The First Two Notes

Heather Kobler


I have loved music all my life and when I listen to the first two notes of most music generally I can remember the title of the music or song.  My parents exposed us to music of all genres.  I am from Chicago originally and there was a program that aired on Sundays hosted by Mel Bellairs.  He played every kind of music you can think of including classical and I would sit on the floor and listen most Sundays.

Mel came to Chicago to attend the World’s Fair in 1933, at age 13.  That was the beginning of his love affair with Chicago.  He walked down Michigan Avenue and was thrilled by the lights, and the architecture of the Palmer House (with its beckon light), the Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building.  He walked all the way to the Chicago River and he knew immediately that he would move to Chicago which he did in 1941.

I also listened to Classical music on WMFT almost every day which began broadcasting in 1951.  But my own love affair with music began on Mel’s Sunday broadcasts.  I remember the day he played a record by Yma Sumac, a Peruvian soprano whose range was an amazing five octaves!  At ten I listened to Mel play classical, pop, exotic, Jazz and Country Western music.  He played everything from soup to nuts!

I have talked with younger people I know and most say they don’t like classical at all!  But when I asked them if they liked the music in the movie Frankenstein, Star Wars, The Mission, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Lawrence of Arabia, Chariots of Fire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Doctor Zhivago, The Magnificent Seven, Gone With the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, North by Northwest, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Spellbound, Cinema Paradiso, Vertigo, and most cartoons, bingo!  That’s when they realize that almost every movie they’ve ever saw has some classical music played somewhere in the movie.  I have many of these soundtracks in my music collection.

And, who could forget the first two notes of Beethoven’s 5th, Hymns you sang as a child in church or anything that Bach or Vivaldi wrote?   And then there’s; John Williams, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Bernard Herrmann, and the list goes on and on.  And, aren’t we all so fortunate to enjoy the music of all these different composers and The Beatles too?  It’s heaven on earth if you ask me.

Music can move you to tears, terrify you, make you laugh, raise the hair on your back, give you the chills, and tug at your heart strings all at once.  And, once is never enough!  Thank goodness for records, tapes, CD’s, iTunes, and Google Play.  Music is timeless and it can transport you back to a place and time that have wonderful memories.

Posted under: Heather

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