Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Mama's Music

My mama’s music is funky and groovy and it’s got an old soul feel to it. Mama’s music if full of love and love that’s lost. Its chuck full of funky good times and another sad love song. My mama’s music has dust on the paper cover of the definitive collection of Stevie wonder. My mama’s music used to wake me up on Saturday mornings to Love and Happiness and lulled me to sleep with Sade’s the Kiss of life. Mama’s music kept her foot tapping as the record spins on the old record player belting out Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Otis Redding. My mama’s music kept us up all night boogie-ing with the elements of Earth, Wind, and Fiyahhhh in Boogiewonderland. We moon walked all over the kitchen floor to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and were Off the Wall with hits like Rock with You, and Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. We took road trips with Rufus and Chaka Khan and Parliament. My mama’s music was filled with emotion like when Stevie said “Cause I'll be loving you always.” They don’t make music like that anymore.

Mama’s music was full of the hits from Hitsville U.S.A. like The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, Mary Wells, the Spinners, and The Drifters. I dreamed of riding that “Midnight Train to Georgia” with Gladys Knight and the Pips, and can still be caught jamming to “Shotgun” by Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Mama’s music can be played from start to finish with no skips in between. Like listening to Percy Sledge saaaang about how “When A Man Loves A Woman, she can do no wrong.” Or listening to Ray Charles “Hit the Road Jack.” I liked to watch my mom and dad dance to “If This World Were Mine” the remake by Luther Vandross … and then they would groove to Roberta Flack “Killing me Softly.”

Mama’s music had the hitmakers. Can’t nobody do it like the Godfather of Soul. He had us feeling good in this Man’s World… “that is NOTHING, without a woman or a girl.”On Saturday afternoons you could find us rocking in the treetops all day long, hoppin and boppin and a singing that song with the Jackson Five. When mama was in the mood she’d break out and show me the moves of the sixties and the seventies and show us how to really get down on the good foot. We’d be doing the Hustle, the Bop, the Jerk, the Watusi (I still can’t get that down right) the Dog (well she did it) and we cranked out the old school party songs from Kool and the Gang, Zapp and Roger, The Commodores, The Gap Band, Sly and the Family Stone, Rick James, Ike & Tina Turner, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Pointer Sisters, The Mary Jane Girls, Mtume and the Ohio Players. We mellowed out with Chi-Lites, the Isley Brothers, James Ingram, Michael McDonald, and Kenny G. We sang alongside Whitney Houston, Teena Marie, and Mariah Carey … and the hits still kept coming.

Now don’t get me wrong there is some memorable music out there and many more artists of today that I could mention, but ain’t nothing like my mama’s music! It may be on 8in. vinyl records or in compact discs or on old tapes, but mama’s music had some kind of magic to it. Lyrics truly meant something and will forever remain as timeless classics. So if you catch me on the train or my cleaning house, maybe even taking a walk around the park… chances are I am listening to my mama’s music!

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