Friday, January 2, 2009

A catholic music taste - part 5

It's time for an update on my love of music.

Although this is about my music tastes I must tell you that Gail always had (and still has) a love of late 1950s and 1960s "pop". Favorites of hers include Billy Fury, Buddy Holly, Helen Shapiro, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison and "The King" Elvis Presley. I had my own favorites, although not The Beatles I have to say (or at the time of his popularity, Elvis, although this later changed), which I suppose made me an oddball. Listening to these artists did have an effect on me and the "Big O", Dusty and the like, soon became favorites of mine.

Gail also loves Country music. This brushed off onto me, although in England we mostly only heard the "cross-over" country stars on our radios - the likes of Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and the like - which did not give us a true taste of the more genuine article. The introduction of satellite television and the inclusion of the CMT channel gave Gail a broader choice of, until then, unfamiliar singers. She would record her favorites and play them to me and I gradually began to appreciate the honest simplicity and what seemed like a "genuineness" of this music. On our first visit to the US, we not only made the almost obligatory pilgrimage to Gracelands and soaked up the atmosphere of Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, but spent a couple of days in Nashville. A visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the the Grand Ole Opry sealed it for me. Thus another music genre was added to my collection and on our return to Spain I was glad of on-line music channels to able me to listen to more.

Since living here we have realized how big Country music is and that, in general, the sincerity is real. Through listening to more and more singers and musicians, new and old, I have also developed interest in Bluegrass, Appalachian hill music and Southern gospel, all integral parts of the "country" genre.

What am I listening to as I write this? "Kickin' Out The Footlights . . . Again" by George Jones and Merle Haggard - great stuff.

Gail and I on our visit to Gracelands in June 2001.

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