Having been born in 1958 was sort of a magical timeslot. It was at a time that was following WWII, yet a time when this country was facing new threats from abroad. It was a time when military technology was advancing at a blinding pace, especially aircraft technology. Inasmuch as my dad was in the Air Force, growing up I got to witness and be a part of the most exciting era, I personally believe, in our Air Force's history!
Now, my father was born in 1924, and throughout his youth, he was fascinated with airplanes. He dreamed of being a pilot, and he graduated from High School in 1942, right smack dab in the middle of WWII. He wanted to be a pilot, but he scored so high on his mathematics, that the (then) Army Air Corps made him a bombardier/navigator. That was to be his role for the next 22 years!
You ask, "what does all this have to do with music?"
Let me tell ya! The 40's was also the heyday of the "big band" era. My father loved that music more than anyone I have ever met! Although my father played no instrument, I think he had a deeper appreciation of that great sound than anyone I have ever seen since. He loved it!
Quite often, my mom and dad would put us tots (my brother and I) down to bed early on any given Saturday night. When we could hear them re-arranging the furniture in the living room, we knew what was up. My brother and I used to get up and sneak a peek around the corner of the living room to see my mom and my dad dancing!
Usually, they would turn out the lights and fire up candles, then crank up some good old Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, or Benny Goodman. Sometimes, depending on the song, they would just hold each other and sway in that golden candlelight, but those two would also cut loose! It was a sight to behold to watch my 6' 4" father twirl my 5' 4" mother around the room! Their moves were so graceful and hot. It has always been exhilarating for me to watch good swing dancers. My mom and dad could get with it, boy!
Now, women in those days dressed very conservatively. I never saw my mother in a tight dress. She was a thin, wasp-waisted woman who always wore pleated dresses, and for dancing, she would put on a medium-length dress, (below the knees, of course!)
When they were dancing to some hot swing, my dad would twirl her, and that dress would fly out! Sometimes, depending on the music, he would catch her and give her a dip, or they would break apart, and just face each other, dancing in place with that hand-jive thing! It's not that either of them were expert dancers, they were just a couple of kooky kids having fun! It was a spectacle to witness, I'll guarantee you, and some of the fondest memories of my childhood.
On occasion, due to the tussle over a vantage point for the best view, or just outright giggling, my brother and I would be caught, admonished, and sent back to bed. But it was easy to go to sleep then, having witnessed the love that my mother and father had for each other. I would lay in bed and just listen to that wonderful music, knowing that mom and dad loved each other, that they were my parents, and I could sleep so soundly in those days. What a precious gift from God to have had such parents as mine! What a privilege to have grown up in that time slot. I am one who can testify to what a great childhood is all about!
What follows is a small sample of some of the music I grew up with as a kid and as an adolescent. Hope you enjoy!