I grew up in a household filled with music. Chords of jazz, blues and R & B set the stage for nearly every meal. Soulful stirrings kept us moving while getting dressed for school. I brushed my teeth to Errol Garner, laced my sneakers to James Brown. My father’s den was a treasure trove of jazz greats. “Listen to this,” my father would say, grabbing anyone passing by, and we’d have to indeed listen, often with feigned interest, as my father sat, foot tapping, eyes closed, lost in the music of Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson or John Coltrane. Not one of us played an instrument and I wouldn’t necessarily say we could carry a tune, but the music from my father’s albums was piped into each room through ceiling speakers throughout our home. I sang as if I were Aretha.
It is the music I was weaned on that dictated the verse for BENNY GOODMAN & TEDDY WILSON: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History. And it was their duo of harmonious blending of chords and melody that took root in one of the most popular forms of American culture–swing music.~ read more ~