I can’t remember a time when music was not part of my life. I don’t mean that I can play any instrument or that I can even sing in the shower but listening to music has always given me pleasure.
Over the years I have gone to operas, symphonies, pop concerts, folk festivals, you name it and I have bought a ticket. It doesn’t matter to me if it is the Stan Rodgers Music Festival or the Tatamagouche Singers at Sharon United, music soothes my soul, relaxes my mind and mends the aches and pains I get from working in the garden.
My introduction to music was listening to it on Radio. My earliest memories were tuning the radio to CHNS Halifax to catch the Grand Olde Opry. If I was lucky perhaps Hank Williams would be singing “ Your Cheating Heart ” or “ I saw the Light”. Then came the new guys on the block, Hillbilly had changed to Rock and Roll. At night I would hold the crystal radio to my ear and attached the connector to the bed frame and listen to the Boston and New York all night radio stations. Music was magic and the performers were stars, well it seemed that way to a ten year old kid.
My second cousin Josephine from Cape Breton took me to my first live concert. It was Johnny Cash at the Halifax Forum. My cousin had just moved down to the Big City from River Bourgeois and had no friends to go to the concert with, so she took me. What a treat, I will never forget it, Johnny was great. To this day I can still see the Man in Black on stage in Halifax every time I hear his music on the radio.
I kind of lost touch with country music as the music of the 60s took over my social life. The craze then was Folk and it was played by long haired protesters. I can’t remember what we were protesting but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Since I couldn’t hold a tune I opened a small folk club in downtown Halifax.
For a few years it was music all night and most of the day. But life moves on and today small folk clubs are as rare as 16 string guitars. As the years passed by my musical taste broaden somewhat. One could say that as I move further away from Nova Scotia the occasion for me to hear yodeling cowboys sing about their horses or why Tammie is leaving George for another man were less frequent, in fact I lost touch with Country music.
Technology keeps changing and I tend not to rush into buying the latest consumer products. It took me several years to become computer literate. To this day I don’t have any computer games on my desktop. There is no doubt that today’s computer software will allow you to do just about anything. I have a great time putting my old family photos on CDs, a process known as burning a CD.
When I was discussing CD burning with a friend one day his son asked me if I also downloaded music from the Internet. I was clueless about the process so I enquired and joined a Music Internet Club. That was 6 months ago and now I have some 600 new editions to my music collection, all on digitally near perfect CDs. Buddy Down the Road was complaining to me that Christmas music on sale today doesn’t compare to the music from the good old days. For Christmas I gave him the complete Burl Ives collection.
I was like a 5 year old in a candy store. With so many songs available what would I download next from the World Wide Web. Then thinking back to the music that excited me when I was a kid, I searched the Internet for the songs of Lefty Frizzell, Don Gibson, Lorreta Lynne and yes the Man in Black, Johnny Cash.
Before you could whistle “ Orange Blossom Special” or “Fulsom Prison Blues” it was just like it was when I was at my Grannie’s kitchen table listening to CHNS .
I didn’t limit my downloading just to the Country Classics, I searched the internet and I discovered the new stars of the Grand Old Opry as well. Now when I am driving over Nutby Mountain for my weekly fix at the Canadian Tire in Truro, I listen to Allison Krause or Del McCoury and his Bluegrass Band. The days of the yodeling cowboy singing to his horse might be over but believe me his music lives on in Cyberspace.