The entire time I was a kid and growing up there was always music in our house. My dad was always either singing or whistling or he had the radio on, and yes – he also watched Lawrence Welk regularly. Music brought my dad happiness so naturally I learned to love music as well.
As soon as I was old enough to save up a couple of dollars, I hopped on the Number Two bus from City Terrace and rode it to downtown LA where I transferred onto the trolley at the downtown bus depot and took the trolley to place called Wallach’s Music City located in Hollywood at Sunset and Vine. Wallach’s Music City was the biggest music store in LA and it had everything you could ever want from saxophones to drums to pianos to all the music ever recorded and played on the radio with bins of just about every record you could want.
I’d look into the bins for the 45 records that I fell in love with like Bobby Days’ Rockin’ Robin and Clyde Mcphatter’s The Treasure of Love and The Fiestas You’re So Fine and every doo wop record ever made. I’d pay the $1.03 and hold the 45 record in my hands that I’d wanted for weeks. Then I’d take the trolley and the bus back home and play that record over and over again until it was practically worn out.
When Motown music came out in the early 1960’s, I’d go to Wallach’s Music City every time I saved up enough money to buy an LP – a long playing record that had 6 songs on each side of the record. Naturally there was only one or two good songs on each side of the record. The rest of the songs were mostly just filler but for $3.09, it seemed like a bargain.
All the way through high school I listened to the sounds of the records I loved and then came the 8-track tape player that I installed in my car so I could play hours and hours of music without commercial interruptions like the radio had. Then came the smaller cassette tapes, so I bought many of the same songs again in the new format. Then came the CD and again I bought the some of my favorite songs in the new format. And now I’ve burned most of it all onto digital mp3 format so I can put in on a flash drive and take it with me where ever I go
I learned to play guitar so I could sing my favorite tunes myself. Then I began writing my own songs which also brought me pleasure.
In 1991 I became a disk jockey at KZFR, 90.1 FM in Chico, CA, doing “LA Sounds with Sr Felipe” every Tuesday night from 7:30-10:00 PM playing oldies, doo-wop, folk, soul, Latin, bluegrass, country and dance music (streamed live at KZFR.org) where I get to play all the music I learned to love including interviewing interesting people in the community. I’m still doing that and I now have several thousand of my favorite songs on a portable hard drive with over 150 gigs of music.
I’ve been hired to MC and DJ weddings and dances and anniversary parties and even funerals.
Music has been a great source of enjoyment and of soothing my soul since I was a kid. I even play soft music that I call “sleep music” at night when I can’t seem to sleep. It usually does the trick.
So I’d like to thank my father for introducing me to one of life’s greatest pleasures, right up there with eating and breathing. I don’t think I could live without music.
Thank you, dad. I can still hear your voice singing in my head and I hope I’m doing as good a job as you did to pass the love of music along.