This week’s prompt at GBE2:Blog On is ‘Music’.
Where do I start with music? After all, I remember the start of rock and roll with Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock’ in the mid-50’s, I lived through the Elvis era, the Beatles era – and everyone else since then. I remember the days of the gramophone and 78rpm records made of shellac that broke if you dropped them.
So I have a lot of musical memories. Many songs stir up memories of different events and times in my life. Probably my favourite of all time is ‘A Certain Smile’ by Johnny Mathis. I only have to hear the intro to that, and I’m transported back to my teens…
If you looked at my pile of CDs, you’d soon discover the breadth of my taste in music – the Three Tenors sit side by side with country music, Irish songs, music from the movies, Edith Piaf, Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Elvis and Alfie Boe.
However, one genre dominates – musicals, both stage and screen.
I only have to hear the start of ‘O-o-o-kla-homa – where the wind comes sweeping down the plain’ and I’m back in the theatre where I first saw the stage version of this, which began my lifelong love of musical theatre.
I can’t sing to save my life, but I spent many years working backstage with the local amateur Musical Theatre, and so many songs from the shows bring back memories, far too many to list here, but here’s one:
‘Take me back the Black Hills’ from ‘Calamity Jane’ – the chorus members are parading up the theatre aisle, harmonising beautifully. On stage, behind the curtains, I’m rushing around madly, trying to find the American flag to disguise the bar from the previous scene. It isn’t where it should be, but the curtains are due to open as the first members of the chorus reach the bottom of the steps leading to the stage. Two seconds to go, and I finally locate the flag and hang it in place, slinking off the stage just as the curtains sweep open—and then taking the rest of the scene to get my breath back, and my heart beat to return to normal.
Currently, the music of ‘Les Miserables’ is top of the pile. I’ve seen the stage show ten times, and the movie twice (so far!), and rushed out to buy the movie soundtrack earlier this week. As I write this, ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ is making all the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end…