Music immortals in Daydreaming on the Porch

  • Aug. 11, 2020, 4:24 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

For the first time in many years I finally have a lot of that that precious commodity called “time.” I worked full -time until I retired in 2017 and continued on taking care of my mother who suffered with dementia and diabetes. I had been taking care of her pretty intensively for the five years prior to passing in late January. I have time to do a lot of thinking and writing whereas before I could barely post a Dementia Journal here once a month. I was totally preoccupied and consumed by caregiving.

Time is now more precious than ever. At my age, and with a deadly pandemic tormenting all of us and uprooting our lives, who knows how much time any of us over a certain age have.

With all this in mind, I seem to have a strong desire lately to go back in time through my memories and listen to a lot of the music I loved when I was young. If anything, listening to the music of the 1950s-70s now seems more urgent and relevant than ever. The fact is, though, most of what I’ve listened to since the 1980s has been instrumental, mostly meditative and relaxing ambient and New Wave, including a lot of piano solos. I have Pandora on a lot of the time. I like classical, piano jazz, bluegrass, ragtime, some country, blues, traditional New Orleans Jazz, and a wide range of solo guitar music. I liked the vocals on many of my favorite songs of the 60s by innumerable groups on into the 70s which was really a mixed up decade for music after the creative upheaval of the 60s. But each generation has its its signature songs and artists.

There are several singers, musicians and entertainers I have recently been listening to again after a long time. I grew up in New Orleans and always heard of Louis Armstrong and I always liked traditional New Orleans Jazz, that city being the birthplace of jazz. What a rich musical heritage New Orleans has with jazz. And no one embodied it more than Louis Armstrong. But I never fully appreciated Armstrong and his vast talents and exuberance for life until I came across his famed concert in Berlin in 1965. It was like I was hearing him for the first time. He loved entertaining, and what a happy man he was! Through his brilliant trumpet playing and unique singing voice, he brought happiness to people all over the world and now I understand why.

Similarly, I’ve newly discovered the absolutely beautiful voice of Sarah Vaughn. Her version of “Misty” is beyond compare.
I’ve also been listening to the majestic voice of the legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald.

And now in the middle of a terrible pandemic, we have the gift of song from singers whose work and legacy will long outlive this terrible period in history. It’s good to listen to music that moves me deeply, but also brings big smiles of happiness. For a little while listing to these immortal voices O feel safe and, dare I say it, happy.

Sarah Vaughn - “Misty”

Louis Armstrong in Berlin 1965

Ella Fitzgerald - Cry Me a River

Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World

ConnieK August 11, 2020

And Harry Belafonte and Frank Sinatra and Billie Holliday, and ... :) My parents listened to it all. I was particularly fond of Nat King Cole.

Oswego ConnieK ⋅ August 11, 2020

All classics! Nat King Cole had such an incredibly smooth, mellow voice! My favorite song of his is “Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.” :)

ConnieK Oswego ⋅ August 12, 2020

"Ramblin' Rose" was my favorite. :)

Oswego ConnieK ⋅ August 12, 2020

Oh, yes! I think that’s co-equal with Lazy Day of Summer. What a great song! I’ve listened to it countless times over the decades! :)

Jinn August 12, 2020

Imagine getting to grow up in New Orleans. It is one of my favorite cities . After two vacations there I had just about convinced F. To move there but then Katrina struck and we changed our minds :-) . Now I kind of regret that but we hopefully will go back to visit if this plague ever dies down.
Music is magic . All those songs I listened to with my Grandparents and my parents . Also a ton of musicals and folk music like Joan Baez . The backround music for my formative years was James Taylor, Joni Mitchell , Carole King, Poco , Simon and Garfunkle , and on and on . I did not like a whole lot of the 80’s music but I listened ; exceptions were The Eagles, Alabama, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Donna Summers, Boz Skaggs , Bette Midler, Barry Manilow , REO , Styx, Harry Chapin, Cher , Rod Stewart , Sting, The Cars .. There are more I am sure . I moved on to Lorena Mckinett , The Eurythmics, Sarah McClahan , Cheryl Crow , Indigo Girls , Michael Bolton:-) , Celine Dion. I collect music I love constantly . I have a whole library of Christmas muSic from around the world and through the ages. I have Memorial music I collected : music that reminds me of different family members . I have beach music :-) . If I am happy , I listen. If I am sad, I listen too .

Oswego Jinn ⋅ August 13, 2020

We are definitely on the same wavelength with music from our formative years. You have a great list there.

I could go on and on posting music entries. It seems like I am especially prone to listening to old classics these days with the Pandemic keeping me in so much. I know music from the 50s-70s, but not much if anything from the 80s on. I developed my own preferences for relaxing, meditative music, and that has worked fine for me for a long time now. But nostalgia has a very strong pull on me.

I hope you get to go back to New Orleans one day soon. I never fully appreciated it when U was growing up there but now I could spend months there, and take g photographs would be at be very top of my list of things to do. And what memories to relive!

Kristi1971 August 12, 2020

I love the music from that era....the jazz...there was so much good music created then.

Oswego Kristi1971 ⋅ August 13, 2020

You got that right. I am going to be delving into traditional jazz as never before. It’s like I’m hearing it for the first time.

Marg August 12, 2020

The music of the 60s and the 70s was the absolute best - no question!

Oswego Marg ⋅ August 12, 2020

To me, yes, because I think much of it was so innovative and socially conscious. I think a lot of The 30s and 40s music was to boost spirits during the Great Depression and World War II. But Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong truly belong at the top of the list in music history greatness! :)

Oswego August 13, 2020

Thought you’d enjoy this.

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