I love that you played along to old movies! and especially that you played along to voices
...that's wonderful! Oh I am watching The Red Shoes as soon as possible just to listen to Anton Walbrook, though I can probably reproduce whole sections of the movie in my head.
It makes me think of the movie Pygmalion
, with its Vorkapichian montages of Leslie Howard pounding "How kind of you to let me come" into Wendy Hiller's head with the xylophone! and the final section of that scene (seen in the first few minutes below) when Freddie comes to the door, and Howard simply hits three tones which denote - "Throw him out".
Your childhood sounds a lot like mine. We didn't listen to rock and roll radio until late in my childhood, about nine. My parents both played piano until my mom developed arthritis so badly that she had to stop.
We listened to showtunes, jazz and classical music (my mom), and early jazz and Tin Pan Alley pop tunes (my dad), plus the odd Ray Charles, Fanny Brice, Chet Atkins, Bea Lillie or Roger Miller albums. Oh and Stan Freberg. My sister was heavily into folk music. We were pretty eclectic now that I think about it, within certain parameters. There was always country somewhere playing in the background, because we lived in Oklahoma. And then there was the muzak in the five and dime store. My first memories of music playing as we shopped were Strangers in the Night, Born Free, Call Me, and Downtown. They are firmly and deeply connected in my mind with the bicycles and tricycles for sale on big racks in one section of the store and the pony that rocked back and forth when dimes were inserted.
Rock and roll (outside of the Beatles) came to me at age 9 or so, when I got my first radio. My mom and I had moved to the Chicago area by that time so the rock was heavily spiced with funk. I played in the band, the oboe, an ill wind that no one blows good. I could play by ear quite well, and picked up tunes all over the place, but I rarely practiced unless I loved the song we were working on at the time. You could not accompany yourself on the oboe, or play different parts like you could on piano...and this disturbed me. For some reason, probably my parents' divorce, I never got piano lessons until I was in high school, and I hated them. All I ever played was scales and badly at that. I spent most of my junior high and high school years catching up on rock and roll classics and eventually despising disco, though I have a secret fondness for top forty hits of the early to mid seventies, no matter how awful. I never did like Elvis or country music - though now I like classic country - it took some broadening of my horizons to appreciate it. Growing up in OK, I couldn't get away from it fast enough.
In college, I got into punk, indy, noise, and funk, more obscure stuff, like everyone. Now I am constantly looking for interesting music, but I find myself drawn back to the simpler jazz standards, pop tunes, 70's hits, classical music, showtunes and even the country music I heard as a kid.
Mostly I listen to the college stations around here. I do miss the many types of radio stations I grew up with. You'd be riding along in the car on vacation and suddenly, out of nowhere, a station would come up that played nothing but 1930's music. Or at night, you could flip the dial and sometimes tune in a Quebec station if the weather was right. It was like magic. I also remember one entire year that I forsook music at bedtime for CBS Radio Mystery Theatre - after hearing Riders on the Storm during a rainy night.
It scared the bejesus out of me! I still can't listen to it without a chill going up my spine.