Here I was, telling my husband that this week’s topic has apparently been thought of by me, but, ” I have no idea of what to say, except… and… then… oh, and there’s…”.
I didn’t think I had much to say. After all, it was my sister who was just seventeen,(you know what I mean), when the Beatles, Stones, Herman’s Hermits, et al, invaded and my parents shelled out good money for her to see their shows. I was too young. As I grew the situation changed and my taste is pretty eclectic in music, but I wasn’t clamoring to see anyone in particular.
I have taken my sons to some piano, piano and harp-type quiet concerts when they were young and studying the piano and we went to plays and recitals. Music, singing, theater of any sort is so different from any recording or movie, but there is nothing to write about those concerts/performances. I have gone the last few years with my grandchildren’s ‘Strings’ class to see the Louisville Symphony Orchestra do concerts for students. Last years was an all Early American music program and it was very educational. You wouldn’t believe where many familiar pieces of music began. This year’s concert was centered more on music-education, as they showed on screens before and after the music how the same notes in different keys and styles made a difference in the moods of the pieces. They closed with the “Grand March” from Star Wars and I don’t care how good of a recording you have heard, hearing in in a concert hall, in person, fully orchestrated, was a real experience. I urge you if you ever get a chance, go to a live concert.
As I said, my taste in music is quite varied, I probably like a little of every kind of music and a lot of some.
Having said that, I was not a major Country Music fan for the first part of my life. My sister had become a big fan and once she met a family who owned a country station in the Washington, DC area, we all became friends. (The father owned the station, a couple of the grown children worked there. He was a Greek-American, the mother ‘s background was Scottish. Strangely, the kids came out well, even though the marriage did not last.) And my appreciation of some Country music grew.
However, I was not hard-core.(I admit,I am still not hard-core by a long shot.) Quite a few years ago my sister asked me to go to a Merle Haggard concert with her, but I refused. She plied me with, ”Oh, come on! I’d go with you to the opera”. “Really?” I asked. It just so happened that a baritone with a voice I adored was going to be at the Kennedy Center with the New York Metropolitan Opera. I had simply sighed and figured that since I would not go alone, I was out-of-luck. We made a deal.
We got to the area for the show and I sat through a local radio station’s contest winners. The first was a male group who gave not a bad, but seemingly interminable, rendition of “Rainy Day Woman”. Second place was a pair of well-dressed, well-coiffed but frighteningly obese twins who sang “Satin Sheets”.(The girls had good voices.) Jerry Clower did a stand-up act, then I truly enjoyed Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Intermission hit and we missed the beginning of Merle because of the long line to the ladies’ room. When Merle left the stage, it was time for Tammy Wynette…can you guess how thrilled I was? My sister said that we could go and figured I’d take her up on it but I said, ”No. I’m going to stay for the experience. I will never get this close to seeing her again, BELIEVE ME.”(My way of saying, “Don’t even ask me to do this again”.) To my sister’s surprised we stayed, but many people did not and a number walked out after Miss Wynette started singing. I don’t really know why. I could not imagine doing that to a performer unless they truly did something offensive onstage. To watch her face on the big screen was heartbreaking. As she sang she watched the people get up and go up the stairs to the exits. Her forehead was wrinkled in worry and there was a hurt look in her eyes. I have no idea what the woman was like personally but few people deserve to be hurt that way. I was glad that I stayed.(Besides, she had a VERY attractive guitarist who I watched on the screen most of the time!)
[Can you guess what happened? We never got to the Kennedy Center and the Met stopped touring. The baritone went back to Norway and I never got to see or hear him in person.]
While we are on Country music, though, I’ll ask if you can help me figure this one out, as I am mind-boggled after more than thirty years.
During my short stay in Idaho, Ray Price came to town. He was the mellow, older Price with a rich voice who sang not only cross-over country but some pop standards. My sister and I went to see him when he appeared in the fairly small town where we lived. He was great. My sister went to get his autograph and I told her to wait to be last, as she might get a chance to hear more than a “Thank You” from him.
(Actually, they did get to discuss the weather.) As I waited for her, there was an older woman standing in the hall, against the wall, halfway to the back. She was obviously a farm woman,(yes, potato farms everywhere there), her age was somewhere over sixty. She wore a scarf…and her hair was in rollers!
This was the place for which you put in rollers… and took them out, beforehand: To go see a concert. A concert with a big-name performer and I might add, and attractive one at that. What else could she have to do after 10:30 at night in that small town? Name me something where she would need to attend a concert with curlers in her hair…to look good for what? What the heck? Even if she had to look good the next morning, there was plenty of time for rollers in her hair; you don’t go to a performance with them in.
Poor Ray. I always hoped he had not seen her.
No, I have never understood and it’s stuck with me all these years.
Can anyone come up with a plausible answer? I’d appreciate any insight that you might be able to give.
Shoot, give me any implausible answers. I still have nothing.