We all have memories and music nostalgia. Songs and events which remind us of past times. Local writing enthusiast, Roy Finney, describes the music nostalgia and memories of his childhood.
Jazz, Swing and Rock and Roll
The title speaks volumes. Although I can’t play a note, my passion for music will no doubt become apparent.
Tunes are beautifully crafted. Melodies bound and rebound inside my head. Wonderful never to be forgotten standards by George Gershwin.
The acclaimed genius of Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart and Sammy Cahn. The amazing musical arrangements by Nelson Riddle.
Depending on your age and tastes, there are the obvious talents of Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones and Hoagy Carmichael. Their compositions are ably, very ably delivered by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole and Vic Damone to name but five.
Now you have some idea of the stuff I not only rate, but I was fed on. But you may be surprised that I’m partial to the strains of Shakatak, the Stones, Slade, Earth Wind and Fire, David Bowie, Bee Gees, ELO and even Madness. In fact any damn strain that hits the spot, as they say.
Do all the aforementioned compel me to sing at all? Well, of course in the bath, in the car, almost anywhere after a drop too much.
As for my voice; numerous folk in the distant past claimed that I possessed a good voice, a nice voice. However, for the moment their names escape me.
As an eleven year old my mother also maintained I was an angel, and that I had the voice of one. This was not only embarrassing but EMBARRASSING.
At the time I was standing outside in the rain with inky fingers, one sock up, the other with a mind of its own. Trouser pockets bulging with bent nails, string, rope, catapult pellets and fag ends. Everything in dire need of a bath.
I now have to drag in old Mr and Mrs Bentley, our next door neighbours. The war was now over.
Music Nostalgia and the Piano
Every Saturday evening, having drank not only the Albert Inn but the Rising Sun dry, their five strapping sons and wives noisily made tracks to their mum and dad’s two up two down for more refreshment.
But not before asking Dolly, my mum, if they could borrow our piano. This was a habitual appeal on Saturday nights for the next decade.
As heavy as it was, I don’t think the piano touched the floor while being manhandled up the dark shared entry between us.
Needless to say, from then on no one within several doors of Fifty One got any sleep until the Bentley’s had ploughed through all the popular songs of the day, at least twice.
Then a few Sea Shanties and, as always, Big Burt wound things up well into the Sabbath with ‘My Brother Sylveste.’
My mother and most of the neighbours often remarked that although the Bentley’s merry making was pretty awful, it was marginally better than arguing or fighting. Personally, I know what I preferred !
Once I’d reached my teens I noticed a change in attitude within bitter beer circles. After a drop too much at closing time, instead of fighting in the streets almost everyone suddenly became a Mario Lanza, Catherine Grayson or a Bing Crosby.
As for our piano, Mum loved it, only because it was something to polish.