Where did your musical influences come from? Whether you’re a musician or just a stereo knob turner like me, your musical tastes – if you have some (and that’s not being snotty…some people truly could care less about music) – were formed by certain people or experiences early in your life.
Before going to college and discovering the vast world of classical music, all that performance-art cerebral stuff, jazz, the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello, I spent many hours listening to my oldest sister’s record collection. The first record that I remember being given that wasn’t a Walt Disney “story and songs from the movie” package or an Alvin & the Chipmunks LP, was a 45 RPM single of Scott McKenzie singing “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair).” My two sisters, at the same time, were given a copy of The Monkees’ Headquarters album. It intrigued me. It would be fair to say that I spent more time listening to that Monkees album than my sisters did, and certainly more than I listened to the Scott McKenzie single.
From then on, I always knew there was something different in my sister’s record collection than the “safe” stuff I possessed. I was drawn to it. Many of her records eventually took up residence in my bedroom, but I can picture the album cover of In Search of the Lost Chord and her royal blue shag carpet every time I hear The Moody Blues’ “Legend of a Mind,” or the sloppy photo on the cover of Jesse Colin Young’s Song for Juli whenever I hear “Ridgetop.” I learned these songs from her LP library, and they sent me off in search of others like them. It has always been apparent to me that the songs that most pointedly defined my musical tastes from then on were the ones that I had stolen from Nancy.
And, if you were wondering, the shag carpet in my bedroom was avocado green.
Approximate playing time: 78 minutes.
- Crosby, Stills & Nash “Wooden Ships” (1969) from Crosby, Stills & Nash
- The Moody Blues “Legend of a Mind” (1968) from In Search of the Lost Chord
- David Bowie “Space Oddity” (1969) from Space Oddity
- Joni Mitchell “Woodstock” (1970) from Ladies of the Canyon
- Jesse Colin Young “Song for Juli” (1973) from Song for Juli
- Bobby Womack “You’re Welcome, Stop on By” (1972) from Lookin’ for a Love Again
- Sonny & Cher “It’s Gonna Rain” (1965) from Look at Us
- The Monkees “Mr. Webster” (1967) from Headquarters
- Three Dog Night “Out in the Country” (1970) from Golden Bisquits
- James Taylor “Anywhere Like Heaven” (1970) from Sweet Baby James
- Buffy Sainte-Marie “Take My Hand for Awhile” (1968) from The Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie
- Emmylou Harris “Satan’s Jewel Crown” (1975) from Elite Hotel
- John David Souther “Faithless Love” (1976) from Black Rose
- Linda Ronstadt “Willin'” (1974) from Heart Like a Wheel
- Creedence Clearwater Revival “Green River” (1969) from Green River
- Joan Armatrading “Down to Zero” (1976) from Joan Armatrading
- Simon & Garfunkel “The Only Living Boy in New York” (1970) from Bridge Over Troubled Water
- Loggins & Messina “Travellin’ Blues” (1973) from Full Sail
- Jackson Browne “Rock Me on the Water” (1972) from Saturate Before Using
- Honk “Pipeline Sequence” (1972) from Five Summer Stories soundtrack
Fred FM playlist (25 July 2010)