Monday, September 14, 2015

A New Music Playlist with a Bit of Country Twang to Honor My Father

A recent favorite photo with my dad, Wallace B. Jansen
I've taken a month-long publishing break as my father's health declined and his final days were spent in a hospice facility, after being under the organization's care since his hospitalization last fall right after my mother died. (At the time, I put together my own funeral songs playlist as I loaded my laptop with her favorite Broadway shows and classical masterpieces.)  I brought a few of his CDs along with me, listening to the country music he loved so much as I sat by his bedside. My dad discovered this genre during his time in the U.S. Army at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, quite a culture shock for the private school boy from suburban Connecticut. How strange it was to listen to George Jones, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard without him chiming in at full volume, emphasizing the twang in the vocals.

There's a joke that if you play a country record backwards you get your wife back, your job back, your truck etc. Of course the fact that we can all relate to loss and heartbreak is part of the appeal. As I returned home with files of paperwork and boxes from my parents' house, I thought about creating a new music playlist with a big of country twang in his honor. Digging in my own archives since 2009, I pulled seventeen songs that had some down home flavor, or at least attitude. Here's the result at the link here or listen below, proving that everybody is just a little bit country when you look hard enough.