Today is Belafonte's 78th birthday. Today I pay a small tribute to a great singer. One who I maligned unjustly when I was a toddler.
This morning I've been listening to eklektikos with John Aielli on KUT-FM. John is one of the few people I know whose musical taste is more varied than mine. One of his strong points as a program host is he makes an effort to honor folks on their birthday and to provide appropriate music on various days of note. Just as I switched on the radio today, he started Belafonte's Sylvie and played about 4 more of Belafonte's best known songs in a row. Started my day off right.
My mother tells this story on me and I'm sure it's the truth, but I have no personal memory of the occasion. She was a fan of Belafonte's in his hey-day and had purchased a copy of the record Day-O or Banana Boat Song, which she played over and over and over. My musical discernment apparently started early and came the day I had had enough of that particular song. She happened into the room just as I had finished stomping the vinyl record into smithereens, and overheard my pleased comment "Won't have to listen to that no more". I'm sure the consequences are responsible for my selective amnesia about the incident. My mother was never one to tolerate willful destruction of property and I'm sure I paid for my sins.
The weird thing is, now I own several CDs of Belafonte's music and I thoroughly enjoy Day-O. Though I'm sure if I had to listen to it non-stop, I would probably haul out the clod-hoppers and again dispatch it to the trashbin with my proven methodology.
But anyway, Happy Birthday, Mr. Belafonte. Many happy returns of the day.