The music of my parents

Ed Sullivan?

Slam Stewart
Slam Stewart

When I was talking with my sisters earlier in the year, I asked them about the music of my parents, our parents. Were there tunes listened to and/or sung by both Les and Trudy? I have mentioned at length what my father listened to and sang.

My mom had 78s of Nat Cole and big band artists. I associate my mother’s LPs as soundtracks of movie musicals and Broadway plays, sometimes the originals, such as the movies West Side Story and The Sound of Music. But more often it was some off-brand version, some presented by Ed Sullivan, almost certainly including Pal Joey and Kiss Me, Kate. Here’s Always True To You In My Fashion from the latter album.

Mom also used to sing around the house. She had a pleasant voice, with a slightly Betty Boop timbre. One song she particularly must have liked was A, You’re Adorable, a 1949 #1 hit for Perry Como. Though her version was more like the take by Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae, #4 in that same year.

I understand that, before she was married to my dad, Mom sang in the choir at Oak Street Methodist Church. As far as I know, she never sang at Trinity AME Zion, though my father did for years.

One year I bought Joe’s Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive album (title song) for my mom. Soon thereafter, she asked me why on earth I bought her THAT. A miss.

Wes? Slam?

One suggestion of music my parents listened to together was Wes Montgomery, which I had put in my dad’s category. Here’s The Incredible Jazz Guitar.

My sisters also thought of Slam Stewart. While I don’t recall my parents hearing him together, he was well known in our hometown of Binghamton. His humming bass was very affecting. Somewhere in my attic, I have an LP that was recorded as a benefit for the Binghamton Sertoma Club. Here’s  Slam Jam by Slam Stewart. I saw him perform at SPAC in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Did they have “Our Song”? If they did, we never heard about it. I suppose I wish they had, like those folks in that Alexa commercial dancing to I Only Have Eyes For You by the Flamingoes, a song that BTW I greatly adore.

Ultimately, Les and Trudy Green would probably agree, the music they were most fond of was that of Les Green. My mother said often that someone needs to be in the audience, and she was an enthusiastic participant in that role.

My parents wed on March 12, 1950, and were married for 50 years before my father died.

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