Music has been part of my life since my earliest memories. I have often said that life should have a soundtrack, and mine certainly has. As the youngest of three brothers, I was fortunate in being exposed to a wide swath of music in my home: 40s swing, show tunes, and mainstream popular tunes from my parents; doo-wop, rockabilly, and The King from my oldest brother; and psychedelic rock and blues from my next older brother.
Once I entered the formal education system, I was consistently involved in choral music, orchestral, band and wind ensembles that gave me grounding in classical music with occasional side trips into jazz. My own taste in my youth was progressive rock and fusion jazz, which showed me that there is an ability to move idioms from one genre to another (perhaps these forms were the first version of the mashup?). My initial choice of college major was music. However as I moved forward into the professional arena, I realized that I just did not have the chops required to make it my life’s work.
Subsequently, I moved into radio and television broadcasting where I was fortunate enough to be able to produce and direct a wide variety of musical presentations for broadcast, as well as produce sound recordings for distribution on CD. As the CEO of a broadcast outlet, in an age when many of my peers public radio were abandoning music in favor of the more revenue enhanced activities of “talk” radio, I maintained and even increased the amount of programming on the radio services devoted to it.
I believe that music is a great consoler in times of tribulation, an energizer without toxic side effects, a valuable aid to focus one’s thoughts, and a communications medium that addresses humans in a way that cannot be duplicated by any other form. I am never without music if I can help it, and thoroughly agree with Frederick Nietzsche that life without music would be a mistake.