Music collection of my father-in-law

bluegrass, big band, Ernest Tubb

singingAs I’ve noted, my father-in-law, Richard Powell, died on April 22, 2020. we had the funeral a mere 13 months later.

Then we had the task of getting my mother-in-law packed to move to a smaller place. This involved my wife making 70-mile trips, each way, approximately every other weekend to get my MIL prepared. One weekend in June my daughter and I joined them.

I was specifically tasked to go through my FIL’s music collection. He had hundreds of CDs. A lot of them were classical. Most of them I packed up to be sold or given away. But a few – OK, about 100 – I took. Oh, not all for me. My wife’s friend is getting some music from Scotland.

One of his granddaughters is getting some tunes from the Great American Songbook, songs composed by Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, et al. One collection contains albums given by Richard’s late son John (d. 2002) to the late Alice Truman, a family friend. So maybe some of my FIL’s collection was inherited.

In any case, I kept quite a few of his CDs, and a lot of them were country artists. Ernest Tubb, Willie Nelson, and more Johnny Cash than I probably need, including one compilation that had never been opened. A few bluegrass compilations. My first albums of Gene Autry and Jimmy Durante.

Lots of classical music. A three-CD set of marches, and not all Sousa. Other themed albums: the music of the flute or trumpet or oboe, et al. Favorite overtures.

I had to limit the number of big band artists I took because there were a lot. Some were musicians I had: Basie, Ellington, Goodman. But quite a few I did not: Fletcher Henderson, Erskine Hawkins, Jimmie Lundsford, Chick Webb.

Two things

There are a couple of things that I found interesting. Many of the items in the collection were used, and/or deeply discounted items. That would be in keeping with his frugal nature, and, knowing my FIL, was understandable.

What I find strange, though, is that I don’t particularly associate him with listening to a lot of music at all. He may have played it in his garage, working on his old cars, but it’s not something I remember hearing a lot in the house, especially in his last residence. Maybe he was enjoying them while driving.

You can tell a lot about a person by the music they own.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “Music collection of my father-in-law”

  1. Ah, looking through a loved one’s collection of music (whether it be CD, album, cassette, etc.) – sadly, I lost my record albums in a flood in Brooklyn in 1986 or so – I’d since moved to DC and had stored them in a basement in Sheepshead Bay at my friend’s aunt’s apartment building.

    Some interesting music FIL listened to – Fletcher Henderson was one of the most gift yet under-appreciated arrangers ever. I think he did quite a few for Count Basie, so I guess he was paid at least.

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