How, for better or worse, has your parents' record collection shaped your own taste in music? This is a question that NPR's All Things Considered will be asking this summer, beginning tonight, with a look at how actress and singer Audra McDonald came to discover the song "Edelweiss" as a child.
Audra McDonald and I are about the same age, so I'm guessing the song "Edelweiss," from The Sound Of Music, was popular when we were little kids. My mother sang it to me, too, when I was a child, though she replaced "Edelweiss" with "Robin," as in "Robin, Robin. Every morning you greet me." Its corny, I know, but every time I hear the song I get all choked up.
In fact, if I got one thing from my parents' record collection it's that: my love of the corny. Well, a lot of people would call it corny. I just call it great music: lots of tunes from classic musicals, a bunch of earnest folk singers and the big one: John Denver.
That's right. I love John Denver. I realize he's not up there with, say, The Clash or Sex Pistols and I'm not sure I'd fall for his music if I was coming to it today, but because my parents played his music constantly when I was growing up, it's a part of me and my history. I cried when he died. It was like a part of my childhood died. Some of his songs still hit me with that same sad force.
So how about you? What did you discover from your parents' record collections? Was there a song that shaped your tastes in music, or one you still carry around with you today because of them? Share your memories of your parents' record collection in the comments section below. Bob and I will offer some of our own picks, and share some of yours, on an upcoming show.
You can also record or upload audio of your memories to our Soundcloud page (Note: you have to have a Soundcloud account to use the record option):