Music Monday

gray scale photography of turntable

Let’s pick up where we left off last Music Monday.

I listened to John Coltrane’s “Dear Lord” trying to remember where I heard the song. My friend’s father asked me if I liked the song. That was the first time a song overwhelmed my emotions. I couldn’t explain what was going on with that particular song.

The pizzas arrived and I went back into teenage mode; still trying to understand why that song had such an immediate impact on me emotionally.

I talked to my mother about the song; she was not interested; she was not a fan of Jazz and didn’t play it in the house. I think the closest she came to Jazz was Johnny Mathis. I wanted my mom to feel the same way I did about the song; I wanted her to melt into the different levels as I did and more than anything; I wanted to share this Gospel Jazz experience with her.

Friday was allowance day! I already knew what I was gonna do with a portion of earnings. I went straight to the record shop; yes, we didn’t have the ability to go online to buy the music; we had to search for the music on foot. I was so excited to have the album in my hands. I couldn’t get home fast enough to play the song for my mother.

When I got home with my prized song possession my uncle was there; I told him to listen to what I bought. I began playing the song. I noticed the look on my uncle’s face he said “where did you get this?” Before I could answer; my mom came into the living room screaming “turn that off Wendy; I don’t want to hear another sound out of it or you tonight!” “Get that out of my house now!” I was trying to tell her that it was a Gospel Jazz song. She was not having it at all; she started walking towards me; my uncle stood in her path and I’m certain at the moment saved my little teenager life. I could not understand what was going on; I wanted my mom to feel the same as I did about the song. She felt something for sure, but it was not what I expected her to feel.

I went next door to my grandmother’s house. That’s where I typically went when I was in trouble and mom needed her space. I told my grandmother what happened and that it wasn’t a bad song, but mom went off the rails; I couldn’t understand. A few minutes later my uncle sat next to me on the sofa; he asked me if I was okay. “All I wanted to do was to listen to that song; I remember it, but for some reason; I don’t know.” My uncle looked at my grandmother she nodded and left the room; then he told me about that song.

More next time…

What songs do you remember playing at home that caused a stir in your house growing up? I would love to know.

Music Monday

Music’s Influence

brass saxophone on gray table near black bag
Photo by Pixabay on

When you think about the all the genres of music there are in the world; which would you pick as your personal favorite(s)?

My personal favorites are Gospel and Jazz. When the two are combined; I am in listener’s heaven. That is why I enjoy hosting Sunday Morning Rise radio program on WNUR; a radio station located on Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus. I love what I do because being a program host has its advantages.

Let’s go back to the first time I was introduced to Gospel Jazz it was through my friend’s father. Their house was the teen hangout; our parents knew that we were safe; so us being there was never an issue. The hosts were welcoming and for some reason enjoyed having a house full of teens. We’d gather in the dining room to play board games, card games, talk, and of course eat. My friend’s father was always in the living room listening to records and watching our every move. My friend’s mother was in the kitchen watching us from her angle. We were well-supervised.

It was common to have their father’s music selections playing in the background. One particular night he was playing a song by Billie Holiday; for some reason the song caught my attention. I went into the living room and asked about the song. He showed me the vinyl’s album cover; we talked about how she looked, but the thing that stood out (to me) was how she sounded. He listened to my interpretation of Billie’s song and said; “let me play something else for you; I think you can handle it.” I sat on the floor close to the speakers and watched as he carefully slipped the album out of the jacket and placed the album on the turn table and gently placed the needle onto the album.

The moment the song began to play the love was immediate. The song was familiar, but new to me at the same time. I closed my eyes and could see the music. I asked him what the name of the song was; he told me it was “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane and that it was a Gospel Jazz song.  I was hooked and never looked back. I will share more of my young journey into Gospel Jazz next time.

If you want to hear “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane look it up on Google and let me know if you like the song.


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