Music has always been an important way of life for my family.
It transports me to that feeling of success that I carried into my career and life. To illustrate the importance of music, I put together a playlist that pairs with the times in the book. I hope they inspire you to think about the role music has played in your lives too
Growing up with a dad as an artist and carpet salesman, the songs he played encouraged a more positive outlook and inspiration for the masterpieces that he created.
Looking back, here is what I remember the most as a child about music at home. Every Sunday, my dad would paint in our den. While he painted, there was always music. I can see him now rocking back and forth as he sized up his latest masterpiece.
Early on, dad listened to musicals. My all-time favorite was “Hello, Dolly!”. More times than not, I would find myself skipping around our 1300 sq. ft. house to those classic, upbeat tunes, including “West Side Story”, “My Fair Lady”, “Oklahoma” and more (from the living room, through the kitchen, through the den and back around again).
After my dad passed, I found what I call a “Love Note” that he wrote in the early hours of a night in 1989. His passage reflected:
“Music is eternal…
It is my spiritual direction. It is you…It is every church that ever existed…It tells me about heaven. It is the universal language of mankind on this earth…It is love. It is every emotion conceivable. There is no understanding it – just as there is no understanding you, dear Lord.”
No wonder music was a way of life for my family.
What songs have meant the most to you?
Music makes me feel that feeling of success. Or as my dad would say, “Act as if it’s already granted.”
What songs inspire you the most?
Today, my Playlist (as inspired by my “Playing for Keeps” book) includes….
“Playing for Keeps” Author Therese Allison’s Playlist
- Fight Like a Girl – Wilsn – “How a 21st century businesswoman beat the boys”…”When I was growing up, a popular TV show had a tree clubhouse with a dilapidated sign tacked to the door that said, “No Girls Allowed.”…I could beat the boys at sports, and they always picked me first when putting together a team. I was a winner, but I couldn’t go in their clubhouse? Why not?” – Fight Like a Girl!
2. River of Dreams – Billy Joel – My grandfather, J.C. Allison, was a dreamer. He wrote, “Someday this great Imperial area will be protected against flood and drought by the construction of a great dam far up the river…when that day comes, the Colorado River will be nothing more nor less than a big irrigation canal…There will be plenty of water for every acre of land in the Imperial basin and delta region.” It was his River of Dreams.
3. Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac – I picked this song for title only (it’s about drugs) and the fact that I love Fleetwood Mac! Dedicated to my great, great grandmother Tempe Waterman. She crossed the plains 3 times for a total of 15 months. Crossing the plains to the Gold Rush in 1851 was not for the faint of heart. During her crossings, she birthed 3 babies. DNA can be compelling. She was the original Velvet Glove woman in our family. She nurtured the children, and when necessary, she rode horses to fight the Indians for survival. It was that ability to be soft and strong that saw her through.
4. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett – In the movie “Miss Congeniality”, Sandra Bullock is a tomboy that is transformed into a beauty queen. There is a scene where she is walking out of a hangar while Mustang Sally is in the air. You can clean the girl up, make her beautiful, but you will never take the tomboy out of the girl. Just as she thinks she’s got this, she trips and takes a header. That was the essence of my Lucy moments that I describe in “Playing for Keeps”.
5. Mexico – James Taylor – My grandfather had a love affair with Mexico. At his funeral, there were 500 Mexican citizens. In 1932, he negotiated an International Aqueduct with the President of Mexico to compete with William Mulholland to bring water into Los Angeles.
6. Breath of Life – Florence and the Machine – This piece is one of the signature songs in my “Playing for Keeps” book where my daughter, Jamie’s synchronized skating team performs to the song internationally. It represents the tragic story of my dad and his mother where she has an accident on the way to visit my dad in the hospital and has a horrific accident. My grandmother was brought into the hospital and took her last breath of life two floors below my dad’s hospital bed. It is hauntingly powerful.
7. Candle in the Wind 1977 – Elton John – This song is dedicated to our ancestral link to Winston Churchill and Lady Diana Spencer. My great grandmother was a Churchill. This song was performed at Princess Diana’s funeral.
8. The World is Ours – Aloe Blacc X, David Correy – My grandparents, JC Allison and Lotta sailed to Japan in 1922 to negotiate foreign trade with Japanese diplomats. Newly married, they had the world at their fingertips. Jamie’s synchronized skating team performed to The World is Ours in 2015.
9. The Rose – Bette Midler – Jamie’s team, Team USA competed against Team Japan at the World Championships in 2015. Team Japan skated to The Rose.
10. Hotel California – The Eagles – I have paired this song with the chapter about California’s Little Civil War over water. The movie Chinatown was inspired by this story. After the Gold Rush ended, water became the new gold. It was the seductiveness of the California Dream. It’s the concept of greed and gluttony, once you go there, there is no turning back. As the song says, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
11. Hollywood – Madonna – I had to include this one on my Playlist. It is my birthplace. My grandparents rubbed elbows with Hollywood as they were connected to the founders. They also went to the first red carpet premieres in 1922.
12. Steve McQueen – Sheryl Crow – I had a Sheryl Crow/Lucy Moment in Chicago in1992 that I describe in “Playing for Keeps.”
13. Proud Mary – Tina Turner – I have known my best friend, Cara, since kindergarten. One of our signature songs was Proud Mary. We would belt out “Rollin on the River” at the top of our lungs forever and a day.
14. Believe – Shawn Mendes – This song was an easy selection (there is no accident that is from a movie called “Descendants”!). My book is based on having an “I Can” attitude. In 2002, my family and I were on a flight home from Hawaii. I had one upgrade to first class. I gave it to my 8-year-old daughter. She sat next to none other than Wayne Dyer. If you haven’t read the book, you should just for this chapter. “There are no coincidences, there are no accidents, there is only Synchronicity” – Wayne Dyer. And this song reminds me of my father, Gould Allison, who always said, “Everything is possible…I believe in you.”
15. Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin – This classic is the second signature song in the self-help memoir. It is about an unbelievable story that happened between my dad and I after he passed.
16. Don’t Look Back – Boston – I can’t give this away…