Thanks to some gentle prodding from my wife, I've recently been attending to a few tasks that people around my age tend to postpone or never get to. And though I'm as inclined to avoid thinking about mortality as many old farts, I found a way to enjoy one part of "putting my affairs in order". No, I'm not dying, but that cliché fits what I've been up to lately. BTW, who do you suppose invented that tortured euphemism to avoid discussing the inevitable? Had to be an accountant, don't you think?
I'm inviting all of you, even those younger than me - and who isn't at this point? - to join me in a mildly morbid musical exercise, i.e. creating a soundtrack for your life. I've decided any music played at a party held in my memory must include songs from every decade I was alive. And, I do not want people wallowing in the Greatest Hits From The Baby Boomer Era. How boring.
That means I'll start with music from the decade I was born (1940's). Opening selection: Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight - appropriately somber and musical. From the 50's, Chuck Berry or Fats Domino or anything from the great jazz albums of 1959 - Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, John Coltrane's Giant Steps, Dave Brubeck's Time Out - will work as a soundtrack for my life. Absolutely no Pat Boone, Connie Francis or any of those teen crooners like Fabian and his loathsome ilk who made anyone with ears yearn for the Beatles to arrive.
Music from the 60's through the mid 90's will be easy. Anyone looking for stuff from those thirty five or so years that won't make me turn in my urn can pick tunes from the music courses I began teaching in the middle of this past decade. And though I'm still at work on a playlist for 1995-2020 - years when I didn't listen to as much popular music - I know at least a few artists that will make the - ahem- final cut and songs I want played loudly: Christina Aguilera - Fighter, The Black Keys - Have Love Will Travel, Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait For You, with that last tune a perfect opposing bookend to Round Midnight.
How about you? Which artists and songs belong on the soundtrack of your life?