My Father, The Musician
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By etrigan - Last updated: Sunday, June 21, 2009 - Save & Share - One Comment

For most of my life, I thought of my mother as the musical parent. She played both guitar and piano, checked out albums when we made trips to the library, and was always singing. During the holidays, she was the one who went to sing and play in the folk-music circle at a friend’s house. She was the one I remember giving all the credit for my love of music. I thought of my father as the one who paid the bills. I was shaped by his dedication to his job and his steadfast obligation to provide for our family, sometimes in the face of a truly “negative work environment.” He worked in the petroleum industry as an engineer during the 70’s and 80’s and, especially now, I can empathize as I experience the exponential boom and bust of the technology sector.

As an adult, I now realize there was more nuance than I noticed as a child. My mother almost always had a side job, sometimes teaching guitar or piano in our house, or substitute teaching at our school. Recently I realized that it was my father who nearly wore out the orange plastic 8-track of Johnny Cash’s *Orange Blossom Special* in the old red pickup we drove out in the country where I was raised. So, I know my dad always loved music as much as my mother, just that he devoted all his time to his job, house and garden, making sure his family was fed and sheltered.

When he retired several years ago, Dad bought a bass and started learning how to play. Then he took singing lessons so he could play _and_ sing. These days on weekends you are likely to find my parents at a campground playing and singing together with like-minded musicians in the Ozark Mountains. My mother is the one who plays multiple instruments and sings the best, but it is my father with his engineering-trained focus who impresses me the most. In a few short years he has become a masterful bass player, acquiring various styles of high quality instruments on eBay, and his deep voice is a moving addition to the circles in which he plays.

When “Fresh Air”:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13 played “this episode”:http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=6-19-2009 on Friday about fathers, featuring an “interview with Jimmie Dale Gilmore”:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105599073 about his traditional country album dedicated to his late father, and “one with Wayne and Darrell Scott”:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105599073 about son Darrell’s release of his father Wayne’s original songs, I could only imagine my father enjoying the heck out of the music and the stories. Since I don’t know enough about basses to pick out a good one on eBay (besides the fact that my father always just buys what he wants anyway), I offer him this small gift of a post on my blog with these two audio pieces from Fresh Air that I know he’ll love.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore: In Song, A Eulogy For Dad:
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Wayne And Darrell Scott: Father-Son Country
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Posted in Entertainment, Life, music, Politics • Tags: Top Of Page

One Response to “My Father, The Musician”

Pingback from lynnechick » Blog Archive » Fast Sunday links
Time June 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

[…] http://www.rollerfeet.com/backporchbeer/2009/06/21/4558/These days on weekends you are likely to find my parents at a campground playing and singing together with like-minded musicians in the Ozark Mountains. My mother is the one who plays multiple instruments and sings the best, … […]

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