When I was really little, my dad would sing this short and simple melody to my sister and I before we went to bed. We’d take turns sitting on his lap and he would rock in this chair and sing: “I love you Bailey, Bailey dear. I love you Bailey, Bailey dear.” That was it, but he would sing it a few times over. It was really slow and some people might perceive it as sad, but I loved it. I only found out much later that the tune is sung in the film It’s a Wonderful Life on the night of George and Mary Bailey’s wedding, a movie that my family watches around Christmas every year and is one of my dad’s favorite movies. I Love You Truly was actually written a very long time ago—at the turn of the century—by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. However until I realized this, I thought my dad had made it up for my sister and I. Rather than get too sentimental about it all, I just mean to show where the root of my love for music began which I’d have to say is with my dad.
I listened to a lot of music at a very young age. We had music playing in the kitchen, in the car, outside. Wherever there was an opportunity to listen to some tunes and either work or relax around the house, the Garno family had music playing. There was good stuff and some not so good stuff: Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Dave, G. Love and Special Sauce, Van Morrison, and Bob Marley. Oh, and Tom Waits (still not really into that guy). Those are some of the names I remember, names still on my iPod. We dabbled in a lot of genres, which is why I’m pretty open-minded with what I listen to. My dad also listened to a lot of obscure names, with a random track from a random artist in his play queue occasionally. I think that would also explain my desire to explore different music out there today.
Although my taste in music has evolved to be something unique to me, there is undeniable influence from my childhood. I learned more lyrics to Allison Krause and Wilco before I turned 10 than I do now for any artist. I won’t give greater value to this earlier exposure than to what I listen to now, because I think music exists in so many varieties that it would be unwise to say one type is better than the other. However I will say that what my dad would sing along to when I was a kid is where my music story begins. I learned from him how to appreciate good music and why it is as important as it is around the world.