11 March 2008

These are the people...

After buying Hey Jude/Revolution when I was eight, my dad , bless his heart, did a few things that changed my life. He wasn't much of a Father as he was obsessed with making sure everyone knew he was smarter, more cultured, and right about everything. The irritating thing was, all these things were true. He just made sure you were painfully aware of it at all times. A PHD candidate, professor of english, walking encyclopedia of baseball, genius IQ, and an exceptional and just short of photographic memory. He was also the target of CIA recruiters while in the Navy during the Cold War. So here's one of the rare gifts he did give me: A love of music of all types and the principles of social justice. The Beatles at Eight, then it got crazy. My dad played a recording of Dr. King's I Have a Dream, and the Cannonball Adderely Quintet playing Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, on his big tube Bell reel to reel piped through a high-end Leak tube amp around 1969. It had a powerful influence on me, to go along with what I saw on TV. Then, when I was ten and eleven, he started in with Woody Guthrie records and a Hank Williams box set of complete recordings for me and my sister. We didn't know what to do except sit there and soak it in. The man polished me off when I was eleven or twelve. He brought home the just released Will The Circle be Unbroken, (1971), in a big fat sleeve with multiple records, photos and liner notes. It was then I first heard The Carter Family, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, and you know, Vassar Clements and Junior Huskey. There's just too many to mention here. We studied and listened to that thing obsessively, and still do. For that, dad, thank you.
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