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Your earliest musical memories?

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
Topic starter  

I'm just curious - they say your earliest musical memories shape your musical development. I've tried looking back, and the earliest flashback I have is from when I was about 3-y-o - Michael Row The Boat ashore, and Strangers on the Shore. I have vivid memories of staring up at a huge (well, it seemed like it at the time!) chest of drawers and hearing those songs quite a lot.

Fast forward a couple of years - Mum, whistling Shadows songs. But the instrumental I REALLY remember from those far-off days was was everywhere, everyone was either humming it or singing it.

About the same time, the Beatles had their first hit - then I was REALLY hooked on rock'n'roll. I was about 6 at the time - but everyone in my class at time loved the Beatles. Beatlemania? They were always on the Television - and us Brits had exactly TWO TV channels back in those days, and they were - it seems, looking back - falling over themselves to show clips of the Fab Four. Then came the Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann - all great pop music. Then Motown, and from there, more soul music. And I wasn't even ten years old yet!

After that, I was hooked on the top 20 show - we used to listen to it every Sunday Teatime. I got into old (Chuck, Fats, Elvis) rock'n'roll - then heavier rock - then Dylan - then all kinds of different genres of music, but it doesn't matter how much music I listen to over the years, I'll always remember those early records that got my heart beating a little bit faster, and that I'd sing along to.....

These days, I listen to three radio stations - Planet Rock, when I'm in the mood for some loud rock music - Gold, when I want some sing-a-long oldies - and I've recently found Absolute Rock (I think it used to be Virgin Classic Rock, or something like that...) which I've found is GREAT for playing along to, as is Gold.

So, come on, what's the earliest music you remember? And do you still listen to it? Has it influenced you at all?

Just thought I'd throw this out for those of us who are of a certain age (50-plus!) but then again, it'll be interesting to hear from the younger members as well - there's a huge age range on this site!

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3709

Well, I was born in 1960 and was the youngest of 5 children. Way youngest, change in life baby, so in my grade school years (1966 - 1972) my siblings were teenagers and I was exposed to some of the best music in the history of rock & roll. My brother had electric guitars adn friends with guitars and drums. My sister had a boyfriend that was Mr. acoustic folk guitar man. A very fertile environment indeed. I still remember ... "Teach me to play guitar!" "No, it's too hard, you can't do it" Who's laughing now and I can rock on the music they were trying to learnto play. :evil:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630

Not very exciting, just the truth. I was born in 1955. The first "new" song I remember was "Sail Along Silvery Moon" by Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra, that was 1957 as it says below, and I'm sure it went into 1958, at which time I had my memory full of other things too.

Meanwhile, I was already taken as a toddler and used by Juliette once in one of her shows - I don't remember, or I might?

I remember a whole bunch of Elvis, except my dad turned it off, on the radio, when it came on. He was part of that movement against sinful, corrupting Rock 'n Roll. :roll: I heard Buddy Holly a fair amount, "Peggy Sue".

Patti Page was allowed, and I heard her tunes which were released from 1953 and on, at the the same time as Billy Vaughn. "(How Much is that) Doggie in the Window" was a hit with legs and a waggly tail.

As for me, what I was doing - playing harmonica, learning my automobiles, drawing hot rods and customs of my own design before I was in Kindergarten, except I never stopped, still doing it in School in my books, for over 10 years. :shock:

I built wooden buggies and had the typical plastic guitar, started singing at 5, and then my dad bought me a ukelele. :lol:

The Beatles got me going in 1963. I took my uke to weekly dances, pretended I was Paul and did karaoke/lip syncing.

First song I actually played: 1963 "Wipeout" by the Surfaris. 8)

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 549

My very first musical memory: my father singing "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" to me in my crib, to make me laugh. I couldn't have been more than two.

Hymns. "The B-I-B-L-E, yes that's the book for meeee...." "The Old Rugged Cross" played on organ while a charcoal artist drew the scene at Golgotha in front of the altar.

Johnny Mathis singing "Do You Hear What I Hear" around Christmastime, the start of a lifetime loathing of the man's voice. (I ran from the stereo & hid my head under my pillows.)

My sister and her now-ex-husband singing "I Love Little Willie" in our dining room (while playing big Gibson acoustics), again forcing me to run and hide. They played casually at local country bars in Kansas City.

AM radio. Perry Como. (I loved Perry Como, so I'm told.) "Kansas City's Own" Marilyn Maye. "Standing on the corner, watching all the girls go by...."

Singing "Ain't She Sweet" at the church talent show while my classmate Vinita Gaye danced. The church piano player accompanied. She dropped a beat, which confused me, and I ran off the stage in tears.

Television. The "Mickey Mouse Club' theme songs. The "Gunsmoke" theme. The signature tune for "Torrey and Ol' Gus," a locally produced kiddie show.

This was all before the Beatles hit the Sullivan show for the first time, when I was six years old.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348

Day-o, Day-o. daylight come an me wanna go home.

Harry Belefonte's song was probably it. my two brothers and I had a tiny record player. the speakers were clipped to the side and would swing out when played. my mom had a taste for singers. Johnny Mathus, Nat King Cole, and Belefonte. we liked Day-O the best. but on the B side was a strange piece of music. it was some Carib dance thing. we called it devil dance and we would turn the speed up to 78rpm and bounce off the walls. crazy.

next up...I am with Vic... Telstar.

Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184

I don't remember the song but the situation was my father directing a men's choir about 1958-59 with me in his arms. Then records of Enrico Caruso, Nat King Cole on record and television, and the Mills Brothers. Later on Elvis, Beatles, and the Turtles but I really began to love music with Grass Roots, Guess Who, Three Dog Night, and CCR.

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1221

It's records my parents played. Harry Belafonte, Mahalia Jackson, a Scottish tenor named Kenneth McKellar.
But the #1 memory is anything from Johnny Appleseed:
Those records (a bright canary yellow!) were ones we could play without supervision. To this day, one of my sisters or me can start the first line of any of the songs and the others will join in, remembering all the words. :)


Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459

Well I was hanging around in the womb one day and heard this raucous coming from the ceiling above unfortunately still only being a fetus I couldn't tell if it was Elvis or Chuck Berry, but I do remember tapping my feet to the beat.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 7

O.K. This is going to be a little different than everyone elses'. :) First of all, Vic you are really lucky to have gotten to see music evolve the way it has. I'll bet it was mind blowing to see the Beatles and Elvis and all that great music in its infantcy. I was born in 1976. My first memories of music was hearing Cream, The Yardbirds, Zepplin, Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and a lot of other stuff. My parents were huge music fans. They had a massive record collection. While they would put they're records on I would go through them and lose myself in the cover art. Frank Zappa gave me a couple of good nightmares.

This music definately defined who I was to become. I have been playing in bands since I was twelve years old. I love the classics but I also enjoy a lot of new stuff. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the greatest modern bands ever. Jack White is a breath of fresh air. Have you listened to Them Crooked Vultures yet? It's an excelent album. I have tickets to see Alice in Chains April 19th. They're new album rocks! Can't wait to hear that lost Hendrix stuff they found. I appreciate all music. If it makes me feel good, then I like it. Oh yeah, LOVE the blues. I'm on an Allman Bros. kick right now. I want my next band to be a blues band.

Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2415

Oh jeez....this will be embarrassing, but I was like 5 and was prancing (yes prancing) around the house with my record player blaring, and lip syncing Another One Bites the Dust.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!

Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 815

I got a good dose of the '80s since I was born in 1979. Earliest memory was my mom playing Bob Segar and Elvis. Most of them took place at a roller skating rink. Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters and Micheal Jackson's Thriller were my favorite song to dance to when I was 4-5 years old. :lol: I got a shock when I heard Guns N' Roses for the first time. Being as young I was it scared the crud out of me, must be why I listen to G N' R so much now. I also got into Def Leppard, Ratt, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Poison, and Scorpions thanks to the roller skating rink.

My mom evenutally met my step-dad and he also ran a roller skating rink. There I was introduced to Metallica thanks to my step-brothers. First Metallica song I ever heard was ...And Justice For All for a "speed skate". I got into the heavier metal in my pre-teens and grunge took off. One of my friends introduced me to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles. After he moved away I met my best friend and we started listening anything from heavy metal to jazz.

"If I had a time machine, I'd go back and tell me to practise that bloody guitar!" -Vic Lewis

Everything is 42..... again.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833

I can remember my mama rocking me at night when I was probably 2, singing songs like "Down In The Valley" and "Summertime." (Coincidentally, I've been sitting here picking "Summertime" on my biscuit reso this morning, it being the last full day of Winter.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 472

Among the very first musical memories were mostly nursery rhyme type stuff. You know, "It's raining, it's pouring..." That was while I was in the bathtub and wouldn't get out until the water was ice cold. "Amazing Grace" and "The Old Rugged Cross" at my Grandma's funeral when I was five years old. After that, early country songs and then The Ventures. Still one of my favorite bands.


Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 407

My earliest musical memory is of my older siblings urging me to dance to Chubby Checker's " The Twist . " I'm not sure how old I was at the time , three or four probably . I was born in 1958 .

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833

I well remember being at a college dance on a parking lot where the band was playing "The Twist" in the summer of 1962. A newspaper photographer tried to get me to dance the Twist with another little kid, but I wouldn't do it. I'd've been 6.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

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