Kaye Barley: I'm one of those people who can track her life by music. It's been important to me for as long as I can remember.
I remember when I was a little girl sitting in our big old kitchen watching my parents dance. My dad would step into the kitchen and turn on the old radio that had a permanent spot just inside the door. He would listen for a sec, turn the radio up, grab my mom's hand and the two of them would jitterbug all over that kitchen! We ate more than one burned dinner - and it just didn't matter 'cause the music was still swirling in our minds along with the laughter.
As I got a little older, I remember trips the three of us would take to Atlantic City to the Steel Pier, planned around who would be appearing on stage that my parents wanted to see. We saw Bobby Darin, Paul Anka, Fabian, Conway Twitty and a Lawrence Welk Show (my dad had a big crush on the Champagne Lady). We saw Brenda Lee and Teresa Brewer and Louie Armstrong.
My mom and dad had a favorite club they would go to on Saturday nights - and usually when they came home the band, The Hurricanes, came with them, along with their wives or girlfriends. I remember many a night of musicians jamming in our living room until the sun came up. Good times and good memories. All around music.
Live music is the best. It just works its way into your soul and into your heart - right down to the soles of your feet.
I'm addicted to concerts. One of the first concerts I remember buying a ticket for as a grown-up person, now attending these types of events on my own with my mom and dad, was for a show at the University of Delaware. The Temptations and The Four Tops. Together. Wow. And I will neve forget it.
That was the beginning of my love for MoTown and that love hasn't diminished one bit. That is "my" music.
I saw Otis Redding on stage in Baltimore shortly before he died, and I've seen most of the greats from back then except The Supremes. I'm sad not to have ever seen The Supremes. I sang into a hair brush a lot of times pretending to be Diana Ross, but never have seen her.
Rock and Roll - oh yeah - love it! I've seen almost everyone I've ever wanted to see in concert except I didn't get to see The Beatles. I've seen Paul McCartney and the energy was amazing. I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like to have seen him with George, Ringo and John.
Country. Oh my oh my - I have always been a fan of country music. I know there are a lot of people who miss old traditional country, and I do too. I could listen to Ferlin Huskey sing "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove" 47 times a day and not get tired of it.
But I'm a fan of a lot of the newer country also. Not all of it, but a lot. But you know, I'm not fond of all rock music, or all classical music. I'm not going to categorically dismiss a whole genre of music just 'cause there's some I don't like. Well - not true. I'm dismissing Rap. totally. Sorry - but do not try to tell me about it's redeeming qualities, I don't care. I'm an old fart.
What this is all leading up to is that I am flying high today. Donald and Harley and I have just returned from Nashville. My friend Maryglenn invited us to attend the Country Music Awards with her and it was like a dream come true.
I had never been to Nashville before, but oh Boy Howdy, do I plan to go back. I loved it! We had the most fun walking down Broadway. I love the mix of the old and the new, side by side, and how Nashville embraces its history.
And the CMA Award Show was awesome! Beyond awesome. When Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert walked up on that stage to accept the award for the winning Song of the Year "Over You," I was just a complete and total puddle. To get to watch him come back to accept Male Vocalist was too fun! And then, Entertainer of the Year - wowie! He's one of my faves, as is Brad Paisley who is, I think, a major talent but also funny as all get out - he kills me!
To be able to witness the tribute to Willie Nelson - my all time country music hero - was the perfect topper to a perfect few days in Nashville.
Y'all - life is good. Music just makes it a little bit better.
How 'bout you, Reds - do you love or hate country music? Do you have a favorite performer in any music category? A favorite live performance story? Let's hear all about those music experiences, please!