Soon after marrying the love of my life I discovered he could sing, and sing well. Myself, not being able to even hold a note let alone reach one, was enthralled as he sang away to the car radio one day. I was jealous. I sing along with the car radio too, but it sounds like a cat whining away on a fence post – funny to watch and tough to listen to. Over the years he would sing along with the band at the golf dinner dance we attend once a year, along with singing now and again while working around the house. Of course, he continues to sing along to those old ballads playing on the car radio every chance he gets.
When he revealed to me one day that he had recorded a tape cassette of some ballads for his Mother living in Scotland, I was captivated. As a bonus he also revealed that he had a tape cassette of his Mom playing the mandolin, which she apparently played quite well. Now I was really captivated. Naturally I’ve since listened to both tapes and can’t believe how good they are. His Mom does a collection of oldies and goodies – Dixie, Amazing Grace, Rose of Tralee, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, etc. – and Nat does a collection of songs by Perry Como, Neil Diamond, Roberta Flack, the Bee Gees and even Johnny Mathis, to name a few.
Now that I’m in the throws of getting all of our record albums transferred from analog to digital, I decided to take a little time out and try putting these two tapes onto CDs as well. I borrowed Nat’s “boom box” from the garage – the only tape cassette player left in the house – plugged the ADS Instant Music box into the microphone jack, did a sound check, and started recording.
As I sat there keeping watch on how things were going, I found myself becoming a little mellow. Nat’s choice of songs suited his style and he sang each song with soft tones that were relaxing to the heart and soul. I had a tear in my eye when he checked in from the garage at one point to see what was going on. I couldn’t help but look at him in another light. My romantic man. My singing troubadour. Giving him a big kiss and telling him what a thrill this was, he became embarrassed and naturally, as with every artist, was critical of certain songs and the way he delivered them. “Sounds good to me, Babe”, came my reassuring response. “You can sing in my ear anytime”.
His Mom’s tape was just as exciting. As they say in the “Biz”, she played a mean Mandolin. She was up-tempo, rhythmic and was having a great time. One couldn’t help but tap their feet to the beat. She was great.
More than pleased with myself, I made triple recordings of each tape – one for us and one for each of his girls for Easter. It’s obvious these are two more family heritage pieces that should be passed down. There are very few things left from Nat’s heritage that have been saved and, along with what’s left of the family circus photos, these two recordings should most definitely be preserved for future generations, and hopefully they, too, will appreciate their worth.