My taste in music runs the gamut from rock to jazz as well as country to western.
And, yes, there is a big difference between country and western. If you doubt that listen to “Strawberry Roan.” And if that song doesn’t ring a bell, let’s just say a real cowboy takes his hat off when he enters a house or is in the presence of a lady as my grandmother drilled into me at an early age.
I essentially like all music with two big exceptions: Most heavy metal and rap crap as defined by any rap that is vulgar and essentially celebrates the degrading of women and promoting violence. As for heavy metal I always have thought Van Halen screams instead of sings.
What brings the subject of music up is today’s Chris Teicheria column.
I wasn’t a big fan of Prince but even so I haven’t been able to go a day since his passing without “Little Red Corvette” or “When Doves Dry” playing through my head.
When it comes to the first album I ever bought it was “The Watergate Comedy Hour” which wasn’t a collection of songs but snarky parodies of everyone from “Moutha Mitchell” to Richard Nixon himself. While that may explain a bit about me, it wasn’t the first record I ever bought. That was a 45 recording of Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces I got for 89 cents at the Tower of Records on Howe Avenue in Sacramento.
And to completely convince you I’m not exactly nailed down to one genre, I spent much of my youth listening to a rather large collection of 78s. For those who thought 33 1/3 LPs and 45s were the most archaic pieces of vinyl on earth, they were the mass produced records that were thicker than most Stoneware plates. The songs included such wildly politically incorrect classics such as “Slap ‘er Down Again Paw” by Arthur Godfrey and “I Won’t Go Huntin’ With You Jake (But I’ll Go Chasing Women)” by Stuart Hamblen.
That said, I do have one favorite artist — Frank Sinatra.
Anything from Ol’ Blue Eyes suffices. “Fly Me to the Moon”, as an example, is what I crank up on the CD player driving to the start of hikes in Death Valley.
I do have one confession. I lie when people ask me what my favorite Frank Sinatra song is. No, it isn’t “My Way”, “Luck Be a Lady”, or “That’s Life.” I tell people it’s “Summer Wind.”
“Summer Wind” is the most intoxicating romance ballad of all time — in my opinion. I cop to it being my favorite Sinatra song because even some Sinatra fans have never heard of the one that I like the most which is also my No. 1 personal favorite song — “California.”
The lyrics, which are repeated twice as Sinatra sings with an orchestra behind him, by themselves are some of the most beautiful words every strong together to conjure up images of sheer bliss.
I’ve known her valleys, I’ve known her mountains
Her missions and her courtyards and her fountains
The giant redwoods towering in the skies of her
That grow as though as they know they show the size of her
I’ve often wandered her farthest reaches
Her desert sands her snow and, yes, her beaches
A land that paradise could well be jealous of
That’s California, California, blessed by heaven from above
That’s California, land I love
Granted, you really need to hear the song. It’s a smooth blend of classic melody and words that conjure up just about everything I love about California’s physical attributes. Google it and see what I mean.
It’s a perfect marriage of words that fill your mind with stunning images and music that engages your soul.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209.249.3519.