Like Father Like Daughter

It surprises me sometimes just how much my family influences my opinions and attitudes. Growing up I had my fair share of “I will never do that to my kid” moments, but recently I have begrudgingly realized that I am the spitting image of my parents. Their influence, especially my father’s, has carried over into my tastes in music. As an eight-year-old kid I craved the moments we would go driving on rural country roads because it meant my dad would let me sit in the front seat. He would pop his favorite CD of easy-going music in the radio and sing along to Jimmy Buffett with the windows rolled down. This was the kind of music he referred to as “the best stuff on earth,” and I could not agree more. As a child, I had no idea what a “margaritaville” was, I just knew that I liked the sound of the steel drums and thought the singer was overreacting to the loss of a salt shaker. Soon I found myself knowing all of the words to the songs on the CD and loving it.

It wasn’t long before my dad exposed me to a slightly different type of music. This time the acoustic guitar was the star and the songs described the exact country roads we were driving on. Kenny Chesney was the first country artist I was introduced to, and he remains to this day one of my absolute favorites (he even pays homage to the great Jimmy Buffett in his hit “How Forever Feels“). His down-home lyrics and nostalgic sound make even the most unsentimental listener wistful for the past, a characteristic I find to be especially important in country music.

The song I think best reflects the role my family played in developing my taste in country music is “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson featuring Jimmy Buffett. And no, not for its literal meaning, but rather for the way it makes you feel like you don’t have a care in the world. When I hear the hints of island sound, it reminds me of the breeze blowing through my hair as I listened to Jimmy Buffett in the car with my dad, and of course Buffett’s vocal cameo in the song only makes that memory stronger. I also appreciate how the lyrics create a sense of total relaxation. The line “The sun is hot and that old clock is moving slow, and so am I” makes the listener feel warm and stress-free as if they themselves were in margaritaville.

All around, Alan Jackson is an amazing artist and holds a special place in my love of country music. His classic sound has inspired me to listen to older country stars in a time when pop-country is pervasive throughout the genre, and he reminds me to always stay close to my roots. His was the first country concert I ever went to, and on top of it all it was one that I was able to attend with my dad. So I guess no matter how hard I might try to refute it, my parents do have some good taste.


Filed under Blog Post 1, Classic Country

2 Responses to Like Father Like Daughter

  1. Stephanie Sebo

    I feel as though I can completely relate to what you’re saying. I am a very big “daddy’s girl”. While my family listened to Alan Jackson as well, I can distinctly remember my dad popping in a Shania Twain cd after my basketball game every single week. I’ve learned that a lot of family memories I’ve also associated with country music. I remember in 5th grade, after basketball practice, my dad would take me to get a shake (counterproductive, I know) and we would drive 20 minutes back to the house listening to Toby Keith on repeat. It’s funny how things as simple as country songs help shape memories with my family. To this day, I also have a Jimmy Buffet vinyl record that I listen to on my record player and it reminds me of home.

  2. John Monroe

    This post was so relatable to me! I fell in love with country music riding in the truck with my dad as well. I can’t tell you how many memories I have of the two of us listening to the Kenny Chesney “Greatest Hits” CD. The one song that I distinctly remember though is “It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere”. Whenever I lost a baseball game he would put that song on and he would belt it… that always made me feel better. To this day if I have a hard day I’ll listen to that song and it somehow lifts my spirits. I especially liked how you talked about your parents had such an effect on your tastes because mine did on me as well.

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