Giving Thanks for the Music

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Submitted by the Cashbox Team

Sandy Graham
Editor in Chief Cashbox Canada Magazine

I can’t imagine a world without music. My early years growing up, we were blessed to have a musical home, with our Mum on the piano and Saturday night house parties. We learned all the old Scottish songs as well as current chart songs on the radio. When I think of my parents I remember songs like ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’, ‘Beyond the Sea’, ‘Wayward Wind’, ‘Day-O’…every time I hear any of those songs I remember them coming from our living room on the console turntable. Later on, my brother Don and my big sister Donna turned me onto rock & roll, rhythm & blues and Motown. My first job in a record store gave me the love of classical music, my stint in radio gave me the freedom to play so many diversified artists and some were given their first spin on the air. My job at a record company opened up new doors to other music as well. Running the club Route 66, I got to discover so many old doo wop bands and I felt that I got to live thru the 1950’s even though it was in the 1980’s.  A song can take me back to different times in my life. The first time I heard My Sweet Lord was the day I found out our Dad had cancer. I still get sad when I hear it all these years later. I am blessed to still have a musical ‘family’ around me now as well with the Cashbox Magazine team and we get to continue to promote music – new and old.  I truly need to thank my parents for always having music in the house. It was the beginning of what has been an incredible musical journey in my life. And it is all thanks to the music.

Lenny Stoute – Editor Cashbox Canada Magazine:

Thanks Giving.

I don't exactly recall my momma singing to me at her breast but once I became cognizant, the dominant aural memory was that of her voice. Nothing real special, just an average mom voice but when momma was singing, momma was happy and I couldn't figure out which came first, the song or the happy. So I became accustomed to equating music with happy. A little older and I figured out that the music was about more than the happy,  that it was soul food for all that besieges a soul, comforting and filling, and available in a verity of flavours. It could make me sad, reflective, angry, joyous, meditative, arouse emotions for which I had no name but always, always guaranteed to take me on a ride, take me to a different space.
It still does. When I see young 'uns connecting at a live music event, the joy and wonder shining from their little faces never fails to take me back to that time when I fell in love with the song.

There's graffiti in my 'hood that says, No Music No Life/Know Music Know Life.  Nails it for me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and share the love.

Don Graham – Contributing Journalist:

As Thanksgiving rolls around again and we look inward for the things we’re thankful for many things come to mind. After the obvious family health and a place to live I start thinking about the other things I’m truly thankful for and music is front and center. Music has always been a part of my life from Mom and Dad playing their old 78s and singing along to Perry Como and Frankie Laine and Peggy Lee to me getting my own records of Elvis, Buddy and Jerry Lee, music was an indentifier and a source of joy and bonding. Then Mom playing her piano at singalong parties or just the family getting together with mom at the keys and me banging away on my Stella six string, A unifying experience. Later on when I was playing guitar full time my guitar was my anti-depressant, my cure for all my ailments. Different kinds of music suit different needs and situations, For me, classical music when it rains, rock n roll to get pumped, country for introspective times and times when I just need to get back to my roots. I am truly thankful for music in my life, can’t imagine a world without having its healing balm. Thanks are given.

Michael Williams - Contributing Journalist:

Music is my life. I was given a song before age 5 by my father. That song was ‘High Hopes’ by Frank Sinatra.  It inspires me daily. I do not look at my life in years but in songs. Music has taken me around the world and kept me strong...because music is so powerful a force to change minds, moves hearts, moves the crowd and changes the world.
It fuels my fire, culture, thoughts...it's not the soundtrack of my life, it is my life.

Gary Richardson – Contributing Journalist:

Growing up in a small town in Texas when I was in High School I was on a path of rebellion and depression. I joined the high school band and music changed my life and direction. I found a passion that was missing. I felt like I was a part of something and was proud to be involved in a team effort. I went on to play and write music. Now I continue to be involved in music and it has always given me a sense of self-worth that I would never have had. I have continued to play, write and produce music for over 50 years. I love all genres of music and it brings me joy every day. Music is my life.

Iain Patience – International Contributing Journalist:

I don’t think I can do any better, or add anything to something Robert Plant said to me last week:

‘Music is a love, a love affair. It’s central to life, it can make you swallow hard, hold back the tears because of the beauty. It’s like life itself.’

As to a favourite album or a track: I’d probably go with Brownie McGhee’s’ Sporting Life Blues,’ the Happy Traum version. (Though I recommend checking out the same song and the Tom Paley version on YouTube. Tom also passed last week, aged 89. A wonderful, unassuming guy, a true pleasure to have known.)