AT FIRST, this project was about a father passing his music collection along to his son. In the end, it became more.
When Lauren and I were married in the fall of 2011, I had a huge collection of CDs and albums. So many that I had custom-made shelves built to keep them neatly organized and displayed. But the music industry was changing. CDs were dying, and vinyl was best suited for collectors and audiophiles.
And, as a newly married couple, there was the issue of space. Combining two households is difficult, especially when you throw in a roomful of obsolescence. Plus, most of my music was now in a digital or streaming format. So, after considerable anguish, I parted ways with my collection.
I’m a lifelong music fanatic. One of my earliest memories is flipping through my parents’ albums. Dad favored classic country: Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. Mom’s tastes were more refined: Johnny Mathis, late era Elvis, some Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I spent hours listening to those records, reading the liner notes, studying the cover art. It provided a window into my parents’ personalities that otherwise wasn’t visible.
The year after Lauren and I were married, our son Luke was born. From the beginning, he has lived in a world of music and art. But there’s not a crate of albums for him to raid, nothing tangible that glimpses into the music swirling through my life. And I believe that if we want our children to know who we are (or were), we must help them understand what feeds our soul.
That’s how the idea started. A journal, a book, something that tells Luke the story of the music — the shows, the artists, the albums — that shaped my life, from listening to AM radio as a kid, to discovering the Replacements in college, to diving into roots music as an adult.
But the concept quickly turned into Pandora’s box. Why relegate it all to the past? Why not point the commentary in all directions from the current moment? One idea spawned another, and soon the road led here: to a blog devoted to one song, every day. The inspiration comes from every direction — conversations with friends, world events, a book, a flashback, a song that catches my ear. Every new day is a blank canvas.
More than four years ago, I started writing daily journals and creating playlists. Now, I’ve decided to share it.
Not everyone will find it especially interesting, and that’s fine. This is primarily for me, for Lauren and Luke, and for my friends who obsess over music like I do. For anyone else who occasionally peaks in, the music is always playing.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Russ Florence lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Lauren, his son, Luke, and their dog, Charlie. A business consultant by day, Russ’s music passion runs the gamut, with special interest in underground, post-punk, classic country and American roots.