The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
Music is a big part of my life. A backdrop of sorts with the ability to spark memories, or to bring comfort and joy.
I can remember where I was when I first heard the intro to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode and every time I listen to it, I still feel the same shock of excitement as I did then because of the up-tempo rhythm along with his brilliant gift to tell a story in his songs.
Being a music lover, I have been very blessed to have had all sorts of influences that have turned me on to a diversity of styles.
For starters, my parents were both born in 1932, so I heard a lot of jazz/swing music and what I like to refer to as “crooner tunes.” Because of this, I’m a fan of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and love the big bands such as Jimmy Dorsey. For me, the Sinatra song Summer Wind will always remind me of my father who introduced the song to me when I was in my early 20’s. I thought I knew pretty much every song “The Voice” had recorded until he told me to listen to Summer Wind. Ever since that day, the song has remained one of my favorites and dad, and I will still listen to it on the way to appointments. We even had it on our wedding playlist when Tammy and I got married.
My mom and dad are also fans of the earlier country music such as Eddie Arnold, Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline which explains my love for that era. I remember my mother and me laughing at George Jones’ White Lightning and Ray Steven’s Mississippi Squirrel. I have so many fond memories of my parents and the styles of music they listened to and am grateful that they instilled in me the same love for those genres.
My brothers were an influence on what I like as well from the time I spent with them as a child. My oldest brother played a lot of Allman Brothers, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and others that led to my love of late 60’s and early 70’s music along with southern rock. He is also the person that first introduced me to the blues through a different artist that he likes which is probably the reason that blues is the genre of music that I listen to the most.
My second oldest brother, Jimmy had an AC/DC record that he must have played a hundred times while babysitting me that led to a lot of the harder rock sounds that I like. He was also a fan of The Who and a few other bands that I have grown to love such as Lynyrd Skynyrd who my oldest brother liked too. With Jimmy’s death in 2008, the music he enjoyed brings me wonderful flashbacks of the times we spent together. There’s also my youngest brother (12 or so years older than myself) who brought Chuck Berry and some other stars from the 50’s and 60’s to my attention. I can’t hear an Eagles song without thinking of him either because of his love for the band. They say that their bigger siblings influence the youngest siblings and my brothers were very important to my musical preferences.
Besides the people in my life that have inspired me musically, there have been periods of time that have done so as well. When I was about eight, a genre called hip-hop or rap started to take shape, and by the time I heard the song called Rappers Delight by a band called the Sugarhill Gang, I was hooked. To this day, if I listen to songs by early rap artists such as Run DMC, Slick Rick, Whodini or the Beastie Boys, I start moving. Now that I think of it, the 80’s provided a lot of songs like that. It seemed as if any channel on the radio, I’d hear a song I liked.
As I’ve gotten older, I realize that every decade that I’ve been alive for has a signature song that I associate with it. For the 70’s it’s The Ballad of Curtis Loew by Lynyrd Skynyrd, for the 80’s it’s We Built this City by Jefferson Starship, and for the 90’s it was an album, 2 Pac’s All Eyez on Me.
I pretty much kept up with modern music up until the mid-2000’s when I started to feel as if I didn’t relate to or understand the direction of the songs I was hearing. Around the same time, I started to play guitar some, and that changed the way I listened to music. So I am sure that had something to do with it too. But instead of listening to what’s “in” these days, I find myself going back to Lynyrd Skynyrd or some of my other favorite folks to draw comfort, inspiration or to evoke fond memories of growing up. I’m also finding that playing guitar will relieve stress. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I am not a morning person, and she’s right, but I am finding that when I have the time to strum a few chords or play some, I don’t feel as moody.
Music is critical to my life. As I said at the beginning of this article, it acts as a backdrop to my life, highlighting wonderful moments I’ve experienced and comforting me when I’m out of sorts. It’s not just a part of my life; there are times when it is life itself.
And when music is life… life is good.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.