I, too, was obsessed with music as a child. My mother’s hi-fi was a gift from her parents in 1957 and was a pricy so it was a Christmas and 16th birthday gift. According to my mother,“It was a piece of furniture.” As a child, my mother listened to a lot of jazz; Stan Kenton, Billie Holliday, Dave Brubeck, Errol Barner. She played the piano and hummed off key. Then came exposure to more albums from Open Fire and Two Guitars, Johnny Mathis, Elvis, Mahalia Jackson, and Frank Sinatra. There was no classical music but the Hi-fi played all the time. For my mother it was the perfect accompaniment to cleaning house.
I first started picking out notes on a toy piano that had to be mounted on a plywood stand because I kept knocking it over. I learned how to pick out “Jingle Bells” at the age of three. I then started picking out TV commercials from local Memphis tv and playing them. One of my favorites was “Something’s Cooking at the Kelly’s.” We moved to Michigan and since music was a part of my parents’ life, they found it cheaper to just take me to night clubs rather than hire a sitter. We called them “Supper Clubs.” One of them, “The Rooster Tail” in Detroit featured Mowtown artists like Leslie Uggums, Diana Ross and The Supremes, and The Temptations.