I was raised on Country Sunshine. I grew up around my mother's musical family. Picture in your mind a family that lives/lived in SE OKlahoma 6 miles from the Arkansas border and you may get a clearer picture. My Pepaw played the fiddle add Aunt Dodo (Dolores) and other aunts and cousins and uncles and you get a picture of the family band. Play by ear, play what you hear. Country music. Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Willie, Waylon. Bob Wills, Hank Williams Sr, then add a HUGE dose of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and my education was complete. I, as the only grandson/nephew for a few years was appointed to be the "Next" musical genius. The inheritor of Pepaw's famous fiddle. I quickly found out that I had no natural ear for music. In the fifth grade I took violin lessons under a tyrannical teacher/lady who would swing her bow like she might hit us and then throw her keys ( back in the day when skeleton keys were still used) across the room if we didn't get it. I didn't want to get it. She became the first adult to which I shouted, "I hate your guts!!!!!" I soon learned to hate the violin and still had to listen to years of "You'd better learn to play the fiddle so you will get Pepaw's fiddle when he passes." I didn't care then and I don't care now. Although I would give almost anything to once again hear him play "Faded Love."
Side Note: What am I listening to now? ELVIS COSTELLO/ THE JULIET LETTERS w/the Brodsky Quartet. From Ted's eclectic music collection.
Add to that the fact that in the early 70's in my town and other places the fact that the sight of a boy carrying a violin anywhere would cause the Redneck to come out in otherwise docile students, my education became even more complete. JAMIE DAWN, there was SOME truth to my memory of us. But in my new memory there was a better outcome.
In the 2nd half of the 5th grade my parents allowed me the opportunity to change from violin to trumpet. My cousin had an old trumpet that had seen better days, but it was free and and also offered my freedom away from the bow swingin', key throwing biddy.
My astute band teacher Mr. McPherson soon noticed that the shape/form of my lips were probably better suited for the trombone. Besides, trumpet players were aplenty and t-bone players were few. My destiny was now settled. My trombone and I soon became close friends and my journey to musical snobbery had begun.
Part Two Tomorrow