{31 Days of Playlists} Day 21…My Playlist Inspiration (Songs From Dad)

 As I have been laid up in bed battling the sickies quite recently, I have been reminded of one of my prized possessions…

My Dad was an incredible musician, and I’ve always felt my passion for music and performing was somewhat imparted to me through my paternal genes.

Dad was a drummer, and a fantastic one at that.  I don’t just say that because he was my Father, which I’m sure makes me a little biased.  He played with some incredible musicians of our generation, including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and in his younger years, opened for artists such as Willie Nelson, Fleetwood Mac, and even an unknown banjo comic at the time, Steve Martin.  Obviously, those experiences made for some amazing stories, which I loved to drag out of my Dad whenever possible.  I don’t ‘name-drop’ to be pretentious or annoying,  I am simply grateful and proud of my Dad’s artistic history and passion.  Whenever we didn’t have the words to say to one another (for many, many years he was a distant part of my life), we could always talk about music.

My Dad loved to share music with anyone he could.  He lavished so many mixtapes/cd’s/playlists on his friends and family–it was simply part of who he was.  Growing up, I first discovered some of the great musicians of our time, as well as some of my favorite music for years to come through exploring his music collections on my annual summer visits. (My parents divorced when I was an infant, and I was raised primarily by my Mom).  He would make a yearly Christmas CD that he reproduced, designed and sent to family and friends. (A good few of my Christmas playlist tunes are from his holiday music collections).  A few years ago, I had a surgery that required a rather lengthy recovery at home.   When my stepmom came to visit for a few days to help me get back on my feet, one of the first things she handed me was a CD my Dad had made me…

The song mix is eclectic and wonderful.   One of the songs on the mix was one I had been searching for weeks prior, which I had never mentioned to him.   Another made me cry as I could hear him singing the lyrics back to me in my mind.   The flair of his handwriting has always looked like art to me, and the CD felt like a loving letter from a father to a daughter, a gift of music from a man who found ways to be present in my life when he couldn’t bring himself to be face to face.

While visiting family for my sister’s wedding this past September, I began compiling playlists with a good cup of coffee in one of my Dad’s favorite mugs. Sometimes it’s the little things that help us feel closer to those we love…

As I began compiling playlists, I soon realized this whole blog series was inspired by, and in part, because of my Dad.  They say “where words leave off, music begins” and that couldn’t have been more true than between my Dad and I.  We had no idea when he made me that sweet CD that we would lose him so unexpectedly and quickly a few months later.   When I was visiting family for my sister’s wedding this fall, I spent part of the morning listening to my Dad’s ipod.  This playlist is comprised of the first handful of songs that came up on a random shuffle of his music.  It is a small taste of some of the music he loved and inspired him, though his musical tastes were even more varied than this short list.  I’d like to think he would’ve liked this playlist series, and no doubt would have had so many interesting musical suggestions I’ve yet to think of.  I’m so grateful for his influence on me as an artist, and I treasure my memories of him with love in my heart everyday…

(kindly scroll down to the songlist if unable to view the Grooveshark player on your smartphone or ipad device.)

31 Days of Playlists – Songs From My Dad

1.     A Beautiful Morning – The Rascals

2.    Oye Como Va – Santana

3.    Rocket Man – Elton John

4.    Up On The Roof – James Taylor & Carole King

5.    Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

6.    Time In A Bottle – Jim Croce

7.    Hopelessly Hoping – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

8.    Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown

9.    Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkel

10.  White Sandy Beach – Israel Kamakawiwoole

11.  There She Goes – Sixpence None The Richer

12.  Hummingbird – BB King & John Mayer

13.  Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell

14.  Good Times – Edie Breckell

15.  A Horse With No Name – America

16.  Long Walk Home – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

17.  Long Train Runnin’ – Doobie Brothers

18.  Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

19.  Moondance – Van Morrison

20.  Imagine – Neil Young

8 comments on “{31 Days of Playlists} Day 21…My Playlist Inspiration (Songs From Dad)

  1. Sarah,
    You’ve written a wonderful and loving tribute to your father and the power of music. You’ve just passed it forward to us and I’ve enjoyed every playlist!

    1. Thanks so much Mimi! And thank you SO MUCH for continually reading – it means alot to me! This post was very personal for me, I’ve felt my Dad’s love and joy through writing this whole series!

    1. Thanks so much, friend! It was definitely a near and dear to my heart kind of post… Everytime I make one of these playlists, I think of him. 🙂

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