April 26, 2017

Appreciation of Music 101 for My Kids

I love music. I enjoy a pretty wide variety of music and there are seasons when the genres I listen to vary greatly from one to the next. Right now we listen to a mix of country, oldies, pop, and Christian music. CD's that frequently get played in the van belong to The Head and the Heart, Sarah Groves, JJ Heller, and some other contemporaries - Vance Joy, Matt Kearney, Matt Mahrer, The Lumineers, Eric Church - are much appreciated.

I have a desire to not only pass on a love of and appreciation for music to my kids but also a knowledge of music from the past and present and across genres. I want them to hear a song that samples another song and know what song is being sampled. I want them to watch a movie from that takes place in the past and be familiar with the soundtrack. I want them to be the life of the wedding reception, dancing and singing along to all kinds of music.

So far in this endevour I have introduced the kids to a few bands and singers from varying decades and genres and to mixed reviews. 

Johnny Cash 
The kids love him, except for our oldest. I have a (affiliate link) four-disc box set (remember those?) that we listen to in the car. It helps that he sings about a lot of trains and my boys looooove trains. I love that they are experiencing American folk songs, country, gospel, and more through him.

The Beatles
I gave them a big talk about how The Beatles is Papa's favorite band and how much I loved them in middle and high school. I talked about how they made music for a decade and some of it was really fun, some really weird, and some really lovely. The first time they listened to (affiliate link) One they were not impressed. The next time, they liked it a lot more. 

The Beach Boys
I played them (affiliate link) Pet Sounds. They didn't like a single song on the album. I have no idea what's wrong with my kids and so we'll try again later. 

The (affiliate link) blue album is one of my favorites and it's songs instantly take me back to the halls of my high school. (Is that weird? It's true.) Jofis thinks it's too loud so I have to move all the sound to the front of the van but I think they otherwise like it. Ben especially seems to really like it. It came out in 1994 (!!!) and I realized that me playing it for my kids was like my dad playing one of his Beatles albums for me when I was a girl. I'll let that sink in and you can guess how that makes me feel.
(PS - the cd is for sale on Amazon for $4!)
(PPS - the answer is OLD. It makes me feel OLD.)

Bruce Springsteen, Queen, Michael Jackson, and the Counting Crows will also be highlighted in the future. And then there's a running mixtape of songs that I want my kids to know. I've spent way too long writing this list already but I'm sure I could add so many more songs. So. many. more. songs.

So help me fill in the gaps. Comment and tell me who I'm missing and what songs I need on my list. I feel like my country section is lacking and songs from the 90's - early 2000's definitely needs some help.

Signed, Sealed, Deliverd - Stevie Wonder
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Shake Senora - Harry Belefonte
Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
Fast As You - Dwight Yokum
Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson
Hound Dog - Elvis
Crazy - Patsy Cline
I Fall to Pieces - Patsy Cline
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - Aretha Franklin
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
You Really Got a Hold on Me - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Star Man - David Bowie
Small Town - John Cougar
Jack & Diane - John Cougar
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Suede
American Pie - Don McClean
I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Houston
Take on Me - Aha
Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Stairway to Heaven (for Travis) - Led Zepplin
Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp (for me) - Led Zepplin
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
I Tell Me Ma - Van Morrison & The Chieftains
Lonesome Town - Ricky Nelson
Hello Mary Lou - Ricky Nelson
At Last - Etta James
Blue Moon - The Marcels
Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
In the Mood - Benny Goodman
It Don't Mean a Thing - Duke Ellington
Chattanooga Choo Choo - Glenn Miller
Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman
Doo Wop - Lauren Hill
Zion - Lauren Hill
Rapper's Delight - Sugarhill Gang
Let Me Clear My Throat - DJ Kool


  1. Oh my gosh, I couldn't love this more if I tried. You are my musical soul sister. I would add in a hearty dollop of Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac and Journey. :)

    1. YES! You know, I was telling Travis how American Girl and Free Falling HAVE to be known by our kids. And Journey! How can they go to a wedding reception or karaoke bar and have fun and not know Journey? Good suggestions. Ants Go Marching is one of my faves from back in the day.

  2. Love this! I think some Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald should make an appearance :)

    1. Ooooh! Yes, classical music! Many will be familiar from lullaby cd's but I'm really uneducated when it comes to classical. I'll have work on that!

  3. Yes!!! We love listening to The Beach Boys on Saturday mornings while we clean. I still remember the first time my toddler sang "Ba ba ba Ann!" Lol

    1. I should have started with more of their beach music. Barbara Ann! How could I make that mistake?!

  4. My mom often played Tavares in the car - I used to hate it but it has grown on me. :)

    As for the 90s/00's, my first suggestion will be top selections from U2. I'll have to go through my itunes to see what else from that era you are missing.

    1. Yes! Ugh! Thank you for reminding me! U2 is so important to the 80s and 90s!

  5. I have too many thoughts for the 90's, but a few off the top of my head: "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by the Proclaimers, "MmmBop" by Hanson, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something, "To Be With You" by Mr. Big, "The Old Apartment" by Barenaked Ladies, "When I Come Around" by Greenday, "Come As You Are" by Nirvana, and "The Distance" by Cake. Now I'm going to spend my lunch break looking through the music I have on my Google Drive...

    1. 500 Miles! Yes! I like the BNL recommendation, too. Very good.

      The Dookie album was listened to sooooo much back in the day. Oh man.

  6. I can't add anything that hasn't already been noted. All great selections! I love your mix of genres. We have the same musical tastes. And I'm way older than you are so it's cool to see a lot of your favorites were/are mine, too. :)

    1. Great taste knows no age. ;)

      I once had someone ask me what type of music I liked and I didn't know what to say so I told them, "Good. I like good music." lol I meant it but it was a bit of a dorky answer.

  7. Obviously need to add Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. LOL :)

    You are so good at exposing your kids to all that good stuff. My kids don't know any popular songs right now except JT's Can't Stop the Feeling. And I have not had them listen to any of my 90s faves *cough* BSB, New Kids, Britney, *cough*--because now that I'm a mom, I realize that a lot of the songs from my faves aren't super appropriate. Except Cover Girl..I definitely have listened to that with the kids. It's just so catchy!

    Because of their dad, they love the Ghostbusters theme, Jesus Christ SuperStar, the Phantom of the Opera, and instrumental music (Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, etc.)

    My kids also know a couple Jackson 5 songs too. :)

  8. I would just add.. any Michael Jackson song. My faves are Thriller, Gotta be Startin' Something, Don't Stop til you get enough, Man in The Mirror, etc. etc.

  9. And I just saw your note about how you will highlight Michael in the future. Nick would recommend Queen of course. :)

  10. Yes, yes and YES! I've made it a point to introduce my kids to all sorts of music, I love hearing them randomly sing an ABBA song. lol I listen to just about any genre too, more fun that way. lol My kids currently love The Monkees, ABBA, Daft Punk, and we also listen to K-pop from time to time. I've introduced Frank Sinatra and The Doors to them as well. My 8 year old LOVES Boston. lol And of course some older stuff like The Drifters, Annette Funicello, The Shirelles, etc.

  11. I love tbis so hard. Would it be weird if I read it and it's accompanying comments over and over? I can't concentrate because CHILDREN PEOPLE. Is it possible to send you a pandora station? My 90s country pandora station gives me life. '90s music is my love language. All of it. Please tell me you like James Taylor? The Wallflowers? I'm being beckoned tonread picture books but I will probably comment later because this is my favorite.

  12. Girl, you have got to get some George Strait on this list. Hank Williams, Randy's Travis, Reba and Patsy Cline and then you'll be good. Love, the Texan

  13. I love this post!! My dad tried to expose my sister & me to a wide range of musical styles + artists, too. So glad he did. He made these awesome mix tapes that were neon colors -- hot pink, orange, green -- we would request the tapes by their color. Such sweet memories! Anyway. Not going to say how long my husband and I just spent making a 70 song playlist...also not complete. Ha! Some artists not on your list are James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Chicago, Billy Joel, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Journey, Kansas, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra + Judy Garland (quite an eclectic list, I do realize!). Thanks for such a fun post, Bonnie!

  14. I love this! We listen to a variety of music in our home with Pandora - but the car is a bit lacking. I mostly switch between a few radio stations. But bringing out our old CDs and using them on a regular basis (instead of just the road trips) is a great idea.