Music has grown nowadays into a vast new territory of space. Never before has music been so “out there,” or so, well, different. We live in an ever changing world where the entertainment industry shifts on a day-to-day basis. Growing up in the 90’s, I was born in to the music of Britney, Christina, and The Backstreet Boys. Since that’s what I grew up with, I was accustomed to it and never thought much of it. It wasn’t until the late 90’s up until now when I realized what music really is.
Being a normal school aged kid, I always wanted to be aware of the new music coming out in the 1990’s and 2000’s. But my parents really got me started on appreciating what music really has to offer. We would all sit down by the family’s record player listening to Etta, Tony, and Nat. Hearing the needle slowly move on the vinyl disc with the fireplace in the background; it was pure magic. That crackling noise that you hear when listening, that you can’t get on a CD or an ipod, really made the music that much more enjoyable. Other nights, my parents would have parties with their friends (who were all country music fans), and we would all sing karaoke with our cowboy hats on. Reba, Johnny, and Alabama would sift through the long summer nights in our basement. Of course we would try to sing along, but we were no match to the greats of Nashville. On road trips though, my parents wanted something more modern on the cassette player; nothing too modern, but music from artists that proved to be everlasting. Elton, Whitney, and Madonna would blast while we had the windows open, driving 55 on the open road. During my childhood was when I really started to appreciate what music had to offer. Since my parents gave me the opportunity to hear music from all different eras of time, I was able to form my own musical interests. During my early teen years, I had finally found my two idols in the business.
My dream of seeing one of these idols came true three times so far in my life. But the most amazing night still goes back to 2008, when I saw her live in Philadelphia. It started during the Christmas season the year prior. I was opening my last present on Christmas morning, because my parents wanted to save it for the final gift. I opened a white envelope with a ribbon on it to find two tickets to see her the following year in my own hometown: Celine Dion. I had two tickets for the night of Sept. 5. When that night came, my friend and I were very excited to see Celine in concert. Our seats were located way up in the 400 section of the Wachovia Center. We didn’t care; we were just happy to be there, but we thought we may get lucky if we got there early to see if we could change our seats. We went to the Box Office and asked if they had any better seats. The man behind the counter told me that they just had a last minute cancellation, and two seats were open in a better area. I asked where they were, and he gave me the tickets and replied, “See for yourself.” We took the tickets and started to head toward our new seats. We had to pass through four ushers just to get down to where we had to go, all because we were located in the second row of the 50,000 seat arena! I was so close to the stage that I could touch it. The whole night we were within arm’s reach of Celine Dion; a night I will never forget.
I never got to actually meet my second idol in the music world, but I do still remain very close with his daughter. In 2005, my friend told me about a website that honors the biggest selling musical artist in world history: Frank Sinatra. The website is a forum that is run by his daughter, Nancy, (famous for her song, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin”). I was a huge fan of Frank’s and joined the site immediately. There were fans of all ages on the forum everyday discussing everything from politics to personal stories to their love of Frank. I didn’t believe that Frank’s daughter actually ran the forum at first, until she e-mailed me a personal welcome. Nancy posts on a day-to-day basis on the site, interacting with her father’s most faithful fans. She personally called me when she found out that my grandma passed away to offer her condolences and prayers. She even invited me to a private party in Chicago where she, the rest of the Sinatra Family, and many of Frank’s greatest friends were celebrating what would have been Mr. Sinatra’s 90th birthday. I went with my grandpa to the party and we had a blast. I also got up on stage and belted out the Chairman’s most famous song: “My Way.” I remember looking into Nancy’s eyes while I sang, seeing tears roll down her face. It was one of the most poignant moments of my life, singing his most famous song to his daughter; I’ll never forget it. I still am an active member on the website and Nancy still remains a dear friend.
Overall, because of my parents, I can say that I have learned what music truly is. I don’t personally understand the music of today. Unfortunately in today’s world you don’t even have to have talent to be a musical superstar. The songs are usually about drugs or sex and don’t have a meaning. That’s what I appreciate about songs of the past. They have a meaning. They speak to your soul when you listen. Some make you laugh, others make you cry. Others make you sing along for the world to hear. Music is an important part of my life, because music that has meaning truly makes you stop and think of what a beautiful world it actually is.
Adam Anders is a fourth year student majoring in political science with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AA652656@wcupa.edu.