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There is a CBC radio show that I listen to every Sunday night on my drive in to work from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
It’s called ‘My Playlist’.
Each week a different Canadian music artist hosts and presents a playlist of their favourite and most influential songs. That’s where I was introduced to some artists that I’d never heard before, Ron Sexsmith being one of them.
In light of the obvious fact that I will never be a guest host on this show I thought that I might use this form of social media to have a little fun and present a playlist of my own with songs which have meant the most to me through my life.
Like you, I have hundreds of songs to pick from, however to make this short list, I decided to choose those which have always had the greatest emotional impact on me.
1. The very first song that I remember hearing on the radio that gave me an emotionally happy response was ‘A Lover’s Concerto’ by The Toys. That was 1965 and good old Toronto’s CHUM AM radio. To this very day, when I hear it start to play, my heart still does backflips.
2. For some reason, it irks me when I ask someone who their favourite band is and they reply the Beatles. To me that’s like asking someone what their favourite book is and they say the Bible. I consider both ‘Beatle’ and ‘Bible’ answers are winners by default. In my world, they are the epitome of both worlds and not to be reckoned with. That’s just my opinion. Please don’t send me any hate mail. Further, I could not fathom a playlist that did not include the Beatles, and so I chose ‘She Loves You’. Just because… ya, ya, ya.
3. As a young girl, I always loved to hear my Father whistle. If he was whistling, that meant that he was content and happy and this was how I preferred him. His favourite whistling tune was Donovan’s ‘Jennifer Juniper.’ He whistled it so much, that I promised myself if I ever had a little girl that I would name her Jennifer. Well, I did. And I did!
4. Elton John’s ‘Someone Save My Life Tonight’ was my teenage angst song of choice. It always seemed to come on the radio when I was in crisis mode. Both the melody and lyrics soothed me to no end. In 1987, I attended his concert at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. It was outdoors and thunderstorms pummelled us with no mercy. Yes, he did finally sing this song. I had ‘a moment’. It was an epoch in my life.
5. Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’ is on my playlist because it is the song my husband and I chose to be ‘our song. ‘Nuff said.
6. I love Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’. To me, this song is the epitome of desire. I’ll just leave it at that.
7. The first rock concert that my husband and I ever attended was Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The River’ Concert back in January 1981. At that time we had been married for over three years and had a six month old baby. That was our first real outing after having become parents. The next day’s morning papers called the non stop event: “A four hour rock and roll revival.” I have another sweet story associated with this album…. Frank’s birthday was a few weeks after the concert. When my Grandmother asked me what Frank wanted for his birthday, I told her he would really appreciate Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The River’ album. That was easier said than done because my Grandfather being a Baptist minister didn’t want to be known for giving away rock albums for birthday presents. However, at my Grandmother’s behest they did reach a compromise. They gave him twenty dollars to buy whatever he wanted. He bought himself the album. And so, for the above reasons, choice number seven on my playlist is Bruce Springsteen’s song from the very same album, ‘The River’.
8. Karen Carpenter’s ‘Rainy Days And Mondays’ is the anthem of my younger teenage years. I loved the Carpenters and even had the good fortune to see them in the summer of 1975 when my cousin from Cleveland drove all the way to Canada in his Lotus to take me back to the States to see one of their concerts and then back home again. Some parts of my childhood really sucked, but that particular adventure was definitely a shining moment in my life. Unfortunately, Karen Carpenter’s untimely death makes it hard for me to listen to any of their songs anymore even to this day. I’m still not over it. Don’t think I ever will be.
9. The first time I ever saw the Thompson Twins was their ‘Lies Lies Lies’ video. I thought it cute, but it didn’t grab me. Then one day in 1983 while doing housework I found myself making beds while singing the lyrics to ‘Hold Me Now’. I couldn’t remember where it came from, or who sang it. I only knew it as a pretty melody. A day or so later, I heard it play on the radio and finally solved the mystery. I have loved that song ever since. I played it throughout my entire second pregnancy and then rocked my newborn baby girl to sleep with that song. I did get to see them in Hamilton January 1st 1988. My life was complete.
10. One day, my husband came home from one of his business trips with yet another new toy. It was this gadget called a CD Walkman. I had never seen one before. I wasn’t impressed. Next thing I know is he puts a set of headphones on me and pushes the button. I will never forget what happened next. The most incredibly clear, rich and intensely beautiful music that I had ever heard filled my head. It was an acappella group called the Nylons and the song was ‘Love This Is Love’. I have been in love with them ever since. After attending many of their concerts I finally got to meet them. Now, many years later only one original member is still with us. After buying every CD that they ever put out, I played them till the plastic virtually crumbled. Thank God for downloading.
So there, you have it, in a big nutshell. I promised to limit the playlist to ten and that didn’t cover the Doobies, ELO, 10cc, Bad Company, Styx, Bread, Jim Croce, Queen, Howard Jones, Steve Winwood, Gowan, Metallica, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Mister Mister, Moody Blues, and the best band ever, next to the Beatles of course… The Eagles. However, the ten I chose had to score on the emotional level and not so much on music artistry, style, and content.
In closing, I would love to hear your playlist… Be it ten selections or only one.