Sound Track of My Life


Welcome to today’s totally self-indulgent blog. Should I become uber famous and “they” make a movie of my life, I want to make sure “they” get the songs right. Here goes–sixteen songs that define my life.

My Tweenage Years

1. Convoy by C.W. McCall
CB radios were the craze during my adolescent years, and my neighbor and I spent our afternoons making up new lyrics. He sang. I played guitar. It was just a totally stupid thing to do. Surprisingly, a few kids today have heard of the song because their parents still play it. One of my newspaper kids put it on our classroom iTunes playlist last year.

2. Chevy Van by Sammy Johns
Remember 45’s? I would put on a stack and turn up the volume then sit and listen on my front porch swing. By far, this song was the most provocative, scandalous song of them all. But it was my favorite. I didn’t have a clue what the song was about. There was also a little boy I liked whose parents owned a Chevy van. He lived across town  near what used to be Dairy Queen. Sometimes his parents would drive down my street, and I always remember looking for his van.

3. The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
Quite possibly, the best song EVER. I think I wore out the album. I spent a lot of time alone, listening to this song, picking the needle up on my record player, starting it over and over and over again. It was so nice decades later to go to a Steve Miller show and to have Steve Miller himself put his guitar pick in my hand. I did a lot of  dreaming to that song.

My Teen Years

5. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
Best birthday present during my teen years? An eight-track tape of Van Halen’s Women and Children First, hand-delivered by a couple of Thieves. Afterwords? Snow falling, a ride home in a shop-painted pick up, and a guitar lesson of Stairway to Heaven. A defining moment.

6. Love Hurts by Nazareth
This song brings back memories of The Barn, a backdrop, and a couple of broken hearts. Ah, love hurts.

7. She’s So Cold by the Rolling Stones
One of the best decisions I ever made as a high school student? Becoming a band geek. When I think of this song, I think about my sisters on the flag corps and a group of incorrigible drummers. I hear us singing this song at the top of our voices and see us trudging out the door to afternoon practices, and remember wreaking havoc on a very young, very kind (and very forgiving) band director who changed my life by opening my door to music.

The College Years

8. The Stroke by Billy Squier
I HATED my college years—the music, the clothing styles. I have nothing good to say about this time except for one moment. My friends and I were in B&L Pizza, The place was crowded, and there were these guys there who were ina typical unknown garage band. The lead singer lept up on a table and sang along with the music. I don’t remember the dude’s name, but I remember his very eighty-ish white jacket and white gangster-type hat. I’m sure the moment didn’t happen like I remember it, but the moment was like a music video.

9. Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions
I do not know why my roommate and I liked The Scorpions. It was a short-lived infatuation, but I can’t think of college without thinking of Domino’s pizza, braided headbands, leg warmers, and The Scorpions.

10. Celebration of the Lizard King by Jim Morrison
Self confession –I spent a lot of time in my door room listening to Jim Morrison’s Lizard King. Always the loner, I was fascinated by what made Morrison tick, so I tried to psycho-analyze him through his music.

The CCM Music Journalist Days

11. Cross of Gold by Michael W. Smith
When the church convinced me secular music was evil, I shut the door, but then this thing called contemporary Christian music appeared on the scene. Michael W. Smith was at the forefront. I was walking down a Nashville street, and I saw this man who looked me square in the eye and smiled. I just KNEW it was Smitty. Whether it was or wasn’t, the blip in time changed my life. I dove  headfirst into CCM and started writing for magazines. I met everyone and anyone associated with the business and probably interviewed almost all of the artists from the 90s. But Michael W. Smith was my hands down favorite. His love for teens changed my heart. I admired him so much, I named my younger son after him.

12. This Is Not My Home – Three Crosses
Serendipity, my favorite word, comes to play here. I went to a bookstore with a meet and greet because the store was giving away tickets to a MWS concert. We won! My son had his picture made with the lead singer of Three Crosses. I bought the CD and absolutely FELL IN LOVE with the music. The vocals were/ are IT, everything I like in music. As for the serendipity part of the story, my son now frequently works with the lead singer. I’m still the geeky fan.

13. Black Bird by Third Day
Other than Three Crosses, I had never heard a CCM artist sing songs the way I like them, i.e. a bluesy rock style. Third Day introduced me to the Black Crowes. As I mentioned, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting just about every 90s CCM artist, but Third Day was a special treat. Even though I don’t listen to CCM much anymore, I will forever be a Third Day fan.

My Journey to the Crossroads of Rock and Blues

14. Crossfire by Stevie Ray Vaughan
When I finally realized that God would not send me to Hell for listening to mainstream music, I finally realized my true passion was The Blues. My all-time favorite is SRV. I think Stevie had a gentle spirit with a troubled soul. But he found his way back to God. I will meet him someday.

15. Voodoo Chile (blues version) by Jimi Hendrix
Another troubled soul. Another life lost too soon. I can’t tell you why I like the blues, but I can show you—Jimi Hendrix. Mystery. Imagination. Fodder for my creative writing.

16. Thorn in My Pride by The Black Crowes
Some of you wouldn’t put this song in the blues category, but it is my all-time FAVORITE song. I melt.

P.S. Anyone who knows me well, may notice I left out one very important artist–Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. I’m still waiting on Steven’s personal visit and phone call. I wouldn’t call myself desperate, but….take a look at this video and, you’ll see how desperate a teacher can be. No students were harmed physically (can’t guarantee emotionally) in the making of this video.

Suppose someone stumbled across your diary and decided to make a movie about your life. Create a soundtrack for the movie of your life. Be sure to comment on WHY these songs mean something to YOU. And share! We all love comments on our blogs. Comments remind us SOMEONE is reading.



22 thoughts on “Sound Track of My Life

    • I can see that. My dad introduced me to Marty Robbins. El Paso, was that the name of the song? I listened to it over and over. Back in the day, Manchester had a go cart track behind J & G. Marty Robbins’ son used to race against my uncles and cousin. Just a bit of trivia there. 🙂

  1. Convoy for me my Dad had a CB my Mom almost killed him , My first handle was Tiny Tim later Sherman Tank I got a Handheld cb a few years ago it was Space Ace the nickname of Ace Frehley from KISS, I grew up with oldies and learned of Country Rock from my Brother and my Sister gave me her Beatles albums, And my Brother introduced me to Dr Demento starting my like of Spike Jones and Weird Al. Another wonderful post Teresa and i end with the last thing said on the Dr Demento show, Don’t forget to stay Demented LOL P.S I like the Monkees also,

    • I was a BIG Monkees fan. Peter Tork was my favorite, but I also liked Mickey Dolenz. I never gravitated toward KISS, Tiny Tim, or Weird Al, but I know lots of people who are still into them. Thanks for reading! Makes my day.

  2. Teresa, me apoligize for going off track of the subject and i’m not being morbid but i would like to share my choice of music for my death or for my service, 1, God Must Be a Cowboy by Dan Seals, I have loved this song the lyrics are so wonderful, 2, The Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog, I get chills hearing this song who knew a Frog could touch people with a song, 3 Mull of Kintyre by Wings, It has a Pipe and Drum Band and i get chills again when i hear Bagpipes, I am not as good typing but i wanted to share this with you and Beatles music was a big part of my high school life never dated and never got asked out for pizza my favorite was Beatles 65 i would put it on and grab a yardstick and pretend i was John Lennon with his Rickenbacker, Have a Great Week that goes for all reading this Take Care

    • My high school life was built around Van Halen. I didn’t date, but I had great friends who were in a band, and we all kind of went places together. Well, THEY went places like the Van Halen concert. I had to stay home because my parents had a fit. But yes, music is such a big part of a person’s life. I often think about what music would be played at my service. It’s funny you should mention The Rainbow Connection. My friends and I in Trig class were MUPPET crazy, and we all had characters to represent us. My best friend was Fozzie the Bear, and I was Animal. To this day, I love Animal. But I can’t hear Rainbow Connection without thinking about Jennifer. She was one of the best friends I ever had. I miss our friendship. I also love Scottish and Irish music. I had the pleasure of playing Irish music with a cello player once, and I still remember the chills I felt just hearing my guitar and her cello work together. It was magical. Think you for your thoughts, and thank you for helping me remember some sweet memories of my past. I think it is wonderful for us to be able to share memories like this. Life is all about making good friends and good memories.

  3. Gosh, that’s kinda hard… Reading the title, my original thought was “violin music”. The violin positively touches my soul. I once heard a Stradivarius (sp?) at a museum in CA. ‘Twas the closest to nirvana I shall ever be on this side of eternity. I wept.

    Stairway to Heaven is definitely on the list. Wanted to play that at my mother’s funeral, but they wouldn’t let me.
    Yesterday, Blackbird, Ruby Tuesday — heck, just about any Beetles song will suffice.
    Peter, Paul and Mary — I like the folksy style, and the “non-perfect” singing is me.
    Journey, Foreigner, White Snake — It’s all good.
    Barbara Streisand, Cybill Sheppard, Susan Boyle

    Of course, no Mary Todd biography would be complete without Elton John and The Grateful Dead. “Come Hear Uncle John’s Band”.

    That’s funny (and maybe the point?)… At first I was certain that i would not be able to think of 16 songs…. Now I am quite certain that i cannot LIMIT it to 16 songs. My taste in music is much like me : varied, surprising, and unpredictable yet mostly gentle and with a message… 😉

    • I love this, Mary. You are so varied, surprising, and unpredictable. You reminded me of a song that should be my anthem–Blackbird. The lyrics fit me to a “tee.” The guitar is beautiful. Thanks for bringing these thoughts to my head. I always enjoy reading your comments and blogs and poems and posts and musings. Well, everything you write.

  4. I used to teach indoor cycle and most of my songs were from the soundtrack of my life. My favs?
    TobyMac – I Was Made to Love You
    Kim Townsend – Birthday Suit
    BabyBash – Cyclone
    Britney Spears – Circus
    Kanye West – Heartless

    And if I were still teaching, I would sneak in…
    Matthew West – Hello My Name Is

    (I taught at the Y, so I could get away with playing a Christian song or two during each class.

    Great post!

    • Very cool! Music makes my life go round–no pun intended (the cycle class). Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your life. Your post made me realize I need to get back to the gym. Music makes working out so much more enjoyable. 🙂

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  6. Joy to the World (from The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack) and Great Is Thy Faithfulness (sung by Chris Rice) are my favorite versions of my two favorite songs.

    I like so many genres, but the songs I really connect with have a sound that evokes images of firelight, a quiet closeness, a restful warmth, a lingering twilight. Here are some of those songs:

    Wanted Man by needtobreathe
    Without You by Brooke Fraser
    I Am Still Running by Jon Foreman
    Day is Dimming by Brooke Fraser

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