Good Monday All!
I hope you had a fantastic week and I also hope you had a good time discovering which animal best represents you and why. I have heard the names of some very interesting animals in the last few days. The ones that stand out the most for me would be a ladybug, an owl, a donkey, a lizard and a snake. Some of the most popular animals were a lion, a bear, a cat, a bird and a dog, for various reasons.
Although I told you what my animal (the eagle) was and why, on Monday, many of you took this exercise to another level of explanation and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to some of you about it in person. There were a few people who walked up to me in public and just yelled out the name of an animal and for a minute, I forgot about the blog and thought they were having a “Tourettes” moment until I noticed they were staring at me, waiting for a response. Then I remembered, “Oh, they’re responding to the blog!” This turned out to be a popular exercise, so thank you for participating!
Ever since I can remember, music has always played a huge part in my life, as I’m sure is the case with most people. Whether I was playing outside of our apartment building in the south Bronx as a little girl, in front of our house in Jamaica, Queens as a teenager or celebrating the holidays with family, there always seemed to be music on the radio, something spinning on the record player or the soundtrack from a Broadway play playing in the background. I was one of those kids who had a natural ear for music, arrangements and harmony and could memorize an entire album of songs (I’m sure it’s because we played them so much and so often). My mom, dad and sisters could/can all sing, so we were always singing, rehearsing, dancing, performing or doing something musical around the house. Both of my parents come from musically talented families and a large number of their siblings and kids have similar abilities, so when we all got together it was pretty much a concert waiting to happen.
There is never a time when I hear a familiar R&B or Gospel song that there isn’t a memory attached to it. When I was younger, some of the special musical guests in our home was Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Spinners, Isaac Hayes, Diana Ross, Mahalia Jackson, The Carpenters, B.B. King, Billy Preston, the Staple Singers, James Brown, the Jackson Five; the soundtrack from “The Wiz” or “Your Arms Too Short to Box With God.” As I got older, Shirley Caesar, The Williams’ Brothers, The Jackson Southernaires, Andre Crouch, Anita Baker, Richard Smallwood, The Winans, Luther Vandross, James Cleveland, Walter Hawkins, the Clark Sisters and so many more artists and their music became extensions of our family’s memories. When my husband and I starting dating as teenagers and singing gospel in two separate groups, we automatically began blending all of our musical tastes and genres together. He introduced me to Earth Wind and Fire. So once we had our own family, we expanded our tastes and genres, creating brand new memories that in turn expanded our sons’ appetites and appreciation for all types of music as well. So at this point, just like most people, I can hear a song on the radio and it can immediately send my mind back in time to a specific moment. One day this week, I was listening to the radio and a song from Barry White (who just happened to be one of my favorite songwriter/arrangers ever) came on and I could literally remember what motivated me to become a songwriter. I wanted to move people with my music the way his lyrics, chord progressions, arrangements and strings moved me to think about love and being in love.
Every time I hear one of his songs, it reminds me of my love of music and the ability to make someone emotional through a song. Which leads me to next week’s exercise.
Exercise: What would your response be if I were to ask you to think of a song, an artist, an album or a soundtrack that left a lasting impression on your life? If your life had a theme song, what would it be, and why? This exercise should be another fun one, and you just may find yourself pulling out old albums or dusting off cassette tapes, I’m just sayin’. There is no pressure to do this, it’s just a suggestion…your choice. I told you who one of my favorite artists was/is and why, and now it’s your turn. Looking forward to reading your answers when we reconnect next Monday.
Have a great week…on purpose!
Copyright © 2015 by Angela J. Williams. All rights reserved.