Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Christian music’

Hey Hey It’s The 60’s

I am a child of the 60’s.  But it wasn’t until the 70’s that I became really interested in pop music.  I have a few memories of sitting in a recliner and seeing “The 5th Dimension” perform on TV when I was about 6 or 7 – (around 1968) and loving their new hits – “Up, Up and Away” and “Age Of Aquarius”.  They were sheer heaven to me.  But other than that – I have no real memories of music from that era.  Somehow though, the two songs I posted below from British pop singer, Petula Clark – strike a chord deep down in my memory bank.  I hear them playing today on my iHeart radio, 60’s and 70’s blend, and I remember.

Oddly enough, we do seem to return to music of our childhood.  We can be exposed all the rest of our lives,  night and day to another era or type of music and yet, at the end of the day we still favor the music from our youth above all other music.  I think it’s because youth to us symbolizes a simpler and sweeter time, when we were not responsible.  I have a friend about 15 years older than myself who feels this same way about music from the 50’s and 60’s.  It reminds her of her youth – and events surrounding or leading up to her first love and marriage.

My parents generation was steeped in music of the church – as other music was considered “worldly” and even “sinful”.  To them the old familiar hymns of the church are comforting and a symbol of youth, simplicity and fond memories.

My generation had almost no good Christian music.  I later began to appreciate the music of “Second Chapter of Acts” and “Amy Grant” – but it wasn’t really until the 80’s and even the 90’s that things began to really take off for Christian artists.  At least that’s how I felt at the time.  I can now go back and listen to several old songs and smile.  Although pretty dated – they still move me and I can appreciate what they bring to my life today.

My music of choice has always been and will continue to be – the great music ballads of the 70’s and 80’s.  I am very open to music of today – but deep within me you’ll find a 70’s girl at heart.  And I am increasingly drawn to instrumental music, soundtracks and musical scores from musicals, movies, dramas and series.  When I see something most interesting on TV, usually behind the great show, movie or docudrama series – is a very great musical score.  I usually look it up right away and add it to my collection.

But for today – a memory of a sweeter time gone by – the 60’s.   If you were around there and open enough to admit that you remember these, like me – let me know and list some of your favorites so I can listen to them and conjure up a memory.

God Bless

A Little Folk – A Little Pop

Joni Mitchell, performing in 2004

Joni Mitchell, performing in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Between the Lines: Sara Bareilles Live at the ...

Between the Lines: Sara Bareilles Live at the Fillmore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I’ve able to customize music apps like Spotify and iHeart Radio.

I like a wide variety of music – but there are certain things that I always come back to.  Music with a “folk/pop” feel.  Artists like Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Elton John, George Michael, Kenny Loggins, Carole King and Carly Simon are always the ones I play again and again.  Lately I’m drawn to Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Coldplay, Regina Spektor, Phillip Phillips and Jon McLaughlin because of their great uniqueness and well thought out ballads.

I feel like there has been a revival of great songs and artists from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  I hear my students requesting songs from my youth and my heart swells with pride!  They don’t realize that the “cover” they are hearing is just a cheap copy of the real thing that I grew up with.  But that’s okay.  Great songs stand the test of time for any generation and I welcome these covers with open arms.  Songs like “River” and “Your song” are great in any decade.

I’ve never liked mainstream “pop” Christian music.  But I do LOVE anything Michael W. Smith.  He is a true artist in every sense of the word – his passion comes through with every lyric he writes and sings.  We attended a Christmas concert that he had a few years back and it was wonderful.  But he has been around since the 70’s like Amy Grant – tried and true and getting better with time.   Probably why I like them.  It makes me crazy when I hear too much “popular” Christian music of today – and find myself skipping songs like crazy on internet radio.  I guess that’s why I’m pretty good in my own lane of music and if set to one of the above classic artists, I know all that music will be appealing and easy for me to listen to.

All that being said – I find myself being drawn to folk music of the past and present.  Acoustic guitar and piano are my favorites.  Artists that try to copy Joni Mitchell and James Taylor – who did it so well the first time around – always have my interest.

What music are you drawn to?  Does it help set a mood for you when you are working or reflecting?  For me I love to write while listening so it needs to be calm and soothing or I keep skipping songs and it breaks my concentration!  How about you?

Hope you have a wonderful day – God Bless!

Music That I Love

English: Classical music. Public domain. Old e...

Image via Wikipedia

When I was growing up – KJR was the cool station that played the top 40’s.  I remember the music from the early 70’s and the count down with Casey Kasem every Saturday night.

Music has changed over the last 40 years – but I am still comfortable with music I grew up with and listened to during those crazy teenage years.  It’s comforting somehow – I can’t explain it.

My Dad always preferred classical music – so that is what was always played in our home  – even during every meal.

I studied music in college – even got a degree in vocal performance and had to study many different types of music – much of it classical.  I never developed a real love for it though, much to my dad’s disappointment, I’m sure.  I can appreciate it – which is something entirely different.  Mozart was a genius and so were many of the others – but I must admit – I can only listen to their creations in small doses before it starts making me edgy.

For example:

I was trying to find a station the other day, had grown tired of 106.9 because of the commercials and went exploring – and stopped on a lovely slow classical piece on the classical station.  I stepped into the shower hoping to have a lovely time relaxing and listening – and at first it was lovely – but then the tempo changed and suddenly everything became frantic and fast paced – and I found myself getting nervous and agitated.  I thought to myself, “this is why I don’t listen to classical music”.

I also don’t like commercials – who does?  Radio is really irritating to me – which is one of the reasons why I don’t like the Christian station 105.3.  WAY too many commercials for my taste – it’s not that I don’t like Christian contemporary – I think I like most everything (in moderation that is) it’s the commercials that drive me insane.

Then I remembered 95.7 – the oldies station for Seattle with very limited commercials and almost every song they play – I LOVE!

I played it today while in the shower and getting ready for the day – and it was so refreshing to me.  Don’t you just love it when music does that?

Now there’s nothing wrong with classical, or Christian contemporary, or smooth Jazz or easy listening – but if it’s something that relaxes me – it’s oldies and easy listening from the 70’s – up to today.

That being said – I also LOVE instrumental movie soundtracks.  James Horner and people like David Foster are amazing for bringing great music to highlight and bring out the very best in a film.  My very favorites are “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Leonard Bernstein and “Meet Joe Black” by Thomas Newman.  These are some of the modern-day genius composers and I know there are others.

I’m fascinated by all sorts of talent – old and new and LOVE a wide range of styles.  Christian music is far too limiting for me – although I have been criticized for being so open to other more popular kinds of styles.  It doesn’t bother me – I am secure in who I am.  I was raised in a fundamental Christian home where only classical music was played – so I feel no guilt in my departure from mainline Christian music.

That being said – I do love some of the more modern worship choruses sung today in our church worship services – not all – but definitely some.  I’m not big on repetition and so it’s hard to sing the same thing over and over, but there are some really beautiful new creations and I have been amazed at how much I really connect with them and love the lyrics.  And I only like the older hymns if they are not so predictable and stuffy.  I love beautiful chord structures and variety – inspiring lyrics and something that moves me – not just the status quo.

Because we have a great big world and much to listen to, appreciate and inspire us – I feel it is a shame to limit to just one style.  At the moment I’m listening to Jackie Evancho singing “Pie Jesu” with beautiful clarity, like an angel – and then I will hear James Taylor, Billy Joel or Josh Groban and they all make me feel happy – like an old friend.

Don’t you love that – when music has the power to make you feel happy?  Put a smile on your face – and a dance in your step?  Me too.

What’s your favorite station?  What song makes you feel good – makes you smile?  If you wrote it down, would you feel that someone might criticize you?   Here are a few of mine:

Jump  – by the Pointer Sisters

Sister Moonshine – by Supertramp

When you say you love me  – Josh Groban

Sweet Darling – Heart

Loving Arms – Darden Smith

Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Reaching – Bill and Gloria Gaither

January Rain – David Gray

Wild Horses – Susan Boyle

Leesha – Michael W. Smith

Shine on us – Phillips, Craig and Dean

and SO MANY others!

I hope you’ll share some of your favorites with me 🙂

God Bless

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