Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston: I Trust My Feelings

As a music lover and a long time fan of Whitney Houston, I can honestly say that I remember the exact place I was when I heard of her death. It was an eye opening moment.

I believe that every time a singer makes an album they are giving you a part of themselves. Listeners become close to singers in a personal manner because there is a relationship developed. It is always there for you when you need it. It provides emotional outlets. It can ban people together. Music can be your best friend.

Well for me, it was my mom, Whitney, and I. I was raised on Houston’s timeless Whitney-rip-whitney-houston-29651533-1000-838songs. I remember the center console of my mom’s car being full of cassette tapes, with at least a few of them being Whitney’s. I have many fond memories wrapped around Houston with my mom, from dancing in the car to watching The Bodyguard. I always enjoyed Houston’s music and my mom and I formed a bond around her.

So when Houston died, a part of that relationship died with it. I’ll always have the recordings, but the idea that Houston was actually gone, never to make new music here on Earth, was a saddening thought.

I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding Ms. Houston, but none of that matters now. Say what you want to say, but I am going to reflect on the legacy she chose to leave, her music and what it means to me.

Lately, I have been listening to Whitney’s first album. This is where she firmly established herself as a force to be reckoned with. There really is not much to say about it. It’s excellent in all it’s 80’s glory. Although this album reached beyond the music stylings of the 80’s. It brings back elements of soul that were being lost, and it was also beyond its time.

Whitney_Houston_-_Whitney_Houston_(album)This album consists of 10 songs. Three of these songs reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Saving All My Love For You, “How Will I Know,” and “Greatest Love of All”) . One of these songs peaked at three (“You Give Good Love”). Another was a hit in Europeon countries, but was never released here in the U.S. (“All at Once”), but it still got significant airplay.

Five hits out of 10. Not bad for your first album.

What I found especially intriguing about this album is the duets with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass that have largely gone unnoticed. She sings two with Jermaine Jackson, “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” and “Take Good Care of Your Heart.” Jackson also produced these songs, as well as “Someone for Me.” My favorite is her duet with Teddy Pendergrass, “Hold Me.” A great way to end a nearly perfect album. She proved she could play with the best.

This album is where the voice was introduced to the world.

In retrospect, as I did research on Houston for this writing, I found that she was also close with her mother. She was once quoted saying, “My mother was the first singer I had contact with. She sang constantly to us around the house, in church.” It’s the same for me, except my mother doesn’t quite always hit the note. Although one thing she did was lay the foundation to what I am today. I believe Whitney’s mom did the same.

Music is one of the many ways my mom and I bonded and Whitney was always on whitney-1repeat. So in a way, Houston was a small ingredient in helping my mom build a foundation, that I only hope to make her proud of.

She helped us both find the greatest love of all.

A Bittersweet Haul

Today started out quite early for a Saturday. I woke up around an odd 7:40 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I decided what any young person would decide to do when they wake up that early on a Saturday…..go garage/estate sell exploring!

photo 2As vinyl collectors well know, you can find some of your brightest gems digging through someone’s old record collection. Often times, the sellers find them worthless and just want to get rid of them. One time I found them for 10 cents a piece.

Disappointedly, this time I did not find any good sales. So I decided to visit a flea market over in Midwest City, a few miles from OKC, to explore. I remembered from previous visits that there were two exceptional vinyl booths and each vendor loved making deals.

Sadly, they were really willing to make really good deals today. Tomorrow is the last day the flea market will be open, then it will shut its doors. I am upset they are closing down, but I sure did love the great deals I got on around 40 new records.

photo 1I found vinyls from all over the spectrum. Everything from Ella to Loretta to Ray and Belafonte. I was able to find an album of many of my favorites. I was especially excited to find a new Diana Ross and The Supremes, Eydie Gorme, and Herman’s Hermits.

I also found new favorites, including Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. I found both “Connie’s Greatest Hits” and “Jealous Heart.” Her voice is so pure and vulnerable, yet it has shelves of strength. After doing some research, I found that she has quite the inspirational story. She was the first female international pop star.

I was taken aback by Brenda Lee’s album “All Alone Am I.” She sang some of my
favorite standards including “By Myself” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” This album took a complete turn around to what you would commonly hear Brenda Lee sing.

photo 3And I can’t forget one of my favorite Okies, Ms. Reba McEntire (Sadly all Wanda Jackson’s I found I already had)!!

It was a great record haul, but I am saddened that it will be my last trip to the Golden Goose Flea Market. I have found some great vinyls out there and it’s always sad to see a business close. But on the bright side, at least I was able to save money by going out there today…….or is it the other way around…..