BY: KIM HASTY
As Willie Nelson sings on his “Stardust” album, without a song, the day would never end, and without a song, the road would never bend. Willie doesn’t exactly say it, but I’m sure that’s true regardless of gender or age. I love music, love to sing, love to turn the volume up loud and sing along in the car, sing in the shower
and in the church choir.
I’ve loved to sing all the way back to the days of Nancy Sinatra and her boots that were made for walking. I’ve loved to sing all the way back to the days when my older cousin Al taught me the words to “Little GTO,” and another cousin Dean crawled inside the console of his family’s TV when the innards had been sent off for repair. He lapsed into a rendition of Ray Stevens’ “Gitarzan” that to this day remains unforgettable, though no matter how much we plead, he refuses to reprise that performance.
Back to the day 33 years ago when my brother-in-law, Robbie, borrowed the microphone from the band and serenaded me
and his brother, my groom-to-be, at the rehearsal dinner with another Willie standard, “Always on My Mind.”
I love all kinds of music, and the playlist on my phone is testament to that.
"Mom,” each of my children has said from time to time, “just get Apple Music.”
But every time I hear a song I like; I dutifully search the iTunes store to purchase and download the tune to my “Running” playlist which is really now a “Walking” playlist. It’s a playlist that includes Chairman of the Board’s “Everything is Tuesday,” Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” Tauren Wells’ “Hills and Valleys”
Nina Simone’s “Just in Time” and my all-time favorite, “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from the best movie of all-time, “Rocky.” Even I know that’s an unusual combination of music, but it has worked for many years to get me through a 3 and halfmile slog. Those are songs that can take you back to Thursday nights on Franklin Street, Myrtle Beach days, college basketball championship games, church on Sunday morning.
My children all like to sing, and they’re much better than I am because they can read the notes. Though I have sung in actual church choirs, I’ve always had to lean over nearly sideways toward the shoulder of the alto next to me to hear our notes and keep from lapsing into the melody with the high-octave reaching
There is an old upright piano in our living room, a hand-medown from my husband’s late Aunt Charlotte. It needs a bit of tuning, the keys are somewhat yellowed, and one of our children, perhaps the least likely to have done so, once scratched her name on the side.
No matter. I think of one day painting the piano in Pinterest fashion in tones of peach or, perhaps, gray. Adding candlesticks, family photos and a green plant on top. But then again music, glorious music, has more than once emanated from those keys. You never know; it is never too late to learn to read music and to learn to play.
For after all, as Willie would say, a man’s no good without a song. And like a little girl, all of us need the chance to tickle the ivories … and to inscribe our name in the legacy of music.
Contact Kim Hasty at email@example.com or at 910-423-6500, ext. 317.