What Music Played in Your House When You Were a Kid?

downloadYesterday I was working at the computer when, out of nowhere, I had the sudden urge to both listen and sing “The Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera.

There is no rational reason for this other than the fact that my parents played their Phantom CD hundreds of times when me and my siblings were growing up. The music is in my DNA.

It’s particularly notable because my parents didn’t play a lot of different music. Rather, they played the same CDs and records over and over. So they really got etched into my memory. The other musicians were:

  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Amy Grant
  • Van Morrison
  • The song “Afternoon Delight” (I had no idea how dirty this song was until I watched the Arrested Development episode that explains it)

What type of music played in your house when you were growing up? Do any of those songs still randomly pop into your head?


13 Responses to “What Music Played in Your House When You Were a Kid?”

  1. Daniel Newman says:

    it was pretty much all classic rock, all the time. beatles, pink floyd, moody blues, steely dan, the eagles, michael jackson, springstein, zeppelin. my dad was a radio DJ for a while in his youth and had a pretty sizable record collection – LPs, and then cassettes – and there was pretty often music playing when I was little. Less so as I got older, but by then I had developed (or was developing) my own tastes. it definitely started with me pillaging from my dad’s tapes, though.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Nice! Any Van Morrison in there? I forgot about him when I originally wrote the post, but my parents played his stuff a fair amount too.

      • holliswatson says:

        Lots of Van the Man in our house. Plus, Cash, Aretha, Elvis, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan. My folks have a killer record collection.

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          Nice! I wonder if the amount of different music played when kids are young is proportional to their propensity as musicians.

      • Daniel Newman says:

        The occasional Brown Eyed Girl or Sunshine Superman, I suppose. Whatever was played on the radio. I don’t think my dad was ever a big Van Morrison fan.

  2. LOL, oh good, I thought I was the only 30 something male that randomly sang Phantom of the Opera (and Man of La Mancha). It does become handy when you have little ones and you get sick of singing Hush Little Baby πŸ˜‰

  3. Katie says:

    We didn’t really play a lot of music in our house, but we often listened to cassette tapes in the car. My dad had (and probably still has!) a long rectangular box in his truck that held maybe 10-15 tapes, so we definitely listened to the same ones over and over, like you. If it wasn’t one of these, it was the classic rock station in town, so I got exposure to a good mix of artists over the years. But these were definitely his favorites. I have a lot of great memories of singing together in his truck as we went down the road.

    The Guess Who
    Jim Croce
    Air Supply
    Blood, Sweat and Tears
    Bob Seeger
    Sheena Easton
    Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
    Three Dog Night

    My mom listened to the radio a lot and usually tuned in to more contemporary stations, but she still had some favorite tapes she’d pop in sometimes.

    Lesley Gore
    Bonnie Raitt
    Amy Grant
    Michael Bolton
    Rick Astley (she rick-rolled me well before it was a thing, apparently)

    They didn’t always have the greatest taste in music, but I learned to appreciate different genres and I still love classic rock. I took my parents to a Guess Who concert about 4 days before I gave birth to Charlotte, and I could feel her in my belly, dancing around to the beat like crazy. It was great to have that music that I grew up with passed down to my own child before she was even born. I still listen to The Guess Who and Jim Croce all the time, especially the latter. He was wrote some really fantastic, heartfelt songs and was sadly taken far too soon.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Thanks for sharing, Katie! It’s neat to hear that listening to your parents’ music helped you learn to appreciate different genres (and that the love of music carried over to Charlotte in the womb).

  4. Stephen says:

    An eclectic collection – My dad was into classical and opera, my mum folk, 60s and 70s pop (…And would use Beetles song choruses as lullabies on occasion), folk, and musical cast recordings, my elder brother had Pink Floyd and Guns and Roses albums, my elder sister… Meatloaf and Jason Donovan are the two artists I recall her listening to. In addition to that I the family friends over the road me and my mum would play board games with each Sunday usually had a folk or Smurfs vinyl on (…I’m… Not kidding here. Games of Buccaneer, Life, and Croak are likely permanently ingrained on my subconsciousness with associations to various Smurf’s covers and originals since unlike Poverty Knocks that’s basically the only context I heard that album in. Which… Considering two of those games are ones I wouldn’t mind playing today [I want to see how Buccaneer holds up, it has various elements that make it suggest that it should work today, even if it’s poorly balanced, and Croak is a fairly standard Rummy style game which, like with any Rummy style game, is certainly going to be playable), kids shows such as Spider! introducing me to styles of music from a wider variety than even that, Saturday Morning kids programming over here usually had current pop stars as part of their studio elements (And since this was the UK in the early 90s, that includes both Right Said Fred and Pet Shop Boys [I mostly associate them with their Very album, which was long after they stopped being relevent in the US), and of course there were the Disney films I watched and the songs they contained.

    …So… Far more varied a collection than really needed to get songs permanently ingrained on the subconscious…

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Smurfs vinyl! That’s old school. πŸ™‚ That’s neat that you associate specific music with specific games played during your childhood.

  5. Jasmin says:

    πŸ˜€ Seriously!? I’m really surprised that you know that great song of an amazing musical and you sing along with it! Kudos to your parents for playing such a nice variety of music.

    Along with Cantopop of the late 80s and early 90s, there was a lot of Kenny G. in my home.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Jasmin: Well, it really wasn’t that much variety–this blog post pretty much lists ALL of the music we ever heard. πŸ™‚ We didn’t have nearly enough Cantopop in the house!

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