A few weeks ago, Music Mom of Chicago NOW shared a listing of songs from her life she wanted her children to know. She did this to create awareness of artists and music that predated her and her life before age 5. As  my daughter’s 16th birthday is fast approaching, I have worked up a list with the assistance of my husband, Jeff Jordan. We have elected to include a variety of jazz and classical music as we are both musicians and she is a music loving person, too. We elected to begin with the year of my husband’s birth and to stop at the year of our daughter’s birth. Here we go with our picks of 30 plus years of music! We hope some conversations blossom forth from our share.

1958:”Peace Piece” – Bill Evans

1959: This was the first year for the Grammy Awards. One of the big winners that night was Ella Fitzgerald for Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook we selected “Cheek to Cheek” as a classic to know from this great recordings.

1960: “The Twist” – Chubby Checkers

1961:”Moon River” – Henry Mancini

1962: “Cast Your Fate Into the Wind” – Vance Guaraldi, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” – Tony Bennet

1963: “Blowin’ in the Wind” – Peter, Paul, & Mary

1964: “Hard Day’s Night” – The Beatles, “House of the Rising Sun” – Animals

1965: “King of the Road” – Roger Miller

1966: “Strangers in the Night” – Frank Sinatra

1967: “Up, Up and Away” – 5th Dimension, “Respect” – Aretha Franklin

1968: “Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

1969: “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine” – 5th Dimension, “Spinning Wheel” – Blood, Sweat & Tears

1970: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon & Garfunkel, “Let It Be” – Beatles, “If I Were a Carpenter” – Johnny Cash & June Carter

1971: “American Pie” – Don McLean, “You’ve Got a Friend” – Carol King, “House on Pooh Corner” – Kenny Loggins

1972: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – Roberta Flack

1973: “Piano Man” – Billy Joel, “Live and Let Die” –   Paul McCartney & Wings, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” – Stevie Wonder

1974:”Theme from Tubular Bells” – Mike Oldfield

1975: “Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen, “Still Crazy After All these Year” – Paul Simon, “Shining Star” – Earth, Wind, and Fire

1976: The album “Songs in the Key of Life” – Stevie Wonder

1977: “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere” by Joseph Schwanter. (This is a piece for wind ensemble you loved as a child.)

1978: “Roxanne” – The Police, “Just the Way You Are” – Billy Joel, “Staying Alive” – BeeGees, “The Gambler” – Kenny Rogers, “Lay Down Your Burden” – Paul Winter Consort

1979: “We Are Family – Sister Sledge, Theme music “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” – John Williams

1980: “Birdland” – Manhattan Transfer, “Against the Wind” – Bob Seger

1981: “Never Givin’ Up” & “Roof Garden” – Al Jarreau, “The Rose” – Bette Midler

1982: “Rosanna” – Toto

1983:”Beat It” – Michael Jackson, “Every Breath You Take” – Police

1984:”Thriller” – Michael Jackson

1985: “Walking on Sunshine”- Katrina & the Waves, “We Are the World” – various artists

1986: “Requiem” – Andres Lloyd Weber

1987: “Rock Steady” – Sting, “Gathering of the Ranks at Hebron” – David Holsinger

1988: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Bobby McFarin

1989: “On a Hymn Song of Philip Bliss” – David Holsinger, “Fast Car” – Tracy Chapman

1990: “From a Distance” – Bette Midler, “Oh Pretty Woman” – Roy Orbison, “Under the Sea” – The Little Mermaid

1991:”Unforgettable” – Natalie Cole (your Uncle Jerry helped engineer the whole album), “Power of Love” – Luther Vandross

1992: “Tears in Heaven” – Eric Clapton, “Beauty and the Beast” from the movie, “Round Midnight” – Bobby McFarin

1993: “Wanting Memories” – Sweet Honey in the Rock, “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston,

1994: “All I Wanna Do” – Sheryl Crow, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Elton John

1995:”Kiss from Rose” – Seal, “For Your Love” – Stevie Wonder

1996: “Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman

This song list is music we want you to know, darling daughter. It may help you understand us and the world a little better. Happy birthday, dear child. You have been a true gift to us. May all of your days be filled with beautiful music.


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