While I was searching for a subject for this column, a young friend recommended that I write about music.
At the moment, that didn't seem acceptable, but the seed had been planted, and ideas began to form. Of course, the broad subject had to be narrowed a bit and now will probably not come close to what the fellow had in mind.
Recently, I was taken far into my past while listening to a TV ad which had the background song, “The Big Rock Candy Mountain" being sung. For a moment, I was sure the mind had begun wandering again, but I finally realized the song was for real and have heard it several times in the interim.
Well, I played that record hundreds of times on our Victrola when we lived in those canyons. That was the beginning of a lasting habit of playing one song nearly to death before finally getting my fill of it. Through the years until well after I was grown, I'd select a few songs to play repeatedly on whatever record or tape playing appliance we might have.
I was particularly fond of songs my parents liked from their youth and played them often on our player piano. "When You and I Were Young, Maggie," "Silver Threads Among the Gold," and "The Missouri Waltz" were among my favorites and still are. As time passed, I began to select special music and singers from my era and still enjoy hearing them when possible. The popular music from the 40s and 50s appealed to the youthful me. Also, the quiet singers, such as Bing Crosby, could make almost any song beautiful and could do so without looking pained or going into contortions.
Those singers didn't require a whole arena to prance around in and really did need microphones because they sang instead of shouting. They seemed relaxed and made us feel relaxed as well. Dinah Shore didn't have to do more than to stand quietly and sing quietly to catch our attention and to bring out the beauty in the popular songs of the era.
Obviously, this woman from lma has a bit of a problem while trying to listen to and watch today's "musicians." Whether they are singers or players of instruments, they just naturally tire the people in the audience because they shout, scream, and scramble around all over the stage. Just try to imagine the "Singing Cowboy" Gene Autrey flinging his guitar about while dashing back and forth across the stage and shouting. No, he wasn't a great musician, but he was a good entertainer and an even better actor in those wonderful western movies of the 40s. Let's each just enjoy listening to whatever kinds of music we appreciate the most--be it classical, popular, or just plain noise.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 461-1952