Daddy’s Music

Today is very special: not only it is #MusicMonday, it would have been my daddy’s 73rd birthday. And it’s been ten years today since I was able to celebrate with him.

He’s been on my mind a lot lately, for many reasons. First, of course, because his birthday is today. And then there is a scene at the end of my just-finished book (WHEN WE WERE US) and again at the start of the next book (HANGING BY A MOMENT) that brings his loss back to me.

And today being a Monday is perfect, because when it comes to music, my father was my biggest influence.

Most of the music I love comes from a place that was part of my daddy. He introduced me to rock n’ roll, to R&B and to pop, as well as country. He told me stories about songs–gave me history and a real connection with the artists and their lives, too.

Today’s playlist contains my father’s favorite music, or songs that were significant in his life. For instance, I know that he did a lip sync to Stagger Lee when he was a freshman in high school. He loved Buddy Holly, too–always. When he was a plebe at West Point, he heard echoes of the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight in upperclassmen’s rooms and was intrigued by the WEEM-oh-wep. And he was so excited about I’m Into Something Good that he made an unheard-of middle of the week phone call to my mom to play it over the phone.

When I was older, he often came home from work excited about a new song he’d heard on the way home. I think that’s how I first heard The Tide is High and Mickey.

He suggested True Love Ways as the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding. And he also chose Disney Girls as the song he and I danced to–our father/daughter dance. I still can’t hear it without crying.

I hope you’ll check out Daddy’s Play List–and that it makes you smile.

Happy birthday, Daddy.


Memorial Day Monday

Today is the unofficial start of summer, and as such, it’s the official kick-off of the summer music season (I have deemed it so!).

recordimagesSummer’s always been a time when we listen to more music than ever: driving to the beach, sitting in the sand, hanging out at the pool, barbecuing in the backyard . . . summertime fun and awesome tunes go together like hotdogs and mustard.

Since 2015 is the Summer of Beach Lovin’, each Monday of this summer I’ll be posting a different summer-themed song and talking about it. I’d love to hear YOUR favorite summer jam: which song absolutely means summer and beach to you? Comment here or on my Facebook page, and I’ll feature it in an upcoming post.

We’ll start with what is to me one of the most-often identified favorite summer songs: Surfin’ USA by the aptly-named Beach Boys (1963). I’ve loved this song since I was a kid–it named so many places in the US that were familiar to me, and my sister and I got a kick out of the lines:

You’d seem ’em wearing their baggies468-Kayla-Huarache-sandals-Ankle
Huarachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U. S. A.

Because no matter where we all live, whether in the middle of Manhattan, a wheat field in Kansas or on the shores of Lake Michigan, during the summer, don’t we all want to be going on a surfin’ safari?

Happy Memorial Day! Bring on the summer.