A Father of Inspiration
Music has always been a force that connected my mother and me; however, when it came to my father, it wasn’t a significant connection until my last couple of years in high school. I’m not sure why I didn’t see my dad’s love of music until then. My assumption is that he was just too busy working and taking care of us to spend the time listening to music…or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.
After his retirement, my dad’s musical interests really came to light…and that light shone a lot on Ray Smith. Now, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering who he is…and trust me; my dad could fill you in a lot better than I can., but I’ll do my best. Ray was a rockabilly singer who grew up around the area we lived in. He had a million-seller in 1960 with a song titled “Rockin’ Little Angel.” At one time, he recorded for the famed Sun Records. My dad collected all the music he could from him. We sure listened to him a lot while riding in the truck and anytime I hear Ray, I’m right back there. And, frankly, Ray Smith isn’t too bad.
Then, along came Jackie Wilson. My dad introduced the R&B, soul singer to me through a song called “Lonely Teardrops.” I’ve heard that song so much that I can mentally play it in my head. “My heart is cryin’, cryin’…lonely teardrops…” Good stuff. Who knew my dad had such great taste in music?
Lucky for me, my dad was into classic country as well. That has always been a passion of mine. One of his favorites is Lefty Frizzell. He loves “I Never Go Around Mirrors” and I do too. It’s such a fantastic song. We also love Marty Robbins and Patty Loveless, among others; however, we differ on Narvel Felts. I can get on board with men singing in falsetto (note my earlier citation of love for Marty Robbins), but ol’ Narvel the Marvel just isn’t my cup of tea. Sorry, Narvel.
With just about every trip back home to Kentucky, I can count on my mom and dad having our television tuned into the RFD-TV channel on Saturday nights. At around 9:30 or 9:45 PM or so, I hear my dad ask, “Who’s on the Diner?” Then, the channel is changed and we all check out the latest guest on Larry’s Country Diner, and then we proceed to watch the following program Country’s Family Reunion. As a result, we get our fill of classic country and more. I think those two programs just might rank right up there with a Kentucky basketball game for my dad. And, although, I may not say it at the time, I really cherish those nights…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nikita Palmer (@RTNowRadio) for Cumulus Media © 2012