Friday, October 09, 2009

The List

I am smitten. I have a new favorite singer.

Understand, I am a classical music person, pretty much through and through. And, if I listen to something different from classical, it's likely to be classic rock. I love to play some Queen songs good and loud, as I clean the house. Or the Eagles--I can listen to them for hours. Or Crosby, Stills, Nash--sometimes Young--great songs.

Now, of all the music styles available, the one I have never really gravitated to is country music. I do love folk music, country music's very close cousin, but I just never got into country music. (As a quick aside, I do not consider rap to be music.)

Well, things are about to change.

The other day, I tuned in to Terry Gross's marvelous program Fresh Air. Her guest was Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash. I was just getting ready to turn the radio off, when the opening story caught my attention.

As a young enterprising song writer, Rosanne was talking with her father one day as they rode the tour bus. He mentioned a song, and she said she didn't know it. Then he mentioned another--which she also did not know. His response to her was: if you're going to write country songs, there are just some essential songs you HAVE to know. So, his gift to her was the list of 100 essential country songs.

Rosanne has now recorded 13 of those songs on her new album "The List."

Right after listening to the entire show, I went out to I-Tunes, and bought the album. And I am smitten. I have the album playing now, as I write--Rosanne is singing "500 Miles from Home"--which was a staple of many 60s folk singers, including Peter, Paul and Mary.

Most of the songs on the album are familiar to me--for example "Long Black Veil" I first heard sung by Joan Baez.

But the song that is just resonating in my head is "Sea of Heartbreak." Visit the Rosanne Cash website, and you will hear that song playing. This song is nearly perfect. When she wanted someone to sing back-up harmony, she thought--well, what about Bruce Springsteen. So she asked, and he said YES. Bruce Springsteen!

Lest, I gush on too long, I will stop. You can listen to the Fresh Air interview or visit the Rosanne Cash website.

Talk about me doing some against my personal norm.


Beth said...

After I heard this on Fresh Air I listened to all the songs and then ordered it on itunes. It is my new favorite, too.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Me too!

Ginnie said...

I loved Johnny Cash and will definitely listen to his daughter. Thanks.

NCmountainwoman said...

I love classical music and have it on most evenings while I read. I also love country music and have since I was a small child. I particularly love the old tear-jerky music of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Tammy Wynette. Like you, I have a long iPod playlist of rock music for housecleaning purposes. It starts with the Rolling Stones "Hot Rocks," one of my favorite CDs.

I'm glad I love such a wide variety of music but I always want it on my own terms when I am the one controlling the music. I bought a reproduction stereo so that I can listen to my old vinyl as well. Just this afternoon I was listening to Frankie Laine singing "That Lucky Old Sun." That predates even my youthful interest in music, but I love it nonetheless.

Jayne said...

It's so much fun to explore and discover music you thought you'd never listen to, and become smitten!

possum said...

Well, now, I will see if my antiquated computer will let me listen to this music.
Interesting blog... did I read somewhere that you lived overseas? I lived in Turkey as a kid, graduated high school there.
I am from the Poconos, sort of, but live in VA where I taught for 38 years... also graduated in 66... and consider Philip and Ginny my "friends!" Ain't life strange?

Peruby said...

I loved Roseanne back in the 80's. I've sort of fallen out of touch with her music since then, I'll have to get re-aquanted with her.

Mary said...

Donna, I'm not a fan of most country music but I will listen. I do enjoy the classic country tunes but don't listen to it regularly. Classical is good but I do enjoy Pop (not rap, I agree with your opinion).

Anvilcloud said...

You have quite a list for one who mainly listens to classic. Meanwhile, Sea of Heartbreak is playing now. Sounds fine.

I have to agree about Rap.

possumlady said...

Yes, I'm a classical music fan too! I even keep the radio at home tuned to classical when I'm at work for my "classical cats".

Country has never been a style that I listen to, yet I love old Patsy Cline songs. Maybe I should check Rosanne out?

Laurie said...

My dad used to take my son with him in his old GMC truck. The only music they had in there was an 8-track player and the only tape they had was Johnny Cash. My son thought JC was the best for years. Thanks for reminding me of that. **hugs**

Mary C said...

I remember when growing up my mom used to listen to what I would call "old standards" like Perry Como, Bing Crosby, etc. And my sister was in show business (mostly local digs and gigs), and she played accordion and sang. Her style was mostly "standards" of the '50s. But I remember when I once went with her to Ocean City, MD, and I heard Patsy Cline singing. Oh, what a voice. As I became a teenager I loved listening to what was probably called Rock and Roll; I loved hearing/listening to folks like Marty Robbins, Connie Francis, Bill Haley and the Comets, Bobby Vinton, and Conway Twitty, etc. But as the 60s turned to the Beatles and other UK singing stars, etc, I realized that I no longer heard my favs. So I started station hopping (AM Radio at its best back then), and found a country station that was playing Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, and others I enjoyed listening to. I then became a fan of country music. But as all genres evolve I have become disenchanted with today's style of country music. It's more pop/rock than country. Some of my favorite artists today who still try to keep country music as country music are George Strait, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers. Now there's another name that probably started out as a pop singer and turned country. I also enjoy other genres such as classical music, especially Bach, Beethoven, Mozart; and I enjoy, more recently, instrumental artists of smooth jazz, such as Kenny G and Dave Koz, and several others. Sometimes I just don't want to hear lyrics, just soothing instrumentals.

John Engle said...

I just got around to hearing the Podcast of that Fresh Air program. I enjoyed it too, and bought Roseanne's new album. Besides classical music, I love Appalachian music (lived in SE Kentucky for three years in the 60's): Ralph Stanley and the Carter family. And I have listened to Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, and John Cash for years.

RuthieJ said...

Sea of Heartbreak was playing when I visited her website too Donna. I liked it.
I see she's going to be a guest on Prairie Home Companion on 10/17 too. I'll have to remember and tune in that evening to hear more.