Music was a big part of our lives. My mother was a voice major from University of Kansas, and once auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera. She sang in opera and in a jazz band in college until all the boys were taken away to serve in WWII. She made sure we had music lessons, sang in the church choir, and were surrounded by music.

When my brother asked my sister and me to pick out records to send to my Dad for his new apartment, we spent an afternoon listening to music  we remembered as we packed up my sister’s belongings.  It struck me what music nerds we all were. While my sister was into the music of her times — Yes, Led Zeppelin, etc. — and spent many weekends in high school driving up to LA for concerts. But on the side, we all played classical music — piano, violin, viola and guitar —  and heard everything from Big Band jazz to bluegrass to musical theater and Johnny Cash around the house. To this day, when I am alone in the car, I belt out 40s hits — Sentimental Journey, Embraceable You, Skylark, Gershwin tunes — singing along when no one else was home to the versatile voice of Ella Fitzgerald. I begged my mother for tickets to hear her sing with the SD Symphony when I was in high school. I was a few decades behind my peers, I think. This Rare Records Revisited, pictured on the bottom here,  was one of my favorite albums.

Then there were the classical albums — Lt. Kije by Prokoviev, Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky, Peter and the Wolf. Each one evoked, and still evokes, powerful feelings.

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