Sunday, May 14, 2017

Cornbread and Buttermilk

Sitting out in the rain, pondering the futility of war, I'm reminded of the glisten of green glass shards from 7 Up bottles in the puddles when I was a kid. Funny, my first "record" was I've Been Working On The Railroad and Hey Good Lookin'. We went out and left the thing in the Red Goose shoe store where I recorded it on a promotional record lathe that was set up in the hopes of drawing in mothers with their future singing stars. This way I get to remember that it was good. I was four or five.

Yeah, yeah, I know- I've told you this story before. It wasn't all that fascinating the first time around, was it? The breaking news here is that I have new information after all this time.

All my life I've wondered who Dinah was. You know, "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah." Dinah, as it turns out, was a generic name for enslaved African women. Birmingham. 1951, '52. I was raised in a world of separate water fountains. A stripe painted on the floor of the bus indicating the boundary of the "colored" section. The whine and roar of roller skates on the pavement in poor, black neighborhoods on Christmas morning while all of the new Schwinns and Roadmasters were on prominent display in the white sections of town.

Why did my mom teach me the joy of rhythm and blues from the time that I could tell one song from another? Oh, she brought me Hank Williams records, too. For one thing, it was Alabama fercrissakes. Let me say right here that Hank Williams was one of the most magnificent blues singers who ever drew a breath, black or white. Thanks to her, I learned that it didn't matter.

As usual, I've wandered off my message.

I'm here to celebrate Mother's Day. My mom taught me about the dignity of all people and the joy of sharing music. She showed me how to balance a checkbook and she taught me about love. I'm in the business of sharing music now and, somehow, my checkbook balances.

Love? It's all about love. It's all about love.

No comments:

Post a Comment