Choosing what you want to do when you grow up is something that most kids discuss with their parents. For me, I was no different. In my mind, I wanted to be a singer. However, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was the era long before the internet or singing competitions that made dreamers into real life entertainers.
Yes, just as every other kid growing up in Detroit aka Motown, music was in my blood. I grew up listening to the greatest Motown hits, the latest R&B jams, and Blues. Everyday music was played at someones house. I could listen to the newer tunes being around my mother, but my grandmother was the Queen of Blues.
Before I could spell my name, I was familiar with Bobby “Blues’ Bland, Johnnie Taylor, Z.Z. Hill and B.B. King. I knew the words to songs that even some adults had never even heard. I song these songs from the gut each time I song along and pretended I WAS the artist. The ones that got the most play were “Last Two Dollars” and “Down Home Blues”. I believe those two were my grandmothers favorites.
With music being played everywhere I turned, I learned early on that it was what soothe the soul. I would remember my mother listening to music during housecleaning, other chore, or just prancing around the house in her own world. I remember her making her way to the music store whenever her newly adored song was released. If the artists was one of her favorites, she would buy the whole album. But if she wasn’t sure, she would buy the ’45, for now, and buy the LP later. My grandmother kept her 8-tracks current and only purchased the vinyl when the cassettes were hard to find.
My mother and grandmother weren’t the only music lover, oh yeah, we were an entire music family. I remember when MJ’s “Off the Wall” album hit the stores, my uncle went insane!
Music was played everyday, always. Riding in the car, having folks over to the house, when they were alone, sad, happy, mad or just being….music was played.
Fast forward, decades later, music is just as important now as it was then. When we lost my grandmother 6-weeks ago, all I could think about was “Down Home Blues” by Z.Z. Hill. In fact during her family-hour service, I swear blues songs were played not the traditional mouring/funeral music. Yes!! That’s My Family; A Motown Family; a Motown Musical Family!
Nothing like hearing a song that reminds me of my childhood. Nothing like hearing a song that soothes my soul. Nothing like listen to a song and beleive the artist wrote the song “just for me”. They had too!! It’s a song about what I’m feeling RIGHT NOW!!
Music soothes the soul. But looking at how important music is to us as a family and the storms it has weathered, I know that it does more than just soothes. I also know that ‘music saves the soul’, especilly my Motown Musical Family.