One of my favorite records to listen to as a child was an old Fats Waller album I found in my parents stack, sandwiched somewhere between Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Spike Jones or Chet Atkins. It was this musty stack of records that I got to know so intimately during the northwestern foggy days of my childhood. My big sister, Anna and I would sing along to our favorite tunes at the top of our lungs as we danced on the futon, pretending it was a stage.
It was the lyrics of these songs that got me… stuck with me throughout my days. “On The Sunny Side of The Street” was constantly in my head. I knew what it was to “walk in the shade,” with my “blues on parade,” and I loved how the song made me feel and it reminded me to leave my “worries on the doorstep.”
Fats Waller always made me want to move around and act crazy. My family didn’t have TV, so I enjoyed music that created an image, told a story. One of my favorites was “This Joint Is Jumping”.