Two children left to their own devices shun all the millions spent on lobbing them current cheap artificial commercial culture for thirty to forty year old vinyl artifacts.

henry mancini classicI recently got married and went from a household of one to four. My new bride has two children that are developing their own musical tastes at the age of four and nine.

The nine year old has some highbrow tastes already since his autistic focus has gravitated towards movie soundtracks favoring composer Henry Mancini as well as James Bond Soundtracks.

The four year old daughter was into the current millions spent on films like the Lego Movie and Tegan and Sara’sEverything Is Awesome” as well as her older brother’s favorite, Pharrell William’sHappy” that had both of them bouncing along to YouTube.

When we were dating, the four year old became intrigued with my vinyl collection and started asking me to play stuff, especially 80’s dance music. The nine year old autistic spectrum boy was not at all amused, his comment was, “I hate your music!”

pink pantherMany autistic children have a main focus and his are movies and memorizing all the vital statistics off of the DVD and Blue-Ray clamshells. He can tell you what year the first Pink Panther movie was made. He can tell you all about Esther Williams or Katherine Hepburn much to the shock of people decades older. Henry Mancini is Paul McCartney and John Lennon all rolled into one. He can do no wrong.

jack white another way to dieOne time, I said, “I have something you might like. I have a James Bond theme.” His eyes lit up as I pulled out the Jack WhiteAlicia Keys seven inch, “Another Way To Die” on Third Man Records in gold vinyl. He had to hear it. I gave it a spin on the Audio Technica turntable blasting through a pristine Sherwood receiver and a pair of JBL monitors with twin subs. He was all ears.

After we were married, the two kids took their respective rooms upstairs and started migrating to the living room going through my vinyl collection.

herbie hancock rockitThe four year old picked out her first record at The Groove: Herbie HancockRockit” virgin vinyl on Columbia. Herbie Hancock is still her favorite when her teachers ask about her favorite it ignites a littler laughter and surprise at her Pre-School mainly because it’s not Katy Perry or Taylor Swift.

janet jackson controlHe likes it a lot too. They found the “Rockit – dancing pants” video on YouTube and they watch it almost every morning to wake up during breakfast time. Other times, it’s Janet Jackson or C&C Music Factory. Most often the four year old is practicing her dance moves while her older brother has his arm doing Pete Townshend style “windmills”.

cc music factoryThe nine year old has now gone through all 300 seven inch records and has memorized names, logos, labels, dates, artists and knows the difference between radio copies, promotional copies and limited editions.

frank zappa im the slimeHe has a new favorite artist outside of his beloved Henry Mancini: Frank Zappa. I think that has started some interesting conversations in his 4th grade class when he tells them about “I’m The Slime” on limited edition green vinyl on Barking Pumpkin Records. He sings along and adds all the music parts with his vocal impersonations.

greenhornesSo, here are his current top three favorite artists in order, Frank Zappa, Jack White and The Greenhornes. Third Man Records is one of his main searches as he locates all things Jack White as well as any Columbia Records because he knows Columbia from all of his movie memorization.

deep purpleSpeaking of movies, Warner Brothers, Deep Purple Highway Star” on a limited edition Record Store Day pressing was an instant hit.

Okay, the four year old is becoming very opinionated and 80’s dance music seems to really get her bouncing off the walls especially “Rockit” at number one. C&C Music Factory is a close second.

run dmc its trickyThe four year old is even more opinionated than the nine year old. She really liked Run DMC, “It’s Tricky” so I flipped it to MC Hammer, “You Can’t Touch This” figuring it would be the right transition and she gave Hammer a thumbs down.

I’m sure that as they transition into their teens and start to pay attention to what everybody else is doing they will start to become the by-product of current ad campaigns, but for now we celebrate their discovery and enjoyment.

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom
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