As a child I remember my mom would sing a lulluby to me at bedtime and I always enjoyed that time right before I would drift off to sleep when my mom would comfort me and make me feel special singing Puff the Magic Dragon and Blowin in the wind from Peter, Paul and Mary. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York I remember music was a big part of our lives. I remember many songs from my childhood which I still enjoy listening to today. When my dad would drive me to my baseball games I remember he would always have the radio on and songs I remember that I really enjoyed listening to were Freda Payne’s Band of Gold, Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia, the Archie’s Sugar Sugar, Three Dog Nights Joy to the World, The Door’s Light my fire, The Mamas and the Papa’s California Dreamin, The Beach Boys Good Vibrations and Sloop John B and the late greats Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix among so many others. There were the tv shows we would watch also and one of my favorites was the Sonny and Cher show and my favorite song they would sing as they closed out their show was I got you babe which I always enjoyed. I always thought it was cute seeing Sonny, Cher and their precious little daughter Chastity who looked so cute in her dresses and now has stirred some controversy recently which I will have to save for another time. I also remember watching with my parents The Ed Sullivan show who featured all the top stars including the Beatles and the Jackson 5 with Diana Ross. They were fun times and great musical moments.
One group I remember fondly as a child were the Jackson 5. I could not get enough of their music as it really made me feel good and provided me fun entertainment throughout my childhood. I had numerous favorites from their albums and I remember playing on our old vatrola their 45 records such as ABC, I want you back, I’ll be there, Never can say goodbye, Rockin robin and Ben. These were their songs I always looked forward to listening to and could hear them over and over and never tire of them. I always thought Michael Jackson was a very gifted and talented performer and I always enjoyed seeing him perform. He was such a shy kid but he could sing and dance and I just thought he was tops. To me Michael was very special and I always admired his talent and his stage presence. His music as a kid was purely magical and he sang it with such poise and maturity. He was years ahead of his time and he truly revolutionized the music landscape. I look back now after his tragic loss and realize how poorly misunderstood he was. I always believed Michael Jackson was a kind, caring and compassionate human being and he missed out on his childhood since he was pushed into show business as a young kid and never had the real opportunity to be a kid. Michael gave all of himself to his music and you can see it from all the success he had. Michael truly was inspired and played for his fans and he gave every bit of his soul to his craft. I will remember Michael as that cute little kid who sang his heart out and gave us so much love and joy. Michael was a gifted entertainer in his adult years as well and he had a loyal fan base and was always developing music that touched us all. He was truly incredible and I will always cherish the gift of his music which I share with my son who also loves his music. I was very touched by his memorial ceremony which featured so many celebrities like Brook Shields who really touched us with her memories and friendship with Michael. The most touching moment was when Paris went up with Janet Jackson and stepped up to the microphone to tell us how much she loved her daddy and cried which tugged at my heart as she lost someone very special and the world has lost someone very special We will truly miss Michael and I will share all his wonderful music with my son because I thought Michael was such a wonderful and gifted artist and most of all a kind and caring and compassionate human being and a loving father to his 3 children, Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (Blanket).
We were very fortunate to have Michael Jackson in our lives and I will always remember his talent and his human compassion and spirit and most of all his gift of music that will last for generations and generations. I believe I could write so much about Michael Jackson and the impact he made but I never had the opportunity of meeting him so I will leave that for the writers who were lucky enough to meet and get to know him.
So I truly feel we are touched indeed by music artists and even on a personal level as we have had the good fortune of becoming friends with the group Gayle Force Wind and the lead singer Gayle Gardner who reached out to my son and sent the gift of her music and friendship. Music is very important and I truly believe we learn so much from artists and we can go back in time listening to the songs we remember in our youth. It is magical and I teach the importance of music with my son as I learned it from my mom and dad.
Music calms us and heals us and makes us laugh and makes us cry. It reminds us of happy times and sad times and it teaches us hope and gives us strength and courage and most of all it gives us a connection and makes us feel and love and cherish all that is so important to us. You see music is an art that shapes us and makes us better as people and we are so lucky that there are artists who are talented enough to give us such a special gift. Another gifted music artist I enjoyed listening to was John Denver who sang such beautiful songs that made me soar and gave me inspiration. I even cried to some of his music as it truly touched me and made me better as a person. My favorite tunes were Country Roads, Sunshine on my shoulder’s and Annie’s song which brought tears to my eyes. Another song I loved to hear was Andrew Gold’s Lonely boy and The Bay City Rollers Saturday Night. There are just so many music artists I remember as a kid that I loved which I wish I could mention and some that come to mind obviously are the Beatle’s Hey Jude, Badfinger’s Come and Get it and of couse Elton John who had numerous hits I loved.
I also loved an artist that my mom would always enjoy listening to as I remember as a young kid which I believe my son gets his interest from. That artist’s music is legendary and one of my favorite’s is a soft and tender song which really hits me which is Love me tender by Elvis Presly.
Through my parents I have become a big fan of the 60’s music and will continue to listen to such music as it makes me feel the innocence and the youth of my childhood.
So I realize in raising an autistic son how important music is and I will expose my son to music that makes him happy and brings out the singer in him and gives him the same joy it has given me and I will let him decide the music he likes. As a baby I member playing Kenny Loggins Lullabys and one song Matthew particularly liked was All the pretty little white horses. I also enjoyed taking Matthew to see a concert that brought me full circle as I was listening to songs with my son at a concert arena from TranSiberian Orchestra at christmastime 9 years after his birth that I remember listening to when we celebrated Matthew’s birth at Mercy Hospital. It was a tremendous moment and I explained to him how special that night was as it brought me back to his birth and there we were both together listening to it and Matthew gave me a big hug after the show and said I love you daddy and I told him how much he and his mommy mean to me and I gave him a big hug and said I love you more! He said this night was so much fun that he could not wait for another one just like it and I promised him there will be more as we need to enjoy these special moments in life. For Life is fleeting and before you know it we are all grown up. That is why childhood is so important and making lasting memories is essential.
Matthew is our shining star!