Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

L is for Language and M is Music

Language: Middle English from Old French langue meaning tongue/language, from Latin lingua (more at tongue. )

Language. Where would we be without it?

Music: Middle English musik, from Old French musique, from Latin musica, from Greek mousike any art presided over by the Muses, especially music, from the feminine of mousikos meaning of the Muses, from Mousa meaning Muse.

There was always music of one kind or another in our home. My father had a fairly large collection of 78s and LPs; everything from Dixieland jazz to Swing to Classical. I grew up listening to and singing along with the standards. Dad played trombone and E-flat tuba. Wherever we lived he'd find a band to played in. He was really good on the trombone. We called it his magic plumbing because it seemed every time he'd haul it out and start playing unexpected company would show up.

When I was about 17 Count Basie came to St. Thomas. My father took my grandmother and me to hear him play at the Lionel Roberts Stadium. He and his band played right out there on the pitcher's mound. It was wonderful. (The large white roofed building is the old hospital. It now houses government offices.)

Because of my early exposure to Big Band jazz it took me a while to get into Rock and Roll. But I did learn to love it. I was fascinated by drummers like Ginger Baker from Cream. To this day I don't know how drummers do it, have all four appendages going at the same time, each doing something different. And then on top of that there are drummers like Phil Collins and Don Henley who SING while they drum! A-MAZE-ING. One time I got Dad to listen to Baker's long solo on the song "Toad" off Fresh Cream.

After patiently listening for a while he said, "You gotta hear this." He rummaged through his 78s, hauled one out and put it on the record player. I heard this wildly fast beat to a tune called "Lover."

"That," said Dad, "Is Gene Krupa. He was the first to use drums as a solo instrument. They called his playing scary and spooky."

And indeed when you listen to him it is a bit scary how he managed to get so much sound out a such a small drum kit. Compared to the kits drummers use today, Krupa and even Ginger Baker, had tiny kits.

This is Krupa with his band playing "Lover" a slightly slower version than the one on the 78, but still amazing, plus a second song called "Leave Us Leap."

And if you ever wondered about the origins of Rock and Roll, listen to this.

What are your first music memories?

As an aside I've been given these three awards.

Susan Fields is the second blogger buddie to pass this one to me. Thanks Susan!

The Awesomesause Award (for displaying awesomeness on a regular basis) was given to me by Creepy Query Girl. Thank you Creepy!

And lastly, Rena Jones has bestowed me with the Beautiful Blogger Award

As with all awards, if you are reading this consider yourself awarded. I pass it on to you with all my heart.


  1. Congrats on your awards :o)

    I think drummers are amazing. I grew up with a wide range of music. My family are all musical. My mum and uncle played in a band and my nana was a beautiful singer. Unfortunately I didn't get any singing talent passed down to me!! haha

  2. Congratulations on your awards!!!

    Your blog posts are amazing I always learn a little something and I enjoyed the little picture you had with it today... sick I know, but it was what drew me to your post today!

  3. What a fun story/post, thanks for sharing Bish!

    That's crazy that you saw count Basie on St. Thomas.

    I love the drums, especially in scenarios like The Incredible Bongo Band's Apache and The Winston's Amen Brother!

  4. Great clips! I love stuff like that. The drummer reminds me a lot of Keith Moon, or at least his facial expressions. I guess that should be the other way around though.

    Congrats on your awards!

  5. Thank you for the introduction to Gene Krupa! I love that when your dad played music, guests came!! :)
    My first musical memories is playing my mom's Beatles records over and over and dancing alone in the basement listening to them!
    Love the dinosaur!

  6. Congrats on all the awards, and thanks for sharing your music background today!

  7. My mother was a really good singer and would sing Big Band music at the top of her lungs while vacuuming. My parents had a large collection of vinyl, mostly Big Band, but also Hawaiian and Polynesian music. But my favorite of all was probably Tschaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.

  8. Music has always been such a huge part of my life. My dad is a classically trained singer, and his voice could blow the windows out of a building. He introduced us to the great masters very early. My brother and I started piano lessons at a young age, and my brother went on to classically train in voice too. I've also taken many vocal lessons, but preferred my instruments over my voice.

    Meanwhile, my mom loves bluegrass and country and hates opera, but she always attended Dad's shows faithfully, even if she was doodling on the program. :-) For her, I'm learning how to fiddle.

  9. Congrats on the awards! My parents played in a poprock group throughout my entire childhood-teen years. So musical memories were often falling asleep to the reverberations going through the house during band practice- my birthdays turning into band-jam/keg parties, etc. There was just constantly live music in the house.

  10. Cool Niki!

    Thanks Jen. I don't know what I'm going to do after the A to Z challenge. Maybe start from A again?

    Wow Creep! I'm loving hearing about everyone's early music memories.

  11. I was distracted by the dinosaur for quite some time so I had to reread your post! Congrats on the awards and thank you! I really enjoy reading your posts.

  12. Congrats on your awards! And yeah, that dino was really distracting!

  13. I love to listen to all kinds of music, but my favorite memories come from Sunday afternoons when my grandfather would sit in our living room and play the violin. I used to play with him and then somehow I lost interest in the instrument. It's one of my biggest regrets. Now my son plays his guitar and that's beautiful too.

    Thanks for the great music clips.

  14. My favorite music memory is when I was learning to play the piano and heard another (more advanced) student play Fur Elise. I loved how the music wove in and out of melodies, and it became my goal to learn to play that very song. It's the first time I could almost visualize what the music looked like, as opposed to just playing notes.

  15. Congrats on your awards! You deserve every one of them.

    Music...ah, music. I'm not sure I remember my first musical experience, but I adore music. A band geek I am, and I love turning the volume up loud and singing along -- especially in the car. Music can bring me out of a slump and inspire me in ways other things can't. Couldn't live without it.

  16. Must have been wonderful growing up in a musical family. Interesting to watch and listen to the music of that glorious era.

  17. Great clips! You're so right - the 78's Dad had were really "smokin'" by comparison. Made for early television, perhaps?

    Drum cute! This could become a "name those stars" competition! In addition to the band, Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwick were priceless!

  18. Look at you with those wonderful awards! Congratulations! And thanks for another great post!

  19. Congrats on your awards!

    Just tonight I was telling my teenage daughter's friend how much I loved music in high school. I knew every word to every song to every band I liked (embarassingly enough, Duran Duran comes to mind, also INXS, the Cure, REM, U2, etc.) but now I rarely listen to music. In my old age I seem to prefer peace and quiet. :)

  20. OMG! That dino image is awesome! I love it!

    Great post!


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