This will not be my normal random thoughts running all together for a change.

Doing a lot of introspective thinking lately, I delved into my memory to see if I could remember where I was first introduced to music and by whom.

Surprise, surprise, it was my grandfather who was the first one to introduce me to music in the form of opera and classic concerto pieces, Bach, Brahms, etc.  Granddad was a first generation American of German extraction.  This was the music that he had been brought up on.  I thought the music was fine, but as the operas were not in English, and there was no visual presentation, I was hard put at 10 to figure out was going on.  The classical pieces were reserved for “quiet time” before dinner and a mandatory attention to listening versus talking was strongly enforced.  I did mention he was German?

I segued into my love for musicals because my grandmother loved  musicals, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, at first available on 33 1/3 LP, then later made into movies.  TV was still in its growing stage then and these movies were favorites of housewives.   I know Mimi always did her ironing while they were on.  Other fabulous voices of the time were that of Nelson Eddy, Howard Keel and Dennis Day.  Piero’s range and resonance reminds me of Nelson Eddy.  The projection, the power, the passion are there in both mens voices.  Dennis Day was a tenor very reminiscent of Ignazio today.  He had such a clear tone, soft or strong as needed, just like Ignazio.

At home Glen Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Montevoni were played often.  Dance music all.  My parents grew up with this music while in the service and continued with it after the war was over. Once a month my parents hosted a “dance party” and invited their friends.  Soon the addition of Bobby Vinton, Chubby Checker, and the south of the border sounds added to the dance cards along with the “twist” and “calypso”.  This was a happening group of parents.

About this time I started to branch out on my own to the singers of the ’50’s and into the ’60’s.  My idol at that time was Ricky Nelson.  I had all his records, 45’s and/or 33 1/3.  Knew all the words and could sing along without a miss. He was the Gianluca of my day.  Photoplay and other star magazines at the time were followed religiously for any and all information on the teen idols.  Twitter and Face Book meet those media needs today. Ricky was also easy to follow since he appeared weekly on a family sitcom, The Ozzie Nelson show.  Gianluca reminds me a lot of Ricky in that they both have the eyes and smile that invites you in to go along with their smooth velvet tones and sigh.  Other groups who have held their measure in their song writing if not their singing were Neil Diamond, Paul Anka, Barry Manilow, and the Beach Boys.  There were so many good duos, trios, and groups;  The Righteous Brothers, Four Seasons, Fabian,  Everly Brothers and of course ELVIS, I could go on and on.

Next came the BRITISH INVASION in the form of 4 guys from Liverpool, THE BEATLES.  My first introduction to them was  after a 12 hour bus ride home from school for the weekend.  My sister decided to listen to her most recent album purchase at a volume approaching hearing loss and I actually fell out of bed.  It was a while before I warmed up to their music.  But eventually I became a quasi-follower as well.

With marriage also came the addition of Chet Atkins, inarguably one of the best “pickers”, to my music world.  Also added were many classical pieces.  You see Doug was a very talented guitar player and at one time could have played piano in concert had life not gotten in his way.  Family then, as today, comes first, the individual second.

Peter, Paul, and Mary and John Denver were among the ballad singers working their way into the music world.  Woman’s lib worked its way into the music I listened to as well.  Helen Reddy and her “Woman hear me roar”, was one of the songs I still remember to this day.

I seemed to take a hiatus from new music for awhile, working, raising kids, creating my own home.  I did keep up with the music I loved by listening to the various musical variety shows that populated the TV during the ’70’s and ’80’s.  Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were right there are the top, and also appealing to my nostalgia gene, the Happy Days TV show.  My kids thought that the show was “old fashioned”, but enjoyed the “Fonz” and the music.  As my kids approached teen age, their music was added to the mix I was used to.  Heavy metal was the new sound…and sound it did.  More “sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

Fortunately their tastes changed and evolved, though my son still prefers, if not heavy metal, something that sounds nearly as ‘unique’.  I have hope for him though as his daughter is slowly broadening his tastes. She is a member of her school choir and Treble Trouble group.  She also attends School of Rock which requires on stage participation.

And I continued my hiatus from new music happy and content with the favorites that I had.  We then started watching PBS on a semi regular basis catching many shows featuring music and melodies from our era until one night we happened to catch the first PBS special of Il Volo.  I was reborn and accepted Pop Opera and Il Volo as my new addiction.  That very first night I went to my computer and ordered everything on Amazon that was available at the time.  As new CD/DVD’s become available I get them.  First thing everyday I check twitter for the newest photos and you tubes that may have come in over night.

Recently Ignazio tweeted about the poster where the fans had said Il Volo had changed their lives, he replied that we fans had changed Il Volo’s lives.  I can attest to that.  Discovering Il Volo I changed and began tweeting, Face Book, blogging, and learning Spanish.  Always inquisitive, I wanted to be able to read those reviews that are coming in from Latin America and South America.  Actually interacting with people whether I know them or not, by exchanging and comparing views.  Il Volo has literally saved me from terminal boredom and the loss of major brain power.  THANK YOU GUYS, LOVE YA FOREVER.

I can’t see ever letting go of the wonder that is Il Volo.  I am theirs for life!



  1. Different approach this time but I like it. I don’t remember when music was not apart of my life. It is amazing you can trace your musical evolution so succinctly. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, I wasn’t sure it would work, but the more I got into it the flow was just there. Since I lost most of my family before I was 30, the memories have always been taken out and reviewed often and were fairly fresh. The boys style and sound just made the memories something to acknowledge. Donna

  2. Beautifully written Donna May. Your musical travels somewhat paralleled my own. I was a little more the Beatles era. Magazine pictures covered my bedroom walls! I have not been struck by music so whole hartedly since. Until I discovered Il Volo. Like you, caught them on TV spent the afternoon with YouTube and Amazon. Now here I am, spilling my guts on a blog I helped to invent. Who would ever figure!

    Thank you for liking it.

  3. Amazing what three young boys achieved already! I can just join in everything I have just read! I am surprised though at the follow up of your musical experience! What a memory!

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