Daddy and Mama were teenagers when the crooners (male singers of pop standards) were most popular in American culture, but they both enjoyed artists from that period the rest of their lives. We grew up listening to them as part of the soundtrack of our lives.
Mama always told us she never understood why Frank Sinatra was so popular because she didn’t think he was all that good-looking and she didn’t think he had a great voice (I agree on both counts, although I have a slight fondness for Sinatra’s “Summer Wind,” but I think it’s because it was attached to baseball commercials somewhere along the way during my life).
However, Daddy and Mama had clear favorites among the crooners, and the two that stand out in my mind are Perry Como and Andy Williams. They were a part of the soundscape of our Sunday mornings growing up.
A Perry Como favorite for both Mama and Daddy (they’d both sing it to us and eventually we were able to sing along with them, so feel free to sing along as well) was “Catch a Falling Star:”
Their most favorite song by Andy Williams was the theme song of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. (When Deep Blue Something had their one-hit-wonder with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” I never failed to think of the movie or its theme song.) Here’s the song:
Have a great Sunday morning! I hope it’s a full of good memories remembered and being made.
One of Daddy and Mama’s favorite songs was Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken. It always surprised me a little, more so with Daddy than Mama, when they listened to and liked more contemporary music. But, on the other hand, I can remember going on trips, driving late into the night, and Daddy having the radio on listening to what must have been an “oldies” station then and hearing songs that I would have never heard otherwise from the 1960’s.
I know, from the extensive and diverse record collection Daddy and Mama had – everything from big band to swing to jazz to blues to classical to ragtime to folk to authentic country and bluegrass and to international music, with a healthy mix of great instrumentalists and crooners thrown in – that they passed on that same love and same eclectic taste to me. For that, I’m thankful because music is a very intricate part of my life and can sometimes take the edge off of life or bring the tears of release that I often keep bottled up for way too long.
For anyone interested in the history of Appalachia (northeast Tennessee, including Johnson City, Erwin, Flag Pond, Jonesborough, and Telford) and North Carolina (starting in the piedmont and spreading throughout the state) from the Depression years forward, Fields of Gold: A Love Story offers many personal and powerful insights into both since these were home for Mama and Daddy and us kids.
I’d like to share a couple of reviews for “Fields of Gold: A Love Story:”
“From the very first page, I was mesmerized by this charming, poignant love story. And Ross has just the right touch in this retelling of her parents’ lives from their heartbreaking, orphaned childhoods to their ultimate roles as beloved parents, grandparents, and friends. The voice is simple, loving, and southern-cadenced,and its gentle rhythms and descriptive prose serve only to heighten the intimacy of the family’s story of love, heartache, and redemption. I read it, loved it, and immediately started to re-read it, because I didn’t want to leave the world that Ross recreated so successfully in these pages. This book will lure you into its beautiful story and then, once you have finished it, will not let you go. It’s truly a touching yet wonderful journey, and Ross has captured the subtle beauty and soaring love of her parents’ lives perfectly. I am recommending it to all my friends and family as a must-read for its tale of how the bonds of family can overpower even those worst of memory’s enemies, and as proof that Alzheimer’s and dementia cannot dim the human spirit and the overwhelming remembering of love.”
“My mother requested this book as a gift and was thoroughly moved by reading it. She highly recommends it and has friends waiting to read her copy. This is an excerpt of her sentiments shared with the author — ” If Going Gentle Into That Good Night is anywhere as informative as Fields of Gold, it will be another remarkable book. Fields of Gold is such a warm travel-log of sorts, of Life as “Sandy, Debbie & Elaine” as I knew them in their very early years. It is hard to put down once you begin to read it. Last night I was at the stage of Dr. Ross & Mrs. Ross’s later years (in the book’s history), and I was very tearful for quite a while. Knowing Dr. & Mrs. Ross as dear friends brought back memories and lots of things I didn’t know. Thanks Sandra; I look forward to your next book, Going Gentle Into That Good Night, but I will need to stock up on tissues first.”