My earliest music memories were of my father's band. He used to be a lead singer for a local R&B/funk band back in the early 70's. We used to travel all over the West Coast and Canada, from gig to gig in our green Pinto. I remember going to a lot of sound checks and band rehearsals. The band wore similar spandex-y outfits and rented gargantuan turquoise jewelry that I would just love to get my hands on today.
Of all the songs they used to sing, the Earth, Wind and Fire songs stuck in my mind the most. To this day, songs like "September", "Fantasy" and "That's The Way Of The World" still give me chills.
The first song that I remember crying to was Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life". This was in a 2nd grade school assembly where my very favorite person, Mr. Stearn, announced his retirement. It was a sad day for this little 2nd grader.
When I hit 5th grade my mother exposed me to the greatest band in the world IMHO, Queen. The first record I purchased with my pittance of an allowance was a cut-out of Queen's Greatest Hits, except it was pressed in Mexico so it was called Queen Grandes Exitos. But the music was the same, and I wore that record out listening to it. It was almost as good as doing the "Shooting Duck" to "Another One Bites the Dust" at Southgate Roller Rink.
It was all bliss until - horrors! - Queen released a dreadfully embarrassing record called "Hot Space". I remember I had just bought the record and had three of my rocker girlfriends over with the intent of listening to it. I put it on, and it only took about 8 bars before I smacked the needle and sent it skidding across the record. What the hell were they thinking putting out an R&B record? To a 13 year-old rocker, that was devastating!
I had seen Queen in concert the year prior; it was my first concert ever, and Billy Squier was the opening act. That was one of the happiest days of my life. Until my dad came up to my seat and said that we had to go before traffic got bad. I remember wailing hysterically as I was walking away from the Seattle Center Coliseum(back then), listening to the screaming fans welcome Queen back for an encore of..."We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions". When I told my husband, another Queen fan, about this he found it quite appalling!
My other favorite band was the Scorpions, who I saw twice in concert. I would go up to Canada to buy rare British pressings of their older records, like, before Mattias Jabs, the youngest guitarist, joined. I had both covers of Animal Magnetism; my parents didn't really like the one with the bubble gum.
Led Zeppelin was among my very favorites as well. I saved up for two months to buy the double-album called "Physical Graffiti". Such an amazing record.
Journey also brings back great memories; again, flash back to the skating rink where I would just fantasize that my crush Byron would ask me to skate during "Couples Only" to Journey's "Open Arms". He was such a cutie...
Def Leppard was an amazing band that didn't get the respect they deserved in England, but we loved 'em here. 'High And Dry' had so many powerful songs on it that I just love to blast in the car to this day. Remember "Saturday Night(High and Dry)"? Remember wearing Union Jack T-shirts, bandanas and buttons? That's one trend that needs to come back, I say!
It was when I turned 13 that I started really getting into Bad Company's music, and their predecessor, Free. Paul Rodgers is my #1 favorite living singer to this day(Freddie Mercury being my favorite deceased one). Now if there's any band that's underrated, it's Free. They just blow me away, always have and always will.
Finally(I know, this is long!), some of my most enjoyable childhood music memories were ones spent late at night listening to Dr. Demento's show on the radio. Of course, the standout was Weird Al Yankovic. Back then, it was "Another One Rides The Bus". The kazoo in the background is hilarious. I really have to turn my son on to him.
This was fun - thanks for the opportunity to post and read about Childhood Music Memories!