The sad news of Michael Jackson’s untimely death has me thinking about music and its effects on us – individually, as cultures, as generations. Let’s think about the soundtracks of our lives…
1) What sort of music did you listen to as a child – this would likely have been determined or influenced by your parents? Or perhaps your family wasn’t musical…was the news the background? the radio? Singing around the piano?
My family was all about old school contemporary Christian – this includes Bill Gaither, Anita Kerr Singers, The Continentals, Andre Crouch, and of course early Sandi Patty. There were also the classic Children’s albums: Music Machine, Bullfrogs & Butterflies, Enchanted Journey and Psalty.
My family is all very musical. My mom is a pianist, organist and singer with perfect pitch. She sang in a women’s ensemble called “Tapestry” when I was of preschool age and they did concerts at our church and other churches around town. I sat in the back with the director and knew all the words to all the songs. We always had records playing. My brother and I sang in children’s choirs at school and church and we both had no choice in the question of piano lessons. I also played trumpet and french horn and my brother plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass and drums and has a pretty good voice. Didn’t mean to leave dad out – he sings well, too, and played trombone in high school. That’s just the immediate family. The rest of them are all very musical on both sides.
2) Going ahead to teenage years, is there a song that says “high school” (or whatever it might’ve been called where you lived) to you?
Easy: Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard.
3) What is your favorite music for a lift on a down day? (hint: go to http://www.pandora.com and type in a performer/composer…see what you come up with!)
It depends, but most of the time it’s some fun Broadway, like Hairspray Spamalot or Wicked, nostalgia like Janet Jackson or early Madonna, or jazz like Ledisi, Diana Krall, Dinah Washington or Ella Fitzgerald.
4) Who is your favorite performer of all time?
“Performer” is different than “singer.” If we’re going with strictly “performer” it has to be Harry Connick, Jr. He does an amazing concert. I’ve seen him several times and he’s amazing. James Taylor also does a great concert. His One Man Band show was awesome. Annie Lennox also has an onstage presence that is powerful and Indigo Girls put on an amazing show.
5) What is your favorite style of music for worship?
Depends. I really like it all, as long as it has good lyrics. I like a lot of electric guitar, but I also like slower, piano-driven pieces.