Most people I know listen mainly to one genre of music, rarely any other. Of those, the majority I’ve known prefer either country music or rock and roll. Others, like myself, enjoy a number of different types.
Hymns were my first introduction to music. I loved to sing. When the church had a choir, I was sure to be included. I was fond of belting out Blessed Assurance, Rock of Ages, Amazing Grace, and especially How Great Thou Art. Bear in mind, though, that my talent was questionable, but then so were others. I’m told that my dad’s father, however, was a wonderful bass singer – well before my time. Like many others, your favorite singers may have gotten their start as gospel singers.
My first memory of commercial music was listening to an old Philco radio my uncle played in the milking barn to soothe cows. I loved to listen while assisting. It was always Western music featuring the likes of Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Slim Whitman, Roy Rogers, and unforgettable renditions from the Sons Of The Pioneers. I still easily recall Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Cool Clear Water, The Cattle Call, The Wayward Wind, and many others. I still play them now and then, and yes, I’m soothed like those cows were.
My next music love was early rock and roll – the Kingston Trio, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Richie Valens, the Platters, and others were sure to entertain. I later moved on to The Beatles, Monkeys, Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. This went on for years, and I still listen to many of them today.
I served in the U.S. Navy for four years and seldom listened to Armed Forces Radio. Afterward, I chose the country life, working on a Colorado ranch, shearing sheep for a living, and riding horses at every chance. It was a period of nomadic existence, and country music seemed the perfect fit. I moved several times over the next three years and dialed in country music at each new place I landed.
I finally settled in Houston for many years, where I developed a taste for classical music, I bought my first turntable and several LP albums, including Beethoven’s Fifth and my then favorite, Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra. For those who think they dislike classical music, remember that it is often used in movies and TV shows as background music. It’s either drawn from existing selections of known classical pieces or music newly written in the same style.
I don’t remember when I first noticed what is loosely known as “New Age” music. I admit many of the artists did not grow on me, except one – Enya. Her music captivated my heart. Many know her as the artist who sang “Orinoco Flow,” more commonly known as “Sail Away.”
While living in Austin, I found a station playing blues every Monday night, the only radio program dedicated to that genre I had ever encountered, and became a huge fan. I loved their program, “Blue Monday.”
While enjoying a mix of the various genres above, I found time to enjoy jazz, R&B, soul, opera, Spanish, and inspirational music as well. I’ve always been someone seeking more, intent on exploring what I haven’t seen, heard, or read. I don’t readily dismiss a genre based on one or two pieces. I’ve discovered, too, some selections just aren’t readily limited to one genre or another.
My wife reminds this old white guy that he’s enjoyed a rap song or two as well.