and AWESOME and completely hippified beautiful album cover art!

A few years later “Disco” music became my guilty pleasure. Being too cool to actually admit I loved the happy harmonies and beats to “Abba” and “K.C. and the Sunshine Band”, I would sneak into my room, like a “bad girl” sneaking behind a garage for a cigarette, and let the music take me away to the dance club in my mind!

Abba. My guilty pleasure

Another album/cd that I can totally sing along to in my car. At “11”! Yeah. Loud and off key baby!

I was a bit too “preppy” to get into that whole Disco scene in reality, but in my mind, I loved the “Nightlife” more than Alicia Bridges did!

My early and mid- twenties were spent in a mélange of various musical artists. Concerts at the old Academy of Music in New York City; seeing XTC, Joan Jett, The Pretenders, The Psychedelic Furs and others brought a bit of rebel back to me. The days of parties and no responsibility. Whenever I hear a song by one of those artists or groups, I am in NYC in a bar or a party having a completely wild time. It’s kind of channeling the movie “Trainwreck”!

In my late twenties—actually, I was 27 and newly pregnant with Jake, MTV was created. It was amazing!   Parties we attended would be hushed and quieted just to watch a video by that new singer Madonna or Adam Ant. I think those music videos were the beginning of the end—conversations were stalled in order to turn our heads to a TV and watching music rather than listening to it was the new normal!

Adam Ant. I loved Ant Music and Puss n Boots. He was so naughty!

Adam Ant!  My favorite Ant song is “Puss ‘n Boots’. It’s so naughty!

Throughout the years, I never stopped listening. When the kids were young, I really didn’t have a lot of that “Rafi” stuff. Why listen to “Baby Beluga” when I could have them listen to the lullaby sounds of Cat Stevens’ “Moonshadow”?

The only “kiddie” music the kids listened to was Sharon, Lois and Bram. I LOVED the fact they sang old school standards. It was like being a kid again and listening to some of the music my parents danced to—like Big Band stuff. Besides, Sharon, Lois and Bram didn’t sing “down” to kids. The three musicians showed a respect for both the music AND children. Ugh. I can’t stand those dopey songs that pander down and patronize kids.

sharon lois and bram

Sharon, Lois and Bram and their Elephant Show will always bring back wonderful memories of Jake as a very young preschooler. I even took him to one of their concerts in NYC when Jake was about three years old. We had a blast. Lois, RIP! You are missed! I thank you for treating children with respect and not being condescending!

Throughout my thirties and into my forties, albums were slowly replaced with CD’s. A new wave of groups and musicians was coming into focus and as the kids were getting older, the variety included the great and melodic Matthew Sweet, The Cranberries, and Arrested Development (I loved them. Where are they now?), and, thanks to my sons, Beck!

Matthew Sweet will always remind me of living in NJ and Little League BB games

Matthew Sweet was and still remains a favorite of all three of my kids and me!  “Girlfriend” will always bring back memories of living in Pennington, NJ and going to Little League base ball games. Isn’t if funny how certain songs will trigger exact memories?? I love that so much!

Different generations all providing enjoyment

Look! Multi-generational music! When I need to get my funk on, James Brown, Rev. Al Green, Wilson Pickett and Sly Stone get me in the mood. The Byrds offer that laid back California hippie vibe.  US3’s Cantaloop and the Cranberries remind me of fun with the kids as they were starting to grow up!

Oona kept the pop going with Spice Girls, Hansen, and her little boy band CDs! To this day, (Oh God. I cannot believe I’m actually admitting this!)S-Club 7 is one of my favorite CD’s because it reminds me of all the car trips the two of us took up to her dance classes and competitions!

S Club 7. Still sounds like yesterday.

I swear to god, I was listening to this S Club 7 CD after Oona and I spent our last weekend together before her move! This CD is a memory bank for me!

B Witched. Remember THAT one

Does anyone remember B*Witched? The Irish girl group from the late 90’s? This was in Oona’s little CD case. YUP! I still have her case of boy band and girly CD’s! I cannot bring myself to get rid of them.

An old clunker car that we had while living in Manhattan gave me a new lease on “Standards” by the way! An old stinky gray Dodge Aspen. It was a piece of shit, but got me around the City. The radio only received AM stations. My dial was permanently set to 11.30 WNEW AM.

car radio

My shitty Aspen which smelled like fish when the windshield wipers were on, had a crappy AM radio similar to this.  I’m thankful I could get that one station. We would drive around Manhattan singing standards!

I not only received a new musical lease on life with these great old songs that my parents and aunts and uncles loved, but my kids learned to appreciate these wonderful melodies too!

The Best of Bobby Darin CD

WNEW AM Loved Bobby Darin as much as I did. His music had a heavy rotation on that station…

The Complete Tom Jones

..so did this other king of cool. Tom Jones. HIS music reminds me of summers at my grandmother’s house because my Aunt Terry and her friends loved him! So do I!

My music collection is categorized and organized as best as I can make it. I’ve got my rock, pop, standard and classical collection all neatly alphabetized in a huge case.

Open up for a world of rock, pop, standards and classical

4 Non-Blondes. I could never figure out why they didn't become superstars!

This CD reminds me of summer in Virginia Beach. I’m also surprised that 4 Non-Blondes never became a super group.  This is still one of my favorite CD’s–23 years later!! I’m glad Linda Perry is active in the music business as a producer though!

My collection of French music, which I listen to more and more these days, is neatly ensconced in a different case, which also houses my Cajun and world music.

Top left Sandrine Kiberlain's CD is great!

Some of my Frenchie stuff. Serge Lama has a very “interesting” French version of The Kink’s “Apeman”!

Father and Son. The Dutronc men

I also have me the Dutronc men. Dad Jacques and son Thomas!

Astrud Gilberto and Cubana. Nice sensual summer evening music

Latin music always brings sensual summer evenings at the beach–with cocktails to mind.

I don't like country, but this 4 set of American Roots Music is great

American Roots music is almost eerie in an “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” way. A lot of it is very sad and haunting with tales of sickness and poverty and struggle.  But we need songs like that once in a while!

Some Cajun stuff. Yes. id o cook to the bottom CD

Whenever I listen to my Cajun music I’m immediately mind-traveled down to New Orleans and having a great time. Oh–and I DO play Cajun cookin’ whenever I make a gumbo! Then I dance around the house!

Billy Furlong Strings for the Sets

This CD has been placed in my world music section. Billy Furlong and Michelle Bergin are musicians  who played at many a feis that Oona competed in. We listened to this CD for YEARS. Number 23, especially–Oona’s set for a long time was King of the Fairies. Look–there’s even a song about me–Madame Bonaparte! This CD brings back a load of dance memories and memories of the great friends we made during that time!

I’ve also amassed a decent collection of Christmas music!

Some more christmas music!

I like an eclectic mix. After all, Santa Claus travels all over!

Jazzy Wonderland. I have two copies. Shamrocks and Holly brings me back to the Oireachtas

Two of my favorite Christmas CD’s of Christmas music. I have two copies of A Jazzy Wonderland. One for the car and one for the house…

Jimis only christmas recording

And I even have his rare Jimi Hendrix Christmas album/cd!!!!!

The CD’s I listen to now are almost like a uniform of clothing. The same stuff I never, ever tire of: every single John Mayer CD, Joni Mitchell, Matthew Sweet, Billy Joel, and my French CD’s. This is the music I’m comfortable with for now. Familiar and worn in and always making me feel slightly better on the worst day!

...and there' even MORE John Mayer. I have two copies of Room for Squares

I “discovered” John Mayer while on a trip to Austin, TX to visit my son Jake who was a student at UT at the time. I always equate Mayer with Austin!

Like my memories, I keep my music collections close to my heart. Some CD’s haven’t been played in years—but I know they are with me. And when I get the urge to go back to a different time in my life, I can sit back, open up my ears, close my eyes, and let my mental theatre bring me to my childhood, or teen years, my young mother days or even the bad times. With my music I can go anywhere and be in any time!

It’s all good. Actually, with music, it’s all greatness!

XOXOXOXO. Today. I’m thinking–standard! How’s this Bobby Darin tune?  Clementine! It’s a take on..yeah..the old Darlin’ Clementine, but done in Darin’s hip way!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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13 Responses to I Got The Music In Me. You Got It In You?

  1. Oona says:

    So funny! When I read yesterday’s and saw the same at the bottom I thought that I need to make a playlist of music we would listen to in the summer when I was a kid (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, etc.).

  2. Leslie Preston says:

    A Hendrix song that I still love and shout/sing out is “Fire.” Loved your early lists and do still love Bobby Darrin (and his hairpiece) dearly. I danced/exercised my way through all the songs on Thriller, and I’m not a dancer! My adult years included James Taylor and the others that I can’t remember right now. I still have all my vinyl albums, but no turntable…. Meet the Beatles was my first album. Feeling nostalgic.

    • Catherine says:

      Leslie…”Fire” is definitely a Hendrix song that you just HAVE to shout!! It’s also one of his best! I remember what a huge deal Thriller was when it was released and the hype over the videos too! I have always loved James Taylor. I got his Christmas album which is excellent! LOL. My first Beatles album was “Beatles 65”! XOXOXO

  3. Gerry C. says:

    Bravo! Rock on *Cat*. All the tunes — all the time! Now that’s entertainment. The good old days for sure. Nice to reminisce. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Gerry–Right??? What’s really great about the “good old days” is that the music transcends generations at times! I wanna rock. And roll! XOXOXO!

  4. gk says:

    No Bruce? Jersey girl and all…
    Neil Young? CSNY?
    I still love 60s and 70s classic rock, brings me back to my youth!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi gk, Believe it or not, I’m not a Bruce fan! I’ve seen his “Born in the USA” tour at Meadowlands years ago and only because one of my sisters IS the quintessential Bruce fan! I like some of his stuff, but I’m really “meh” about him! I LOVE Neil Young–not mentioning him was an oversight on my part, but there’s just sooooooooooooooooooo much music. I’ve got so many “favorite” songs of all time..LOL. Actually Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” IS one of my all-time faves. I think I’ll have to have a music part 2 at some point!:) XOXOXOXOXO!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi gk, Believe it or not, I’m not a Bruce fan! I’ve seen his “Born in the USA” tour at Meadowlands years ago and only because one of my sisters IS the quintessential Bruce fan! I like some of his stuff, but I’m really “meh” about him! I LOVE Neil Young–not mentioning him was an oversight on my part, but there’s just sooooooooooooooooooo much music. I’ve got so many “favorite” songs of all time..LOL. Actually Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” IS one of my all-time faves. I think I’ll have to have a music part 2 at some point!:) XOXOXOXOXO!

  5. Miss Bougie says:

    Hmm, you opened a new world as many of the performers you mention are unknown to me. Not speaking about The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix or ABBA, obviously. I have to check them out.
    I love Christophe Maé as well. But my favourite French performers are Francis Cabrel and Florent Pagy. Have you heard of them? They both have so many good songs; two links to check them out.
    Francis Cabrel

    Florent Pagny

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Miss Bougie,
      Thanks so much for the links to the videos. I don’t have any of Cabrel’s CD’s but now I’m lemming him! BTW I LOVE Florent Pagny: Here’s a link to his latest song “The Soldier”. I saw this video when we were in France earlier in the month . You will LOVE IT! The song is beautiful!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO


      • Miss Bougie says:

        Check out more of Francis Cabrel. His first major hit was “L’encre de tes yeux” and “Peite Marie” is about his then fiancée and now his wife.
        Florent has a magnificent voice. He also sings operette; very talented! One very french sounding song is “Je laisse le temps faire” with Pascal Obispo. One of my favourite. 🙂

  6. Catherine says:

    I have to search you tube more. The link you gave me says that the uploader hasn’t make the video available in my country! Thanks so much for the heads up! XOXOXOXO

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