I remember playing Sugar, Sugar by the Archies, over & over on my little fold out record player. I wasn't in kindergarten yet, so I must have been 4 or so.
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Your going to think I'm kidding, but my mother (a musician and singer herself) heard me humming a tune one day when I was seven years old, and was surprised because she recognized it immediately. She asked me where I heard it and why I was humming it -- I told her I had heard it playing over the radio speakers in the grocery store the weekend before, while we were shopping, that I was humming it because it was the prettiest music I had ever heard, and I was sad because the radio hadn't said what it was called.
Without a word, she went to my father's record player, pulled out a record from the shelf I had never seen him play, found the groove she was looking for, and played it for me. I still have the record.
It was the "Ode to Joy." Thank you, Beethoven.
The first tune I heard early on that probably set me firmly on the course of appreciation for music was "The Moldau" by Smetana. My sister had a recording of this when I was still a pre-schooler and her small collection was my initial musical stomping ground. I read the liner notes and used to play it over and over envisioning what was described.
Shortly after that came "Peter and the Wolf" by Prokofiev, which is always a great way to introduce children to classical music.
Nowadays, "The Wiggles" have a lot of catchy and musically diverse material that young children take to naturally. My daughter cut her musical chops, which are quite astute already at age 11, early on with the Wiggles. With my son, it was more the (pre-Wiggles) Beatles.
My babysitter had one of those big console record players, and when she put on the 45 of El Paso sung by Marty Robbins I was hooked. Asked her to play it over and over till she finally made me go outside and play. The only other 45 I can remember playing as much as that was the Beatles Twist and Shout/There's a Place. I still love songs that tell a story like the one that unfolded in El Paso.
Great thread. Can't recall the 1st favorite tune. Grew up going to church so always music there. Parents had a few Henry Mancini records that got played. My mom liked Andy Williams. She was a bobby soxer and Sinatra fan in her teens. Remember "Theme from Peter Gunn" from the Mancini LPs. Given a "Made in Japan" transistor radio round about 5 or 6th grade. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as someone else mentioned, definitely registered with me. Also loved "Telstar" if anyone remembers that. I was hooked on pop music early on thanks to WABC out of NYC and 2 DJs in particular, Scott Muny and Dan Ingram. It all hit warp speed when the Beatles happened.
Don - Interesting bit of history. Would never have guessed some place other than a major market was first to play them. Not to wax nostalgic or anything - but hard to remember those days as anything other than magical. Week to week it was, "What are they gonna do next?" I remember the buzz and excitement about their music - at least with my small group of friends.
Back to the OPs original...another tune I remember liking a lot pre-adolescence was "Going to the Chapel of Love". Can't remember the girl group that sang it though.
Mario Lanza - "Drink, Drink, Drink"
I was but a wee little shaver the first time I heard the ÂStudent PrinceÂsoundtrack. IÂd get my sisters to play this song over and over again.
Petula Clark - "Winchester Cathedral" that I played off my Show'N Tell instead of the picture disc rekkids. The same record I would later put my gerbil on and watch it scramble for its life to stay on - until its ultimate send off to the floor but not before I tried to catch it with my baseball glove.