We are all formed in part by the music we listen to when we’re young. My parents were deliberate about the music they chose, but of course I rejected most of it back then (I’ve since changed my tune, hardy har har). Studies have shown that it is easier for us to remember things when they are set to music, and for whatever reason I have always had a stronger musical memory than most. The result is that I can sing a LOT of songs, including those I only ever heard over the speakers in the grocery store as a child. That’s a little freakish, right?
Because I’ve always been especially attuned to, and able to remember, music, you could argue that even at a young age I was shaped by nearly every genre. These are the genres and artists that were particularly important to me in my formative years.
Amy Grant ~ As I mentioned in my first post of this series, I wanted to be her when I grew up. My mom turned me on to her music by giving me her own (my mom’s) tape of Age to Age. I was enamored with this voice I could already relate to, and I wore that sucker out.
Alanis Morrisette ~ Jagged Little Pill, which came out the same year as Mariah’s album, was a revelation. Honestly, the album was beyond my scope when it first came out, but I listened to it anyway, thinking I was all cool. You know how tweens are. I still like to pull it out when I’m feeling rocky – there’s nothing like an angry Alanis.
Boy bands ~ I stuck with just the main two, as the others quite frankly really sucked. The Backstreet Boys were fun, but NSync actually had some good music.
Andrew Lloyd Webber ~ When I was pretty young (I don’t recall what year) my great-aunt gave us tickets to see a local production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and I was a musical convert. I believe I wrote her a thank you note, and she responded by giving me her own cast albums to some musicals, along with some memorabilia she had picked up at Broadway shows. I’ve loved musical theatre ever since. Lloyd Webber was my first love.
Gettysburg soundtrack ~ This played a lot in my house after the film was released, so it’s a soundtrack to childhood for me.
Rogers & Hammerstein ~ The Sound of Music was my grandma’s favorite movie, and I watched it often with her. I never did get into all their musicals, but I loved many of them. Some I’ve learned to love more as I grew old enough to really understand (South Pacific, for example).
Country ~ I went through a serious country music phase when I was young. That was back when country sounded different than pop.
Classical ~ This was some of that music my parents kept making me listen to that I did not appreciate at the time. I thought it was boring – there were no words I could sing along with! I recall my dad once asking me if I could identify the different instruments playing, and then doing so for me when I didn’t have a response. I was baffled as to how he could discern the difference. Boy, have times changed! When I became country-obsessed, the rule was I had to listen to twice as much classical as country. I never did it, but they did manage to make me listen to quite a lot of classical. I should probably thank them for the heightened IQ. Also, I now love classical music.