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The Music Your Parents Raised You On

How did your parents decide what your little ears should hear?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Your parents used to pick out your clothes – and your music, too. However, as Soundcheck contributor and new mom Faith Salie discovered last summer, the childhood soundtrack she fondly remembers was more of a happy accident than a carefully curated listening experience.

We've asked our listeners to call up their folks to find out the story of their own childhood soundtrack, and we talk with some of them about cutting their teeth on disco, new wave and war documentary soundtracks as kids.

Want to tell us about how your parents chose your music -- or how you're choosing the music for your kids? Take a listen to the music that host John Schaefer played for his two daughters "when they were too young to know any better." Leave a comment below, on Twitter at @Soundcheck, or call us up and leave a message at 866.939.1612. 


Faith Salie

Comments [5]

Jonas from St. Paul

The first popular music I remember was Billy Joel. My father would sing "The Longest Time" with my sisters and me before putting us to bed. I still listen to that and "Uptown Girl" and, unlike some of his hits, they don't sound dated.

I don't remember hearing The Beatles or Bob Dylan growing up, but I got into them when I was in college, and then came home to find that my father had been a big fan of both, giving us a new opportunity to bond over music.

Apr. 21 2013 01:43 AM
BrianL from Brooklyn

My mom is a very well-rounded, classically trained (if strictly amateur by vocation) musician who was careful about what I heard growing up. She played the piano a lot when I was a kid -- she does a mean "Bridge Over Troubled Water," I tell ya. The LPs from her college music history classes were major in our house in those days; Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are among my earliest musical memories. I grew up in the '80s and '90s, at the tail end of that period when AM radio actually played music, and we had radios tuned to two local stations playing... well, if you remember AM format radio, you'll know it was a pretty tame selection of pop hits from the '50s through the current day, with some nostalgia DJs dipping into the '30s and '40s on weekends. One radio at the back of the house was tuned to a station with a slightly whiter-bread format than the front of the house. My dad loved (and continues to love) The Beach Boys, who, for some reason, my mom hated (and continues to hate). He would get so excited when he and I were in the car alone and The Beach Boys or Creedence Clearwater Revival came on the radio, because whenever that happened in my mom's presence, you can bet she was changing the station within two measures. Top 40 radio was strictly verboten until my younger brother was 10 years old or so. Naturally, I formed my first punk rock band before my 15th birthday.

Later on, I discovered my mom's tastes were a little more interesting than I'd thought -- she had records by Wendy Carlos, The Who, Johnny Cash and The Flying Burrito Brothers in her collection. The latter of those really surprised me, and as it turns out, she wasn't aware of who Gram Parsons or Chris Hillman were otherwise, but had somehow heard the Burritos at one point and dug 'em. But I guess she thought twice about keeping an LP called "The Gilded Palace of Sin" within reach of the kids.

Apr. 15 2013 11:26 PM
Michael P. Gaughan from Brooklyn

When I was growing up in suburban Philadelphia my Aunt Libby, my father's sister who lived with us played Perry Como and Bing Crosby records for me. As I grew older and got into The Beatles she bought me their records and I played them on her Hi-Fi. My Aunt Libby is the reason I Love music. She died of old age at 84 on Sept. 11, 2001

Apr. 15 2013 09:33 PM
cait from Brooklyn

I distinctly remember my dad jamming out to Everybody Wants To Rule The World and telling us to tell to anyone who gave us trouble at school. Tears For Fear's Shout was also another popular one in our house and lots of Clapton and Bowie from Mom!

Apr. 15 2013 09:18 PM
Brian from Upper West Side

From my mom -- Barbra Streisand, Air Supply, the Flashdance soundtrack. From my dad -- The Eagles and the score to Aida.

Apr. 15 2013 09:11 PM

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