When I tell people that my greatest musical influences are Dolly Parton, Bing Crosby, Patsy Cline, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, and Floyd Cramer, I usually get some puzzled responses, followed by, "How old are you?" What can I say? I grew up loving these artists and find myself inspired by their genius when creating my own music. I fell in love with Patsy Cline when I first heard the song "Crazy." And what I actually loved about that song at first, was not Patsy's amazing pipes, but the light, tinkling piano style of Floyd Cramer. After that, I was hooked on both of them.
My repertoire quickly filled with their songs and became favorites among the crowd at Lee's Chicken in Lincoln, NE, where I played the piano all through college. Patsy's music became even more special to me because it was a shared interest for myself and both of my grandmothers. One of my Grandma Valencia's all time favorite songs is "Crazy" and whenever she came to Lee's to eat fried onion rings and hear me play, I always performed this one special for her. When I taught my Grandma Daugherty to play the piano, she insisted that several Patsy songs were on the schedule to learn. To this day, she still plays "Sweet Dreams," "I Fall to Pieces," and of course, "Crazy."
It's fascinating to ponder all those things in life that shape your taste, interest, passion, and style. Enjoy this video of "Crazy" taken at Riverside State Park in Manhattan.
My Dolly Parton tribute, "She Loves Me"
My Randy Travis tribute, "Randy Forever and Ever Amen"
My Ray Charles (and blues) tribute, "The Cure for the Blues, the Blues!"