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NPR: music that changed your life?

CapriUni 09 Oct 07 - 06:35 PM
skipy 09 Oct 07 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,irishenglish 09 Oct 07 - 06:43 PM
Leadfingers 09 Oct 07 - 08:37 PM
Art Thieme 09 Oct 07 - 08:54 PM
Zhenya 10 Oct 07 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Texas Guest 10 Oct 07 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,Young Hunting 10 Oct 07 - 04:05 AM
Betsy 10 Oct 07 - 04:28 AM
Betsy 10 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM
David C. Carter 10 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM
The Villan 10 Oct 07 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Texas Guest 10 Oct 07 - 09:03 AM
RTim 10 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM
Banjiman 10 Oct 07 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,guest 10 Oct 07 - 09:47 AM
greg stephens 10 Oct 07 - 10:05 AM
The Villan 10 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM
Banjiman 10 Oct 07 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,hilo 10 Oct 07 - 10:40 AM
Wesley S 10 Oct 07 - 11:09 AM
PoppaGator 10 Oct 07 - 12:26 PM
katlaughing 10 Oct 07 - 01:00 PM
CapriUni 10 Oct 07 - 01:33 PM
HouseCat 10 Oct 07 - 02:48 PM
Don Firth 10 Oct 07 - 03:51 PM
Alba 10 Oct 07 - 04:27 PM
Bill D 10 Oct 07 - 04:38 PM
Cool Beans 10 Oct 07 - 05:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Oct 07 - 12:05 AM
fat B****rd 11 Oct 07 - 08:47 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 07 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 11 Oct 07 - 12:28 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 07 - 11:59 AM
Canberra Chris 12 Oct 07 - 08:20 PM
CapriUni 12 Oct 07 - 11:57 PM
the button 13 Oct 07 - 06:10 AM
quantock 13 Oct 07 - 02:00 PM
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Subject: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: CapriUni
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 06:35 PM

There's a new host for National Pubic Radio's All Things Considered program, and she has created a new feature segment -- homework asssignments for listeners. On Sunday, she asked listeners to submit segments to answer this question: What music has changed your life?

And after thinking about it, a bit... I don't think any music has changed my life (yet, any). Music has certainly strengthened my spirit in tough times, and given me a way to celebrate, in good times. But that's more like highlighting aspects of my life, not changing it.

I don't know. Maybe that highlighting is exactly the thing she meant.

What about you?


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: skipy
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 06:36 PM

Harvey Andrews, Hey Sandy, followed by Robin & Barry Dransfield.
Life changing!
1971
Skipy


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,irishenglish
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 06:43 PM

Hands down-Fairport Convention. I could be thorough, but lets just say that they were the launching pad for me to explore way beyond the classic rock confines my adolescent head was into at the time. Without them, I wouldn't have as extensive collection as I do!


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 08:37 PM

Being exposed to GOOD Jazz at sixteen changed MY life ! Then six years later I found Folk !!


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 09 Oct 07 - 08:54 PM

Pete Seeger doing "Bells Of Rhymney" at Newport. It was an epiphany and the epitome of what could be accomplished on stage between an artist and a listener.

Art


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Zhenya
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 01:15 AM

In my first few weeks of college, in the fall of 1972, one of my fellow freshman that I'd just met was familiar with Folk Legacy records, and had a few of their albums. She played these for me and some other students, and we all really liked them. Then she found out that Gordon Bok was giving a concert within driving distance, and we all piled into one of those early 70s decorated vans and went to the concert, which was in a high school. I already liked the folk music my father played (Weavers albums and such) and the 60s-70s folk I heard on the radio, like Judy Collins. But this was my first inkling that there was another whole wave of traditional and folk music out there that I hadn't previously known about. The concert in particular made a great impression on me, and I have often thought of that evening as a reference point for all my musical discoveries since.

I bought a few Folk Legacy albums while still in college, and afterwards, when I was working and had more income, a whole lot more. This was where I found my first Scottish music, which I became very interested in, and then got from there to Irish music as well.

After listening to several albums I'd bought, I started going to Irish and Scottish concerts, and eventually a local Irish music festival. While there, I picked up a brochure about some local Irish music classes, and started out taking an Irish guitar class. In that class, I found out about Irish sessions and started playing guitar there and listening to all the other instruments..

This eventually led to me taking up the fiddle, which I've now played for over ten years. Although I've learned mainly Irish music (so far) I listen to lots of things, and this has particularly led me in the last few years to a growing interest in Old Time music. (And somewhere along the way, years ago, this also kindled my interest in Quebecois music – sorry, just couldn't find another logical place here to fit this in.) I still love to go to folk concerts as well.

And even today, every now and then, when I'm at a concert or session or music class, or simply with the good friends I've made at these activities, I still remember those first few Folk Legacy albums I heard, and that concert by Gordon Bok in the Fall of '72. And I think, "This is what led me to be sitting here, at this music event, in 2007."

So, sorry for the length of this, but yes, certainly this music has changed my life.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 01:50 AM

What a wonderful question. Let me try to answer this. I grew up in the 50's and 60's when music was "IT" for me. In some respeect I guess the emergence of rock-n-roll as a musical force in the 50's changed my life first in that it lead me to desire to play an instrument and sing.

Then the Beatles came along and changed rock-and-roll into pop and I discovered that social change could be had through music. Then there
was Dylan, Phil Ochs and all the folkies in the world to teach me that you can sing what needs to be said and really move some folks through music - as well as piss some others off.

Then came the Byrds, Poco and Buffalo Springfield, all of whom taught me that country music was, "just alright." Then came disco, and that changed my life because most of the folk rooms closed up and changed to lighted dance floors with disc jockeys - and I learned that "s--t happens."

But I guess that the music that changed my life most was the music from "Riverdance." This, because Riverdance came to America about the time I was in the middle of my first year as a folksinger and I was immediately taken by the Celtic sound. I still can't play Celtic tunes, but, Riverdance sent me in search of them and along the way I discovered Makem & Clancy, Andy Stewart, Dougie MacLean and a host of other Irish and Scottish folkies and now I perform at Celtic festivals in several states on a regular basis - and damned if I don't make a living at it. Well, at least I call it a living.
As my good friend from County Cork, folksinger Jim Flanagan said the other day - we don't do this for fame and fortune; we sing these songs because they must be sung. How about you? Cheers.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,Young Hunting
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:05 AM

Willie Scot - The Shepherd's Song LP in general,The Dowy Dens of Yarrow in particular.
Taught me
a) that I was British not American, by music as much as by birth
b) that my tradition was unaccompanied
c) that the ballad is the ultimate expression of folk music


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Betsy
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:28 AM

Take Five, Mignight in Moscow (Kenny Ball) , Love me Do/PS i


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Betsy
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:30 AM

pressed the wrong button !!.........dare I admit it - Wild Rover and Black Velvet Band plus Dark Eyed Sailor ( Steeleye Span) .


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 05:06 AM

Hank Williams,Woody Guthrie and Dylan.Miles Davis was in there somewhere along the line.

David


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 06:07 AM

I wouldn't say that music changed my life, more that if I am feeling down, then a certain type of music can and does lift me up.

All I need to do is listen to anything that is Rock and Roll.

Little Richard, Jerry Lee lewis, Eddy Cochran, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley & The Comets, Buddy Holly etc. Basically music that has drive and raw rock beat.

Th other performer who can lift me has to be Lonnie Donegan - the master of happy music. Coupled with that would be any New Orleans Trad Jazz style music (agin what I call happy music).


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:03 AM

"The Villan" - if you and I are on the same page here then I agree with you most vehemently. New Orleans dixieland jazz is some of the happiest stuff on the planet. I just don't see how anyone can stand around in the presence of it and not tap your feet and feel good.
Sadly, however, it may be the most unplayed and underappreciated form
of music today. Here's to Dixie - long live dixieland. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: RTim
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:14 AM

First the singing of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan and then - More importantly - Listening to recordings of the great East Anglian singer Harry Cox when I was very young and impressionable, coupled with discovering the Hammond & Gardiner collections of songs from Hampshire & Dorset.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:29 AM

Wendy Arrowsmith (then Russell) singing "The Loch Tay Boat Song" to me in her flat in Glasgow in 1996. It moved me so much I asked her to marry me......we now have 2 lovely (usually!) kids et, etc, etc,

Literally life changing!

She now sings for other people to...though I don't think any of them have asked her to marry them....not that she has told me about anyway!

Have a listen to her http://www.myspace.com/wendyarrowsmith


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 09:47 AM

When I went away to university I got out of the habit of singing -- don't know why, it just didn't fit into residence life. Several years later, broke and working long hours, I was offered a free ticket to a concert by some folksinger I'd never heard of. Looking forward to a relaxing night out,I rolled off to the concert.

The singer was Stan Rogers, at his best in a Halifax venue. I was completely blown away -- it was like a conversion experience. He was a great songwriter and a wonderful performer, but what struck me the most was that he would actually sing unaccompanied -- that he would sometimes rely on the power of his voice alone to present his songs.

Stan Rogers gave me back my voice. I don't sing his songs much myself anymore -- I'm heavily into unaccompanied ballad-singing -- but in some strange way, he was the one who gave me permission to step out of the choir, out from behind the instruments, and forge that special partnership that unaccompanied singers have with the people who listen to them sing. I met my husband as a result of that partnership -- I've passed that freedom to sing on to my children, and I've made many friends through the songs I've sung and learned.

I would certainly say that the music and the voice of Stan Rogers changed my life.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 10:05 AM

Like a huge number of other people at the time, my life was totally transformed by hearing Lonnie Donegan's Rock Island Line. This opened the way to folk, blues jazz and rock, a gateway through which I rushed headlong with the rest of that musical generation, as everyone then set about transforming the 50's into the 60's.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: The Villan
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM

GUEST Texas Guest - we are on the same bandwave and couldn't agree more.

As for Banjiman, I don't think there are many who can say that. So you fell for her voice, not her good looks LOL :-) Wait until you come to Gainsborough again, she might get a few proposals from them Backwards Fen Men he he :-)


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 10:25 AM

Mr Villain...how could you suggests such a sexist, misogynistic thing....it was definitely her voice and personality..... I hadn't even noticed if she was physically attractive or not..........(you do believe me don't you??????)

You need to be careful or you'll upset the thought police....I should be alright though as I didn't initially approach Wendy in a f*lk club....having said that I do occasionally look at her while she's singing....do you think that is OK?


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,hilo
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 10:40 AM

I first heard Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter family when I was in my early teens. It got me very interested in old country music, Mac Wiseman, The Louvin Brothers, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper and other Artists of that era. I still listen to them' In my late teens I heard Joan Baez for the first time and frll in love with the old Ballads. My next big influence was Steeleye and Fairport who led me to Martin Carthy, The Watersons, Anne Briggs and so on.
   Like many folks of my generation , rock of the sixties was a great influence, especially Dylan, The Doors and Creedence. Later came many singer songwriters who just blew me away, Cohen, Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell. And finally, I was introduced to Maria Callas and opera became my passion. So much great music in my lifetime and so much more yet to come....I am blessed to have so much access to such a lot of great music.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 11:09 AM

The Blues Project LP on Electra records introduced me to the music of Koerner, Ray and Glover, Geoff Muldaur, Dave Van Ronk and others. It started a life long interest in prewar acoustic blues. I love other forms of music to but that one LP got something started.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 12:26 PM

Perhaps not everyone has had a truly "life-changing" musical experience, but there certainly is such a thing.

Jerry Rasmussen started a great thread a while back called "Music That Blew Me Away." Rather than repeat my rather long story, here's a link to what I posted back then:

thread.cfm?threadid=76587#1359093

(I'd recommend reading through the whole thread, not just my contribution...)

I've had some other important musical experiences since then, maybe about one per decade. Some of them grew out of moving to New Orleans about 38 years ago. I would second Texas Guest's endorsement of traditional New Orleans jazz as an underappreciated and truly joyful musical genre, and would hasten to add that today's living tradition of New Orleans music, which includes elements of rhythm-&-blues/rock-&-roll as well as a bit of contemporary-jazz influence, is even more unknown to the outside world than that old-time "dixieland," and (as a physically moving, funky, dance/boogie genre) is really a truer "descendant" of early jazz than the laid-back, cerebral, and relatively inaccessible music that is generally classified as jazz today.

Listen to Professor Longhair, if you get a chance, to hear what I'm talking about. 'Fess is hardly "contemporary" (he died in 1980), but the sound he created is still tremendously influential today...


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 01:00 PM

I would say music formed my life having been born into a family of musicians and singers who exposed me to all kinds of music. Thanks to Night Ow, Catspaw and Jean Ritchie, the lap dulcimer changed my life as to what instruments I play and even taught me how to improv on the fiddle, something I never thought I could do from having been classically trained. Luckily my ear was used to mom and dad playing by ear, too.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: CapriUni
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 01:33 PM

I would say music formed my life [...]

Katlaughing --

Yes, that is what I was thinking, almost immediately after starting dthis thread. My mother was, I'm sorry to say (as much as I loved her), a bit tone deaf... I remember being three years old and wincing whenever she tried to sing me a song, complaining of "wrong notes."

However, both she and my father had a wide taste in music, and a wide collection of albums, and I can't remember a day of my life when there wasn't some music in the air.

All of that music shaped who I am today, and if any one piece of that music wasn't there, I might have turned out very differently, as a person. And so maybe every song changed my life. But it's a bit like a celtic knot of entwining vines -- very hard to trace any particular fruit back to a specific root.

However, I do credit Gordon Bok's cover of "A Sailor's Prayer" with getting me through the darkest days of my mother's cancer while I was away at grad school. Because that song was in my life, I can't say where I'd have been (or not been) had it been absent.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: HouseCat
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 02:48 PM

I was born into a musical Southern Appalachian family. My first influences were the old songs sung by my mother and my older sisters, and my father, who was a dulcimer maker. I don't remember when I didn't play guitar, autoharp and dulcimer and sing, and by the age of 13 I was playing at festivals. I think I really became aware of the history and richness of my musical heritage when I was about 14, and I began a lifelong love affair with mountain music history. I wanted to know where the songs came from and what they meant, and that lead me to my Scottish ancestry and my love of "Celtic" (for want of a better word) music. I guess if I had to choose a recording that was pivotal for me, I'd have to say Joan Baez's "Ballad Book" album that I got when I was 14 and still have 33 years later.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 03:51 PM

I heard all kinds of music as I grew up. But I think things began to jell a bit when I was in high school. Like most kids, I had the radio on while I was doing homework in the evenings. I found that many of the stations that other kids listened to (pop music) were distracting (the music, the yapping DJ, etc.), so I flipped the dial over to a local classical music station. Pleasant background music, not distracting—but I'm sure it seeped into my subconscious. I like classical music and I listen to it a lot. Even worked for a few years as an announcer in a classical music radio station.

While I was still in high school, I hung out a lot with actors, singers, and musicians, kids who performed regularly in school plays and musicals (the professionalism of some of those kids was amazing!!). Some of them went on to have quite successful careers; one friend on Broadway and in night clubs, another made a life-long career of singing in opera and doing recitals. One close friend suddenly developed a strong interest in opera, probably because he discovered that he had a nice, clear, big tenor voice. He started taking singing lessons. Just for kicks, I started taking lessons from the same voice teacher (a former Metropolitan Opera soprano who had retired to Seattle and opened a studio—nice lady, good teacher). I turned out to be a bass-baritone (think Ezio Pinza, Bryn Terfel, or Gordon Bok) . I had no idea what I was ever going to do with my singing, but it was fun to rear back and unleash the voice.

Then, in my second year at the University, I stated going with a lovely young lady with a nice singing voice who was busily learning folk songs and teaching herself to play the guitar. This was in around 1951, way before the big "popular folk revival." She'd heard Walt Robertson sing at a party, and that had sparked her interest in folk music. I learned a few songs from her and she showed me a few chords on the guitar. I thought, "Hey, I can do this!" I bought myself a cheap guitar.

Then, I heard that Walt Robertson was going to do a concert. The young lady and I went to it. I sat there for about two hours with my ears at full-cock and my eyes popped, and heard Walt sing songs and ballads, some I had heard before, but many that I hadn't, and it just blew me away! Like an old-fashioned troubadour. It held the whole crowd completely enthralled.

I had never seriously considered anything like a singing career before. But I thought about Walt's concert a lot, and then decided, "I want to do that!"

This was around 1951 or 52. I've been at it ever since.

A life-changing experience.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Alba
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:27 PM

Music has since, I was a Child, played an enormous role in my Life.
May times on hearing something so excting and wonderfull I have taken a new Musical adventure which has taken on a Life of it's own and because of that..in turn, my Life has indeed has been changed.
Hearing Hank Williams for the first time...
Hearing Édith Piaf for the first time...
Hearing Sandy Denny for the first time...
Hearing Django Reinhardt for the first time...
Hearing Youssou N'dour for the first time...
Hearing me recorded for the first time...

Here's to many more firsts..*smile*. Life's an adventure which I believe is made all the more interesting and beautiful by the Music we choose to accompany us as we go along!

Love, Light and Harmony to all,
Jude


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 04:38 PM

The "Walt Robertson" of Wichita, Kans. was Larry Kiefer, who sometimes sang opera, and sometimes Child Ballads. In 1960-64 or so, he was the catalyst for much of the folk scene in Wichita. At that time, when there were only 3-4 Pizza Huts in the world, one was right across the street from Wichita University, and Larry had regular gigs there, doing ballads, singalongs..etc. He was the only one I know who had an early subscription to Sing Out, and later, I discovered many of Larry's songs in old cpoies of the magazine.

We had a few folk groups come thru...Pete Seeger, The NLCR, Bob Beers & family...but Larry was there every week, and gave guitar lessons and kept many of us from 'needing' PP&M or The Kingston Trio...though it was hard to totally ignore them.

Larry left sometime in the 60s, and someone said the he went to the west coast, and that he had died. I wish I knew.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Oct 07 - 05:00 PM

The very short version: When I was a kid at a day camp in 1960 there was a counselor who played "Railroad Bill" on the guitar and I fell in love with the sound of fingerpicking and that chord change from C to E. I persuaded my parents to get me a guitar for my next birthday and I'm still playing. And, yes, I can play "Railroad Bill."


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:05 AM

Cat and a couple of others beat me to it: I would list the music that shaped my life, and what I keep coming back to, as what also at times has changed it.

I grew up in a household with classical music, and then my father started taking guitar from Don Firth, and we all were changed by the folk music my father loved. As he learned the cords on the guitar, we ended up absorbing the words to the song. So Dad would be playing, would hit a snag in the words, and I often supplied the line that came next. It got to be a habit for the years I lived at home with my parents. And even as a small child I knew voices I really loved--we listened to Richard Dyer-Bennett records, and I was thrilled to get to attend a concert when he appeared in Seattle at the Opera House. And there were performers in Dad's circle of friends--the earliest I remember are Don Firth and Stan James, the Ashfords, Don McCurdy (I think? played bagpipes and several other instruments), and Maggie Maloso (something else later--Unruh?--but memorable because she was "another Maggie.") And no, I'm not forgetting Bob Nelson, but I remember him more distinctly from a little later in the music learning process.

Maggie Dwyer


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 08:47 AM

In 1961, at Beaconthorpe Church Youth Club in Cleethorpes,John Connolly let me and my friends listen to Alexis Korner's "R'n'B at the Marquee" which lead to us checking Wolf, Waters et al. In 1965 I watched a pick up group of "modern" jazz players do "Now's The Time" at the South Bank Jazz Club in Grimsby which introduced me to a whole new world of music, for which I am still grateful.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 09:56 AM

When I said that Willie Scott's Dowy Dens Of Yarrow was the music that changed my life, I meant my musical life. The music that changed my LIFE was Fleetwood Mac's Songbird. Nothing to do with music. It is what my wife chose for our wedding!


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 12:28 PM

I can echo much of what Don Firth alluded to in that I decided early on that, for the most part, radio DJ's and a lot of early (1950's) rock and pop grated on the nerves. I lived in a rural area with few close neighbors. While it was lonely at times, the saving grace was the time I had to dream and to listen to all sorts of music. I liked some Broadway music, traditional jazz, a lot of classical (from old 78's mostly)along with folk and country. I did not have the benefit of training, learning by trial and error.

Being self-taught, I didn't know until I was 17 that I had been playing my guitar with an open (D)tuning. It was a coffee house crowd I became acquainted with in my senior year of high school that changed everything. I was awkward, very shy and reluctant to perform in front of others. That nurturing and forgiving crowd, their encouragement and the music that I learned from and with them did change my life. I have done a lot of public speaking and, though I haven't performed in a number of years, I often reflect on how different my life would have been without the music and the opportunities that sprang from it.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:59 AM

Life changing- the singing of Cliff Haslam at the Griswold Inn in Essex CT, the song writing and delivery of Stan Rogers. Also, Martin Carthy with his wonderful ability to capture the pathos and drama of a ballad and his fine tuned skills of guitar melody. His CD Ruskin Mill shows what one man and one guitar can accomplish.


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: Canberra Chris
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 08:20 PM

When I was fifteen on an exchange student visit to Austria, my host family took me to The Magic Flute as the feature opera at the Salzberg Festival, Europe's major Mozart festival. This was absolute top-drawer stuff in front of half the Cabinets of Europe, in a vast auditorium.

The whole thing was a dream from which I have never really awoken, but when it came the aria of the Queen of the Night, they had opened up the entire backstage space, which looked the size of an aircraft hangar, and constructed a stage mountain on the back wall, on the top of which was standing I think Victoria de los Angeles. I turned to my host and whispered '"What are they doing? She can't possibly sing to us from THERE!" (Opera singers of course rely entirely on voice projection.)

Then this kind of electrified light blue element filled the entire auditorium, it was like being underwater, you couldn't tell where it was coming from and it was felt more than heard. I just thought - "Oh my God, can the human voice do that?"

So I am a singer, though of folk, not opera, and I can't do THAT, but I have no idea whether there are limits.

So if you get the chance, whatever your views about opera, if you get the oppotunity go once (taking any impressionable kids) to a top class performance, and just listen to what they are doing with the voice alone. Recordings, even very good ones, are incapable of conveying the impact of it.

Chris


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:57 PM

Chris -- I remember seeing The Magic Flute as a kid, in the movie theater -- it was a filmed stage production with English subtitles -- and I fell in love with it.

I've never seen it live, but I'd love to!

(Don't own an opera gown, though, and don't have a handsome beau to escort me... anyone want to lend a hand on those counts?) ;-)


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: the button
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 06:10 AM

Hearing The Watersons' "Frost & Fire" for the first time, when I was 13 or 14.

June Tabor's solo on "The Transports."

Non-folky stuff would include Allegri's "Miserere," the old spiritual, "Where you there when they crucified my Lord?," and Mahler's 5th symphony. On a more discordant note, there's the Sonic Youth album "EVOL," which sounded so much like the music in my head it was uncanny. Also, Johnny Cash "Live at Folsom Prison."

This list is getting too long....


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Subject: RE: NPR: music that changed your life?
From: quantock
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 02:00 PM

I first started to enjoy folk music when my older sister went to University around 1962. She had started going to the folk club there and when she came home she introduced me to some of the songs which she had collected in a binder. Then I started watching the Hootnanny show on BBC TV and recording it on my reel to reel tape recorder (wish I still had those tapes).

In 1966 I moved to London (Stanmore Middlesex to be exact) and found the Herga Folk club. The guest was Shirley Collins. I think that evening was the one that changed my life the most, although I would probably have never gone there if it were'nt for my sister introducing me to folk music in the first place.

What I discovered that night was that English traditional songs kept me anchored to my roots in the Somerset countryside while I was living in the big city. I have travelled to many different places in my life and now live in Illinois, USA. My love for English music has never waned. It is a huge part of my identity.

I visited Herga as often as I could throughout the year I spent in the London area and the 3 subsequent years at Southampton University. In 1970 I moved back to London and went to Herga every week. I had begun doing some performing myself and was delighted to be asked to be a resident singer. I moved to Leeds in 1972, and never moved back to London, but I have done my best to keep some kind of connection with the Club. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, and Mudcat and Facebook in particular, I am now renewing many of my old friendships and making new ones.

That first night at Herga when I saw Shirley Collins and experienced the wonderful and lasting friendship of the folks at Herga changed and enriched my life more than anything else ever has or is ever likely to.

Golly, I am getting all choked up now with the emotion of reliving those fantastic years in my mind.

Thanks Shirley Collins, and thanks Herga. You are awesome.

Rob.


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