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The Soundtrack to My Life: The A Side

Welcome to Music Mondays! It's a new series I got the idea for when I was traveling. Music has always been a huge part of my life. It's an escape, a form of entertainment, the background music to all the important and not so notable events. Music is the one thing that is important across generations. Even if we can't agree on the music, we can all agree (from Boomers to Zoomers) that music is important.

I wanted to start this series to talk about the different background music in my life throughout the years. I also wanted to share some stories from my friends and readers. Somewhere in all this, we'll find things to bring us together. With all that is tearing us apart right now, I know music can bring us together.

So... let's start it off with the A Side. There will be more than two blogs about music, but I just wanted to start it off with what was most prevalent when I was growing up. I was born in 1976, grew up in the 80s, and came of age in the 90s. While a lot of my friends were enjoying 80s music, I was stuck a few decades back. My parents listened to the "oldies station" in Houston. We listened to a lot of 50s and 60s. My mom also played a lot of Billy Joel and Barbara Streisand. I picked up a love for Billy, but I can do without Barbara. She's talented, but it just didn't stick.

So, I was a huge Dion fan. Supremes. Monkees. Any Doo-Whop. Let's Twist Again. Jail House Rock. Splish Splash and some Mack the Knife. Don't forget Runaway by Del Shannon. I could go on and on. I loved these songs, and I still do.

This left me a little behind my friends who were listening to the Go-Gos, Pat Benatar, and all the hair bands. Thank Goodness for MTV. I was able to learn about Michael Jackson, Madonna, Debbie Gibson, and Prince (to name a few legends). I was stuck a few decades back though. There is some music from the 80s that I'm in love with now that I was only introduced to in the last 10 years. Crazy--like my own personal time warp.

I've read that you don't develop your own music identify until your teenage years. Until then, you are listening to whatever your parents listen to. It makes sense; they oversee the radio in the car. That is why I identify so much with 90s music. Like I said, I came of age in the 90s. I graduated high school in 1994, and I saw a lot of great musicians emerge on the scene (even though they were pop) throughout the 90s. And they weren't all pop--we had grunge, alt rock, and rock. Don't forget the 80s/90s hip hop and rap.

As GenX we owned 8-Tracks, Records (Vinyl), Cassettes, Cassette Singles (I spent a ton of money on those), CDS, and now we stream our music. We've seen a ton of changes in 40 something years.

One thing I'm grateful for is being introduced to so many different kinds of music when I was younger. Not only did my parents play a lot of different things, but there were so many choices in the 80s and 90s. There were never done before. I was there to witness music history repeatedly. I've seen the greats on MTV and in concerts (Garth, Reba, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Slash (without GnR), Hootie and the Blowfish, Alanis, Beach Boys, Chicago, Richard Marx, Counting Crows, Maroon 5, and so many more. If you put my iTunes on shuffle, you never know what you're going to get. My taste is very eclectic. My soundtrack started off as oldies and now it's the music I came to age with (and the Hamilton soundtrack). Music comforts me and takes me to a happy place.

What are you listening to this week?
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