I’m from a very small Southern town, a not particularly well-regarded Southern town, a town that when people hear I grew up there, they look at me with a very bizarre expression and say, “Really?” Or sometimes they just laugh. I grew up on a farm with cows. My dad would stick the truck in gear, and I would just drive around the field, standing in the front seat, while he threw hay out the back. I also had a very strong southern accent -which was immortalized on a tape that thank god my parents lost years ago. I, fortunately, lost my accent years ago as well.
Because I grew up as a country girl in a small, Southern town, I grew up listening to country music. I knew all the words to any song by Reba McEntire, I loooooooooved Crystal Gayle, I thought Charlie Pride was the coolest guy around. Oooh, and George Strait! I actually listened to country music voluntarily until I was about 20 (in 2000) or so, but let’s be honest – it started tanking YEARS before that… Once Toby Keith got on the scene, and George Strait kinda went down the crapper, there is nothing good about country music. Well, except for hottie Keith Urban and his sexy hair.
Now, when I was little, until probably the age of 5, we actually had cable and I watched some MTV. You know, back when it really was “Music Television.” I remember seeing the videos for “Ghostbusters” and “Happy to be Stuck With You.” but from ages 9 – 13 or so I didn’t have access to cable, and after that, it was only when I would visit my grandparents in Thomasville. I didn’t live in a cave or anything, but my musical exposure was limited.
I have a really good memory, though, especially when it comes to song lyrics, so, I have many, many years of country music lyrics built up in my head. I kicked Aaron’s ass at music trivia once because they kept asking country music questions. It made him afraid. There’s this show on CMT called “Can You Duet” and people karaoke to country songs. Aaron stopped the tv on that show one night, and I knew every word to the song the person was singing. I think it was “Queen of the Doublewide Trailer.” That made me a little afraid, but I did laugh at the look of sheer terror on Aaron’s face.
Fortunately, I became a teenager in the age of Nirvana, STP and Pearl Jam – NOT the age of boy bands and Britney Spears – and the radio station I listened to would play some quality 80s music – The Cure, The Clash, – so I developed a pretty decent taste in music later in life. Decent, but not great. However, I was not really exposed to the rock greats until I met Aaron when I was 22. At the time, I could not have named a single Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones song. I think that I maybe, possibly knew a Jimi Hendrix song or two. The first time I ever heard Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven was when I watched Wayne’s World. Pathetic.
Thank GOD Aaron opened my eyes to some really awesome music! He’s kind of a music snob at times, but there’s no denying his taste is pretty darn good. Being raised by ex-hippies in the 70s works wonders for one’s musical prowess.
This leads me to the point of my post: My child will grow up listening to Led Zeppelin. (And other important artists that I will list at later dates, but Zeppelin is tops on my list.) I don’t understand how I lived so many years of my life without having heard “Whole Lotta Love” or “Ramble On” or “Gallows Pole.” I would love it if I had the only 5 year old for miles around that knows all the words to a Zeppelin song and thinks Robert Plant was a god. And has never even heard of Toby Keith. Or Britney Spears….