Like the first song I remember hearing: Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles. I was 3.
The first song I ever learned, my older brother taught me:
It's a me
It's a me Oh Lord
Standin' in the need of prayer
I grew up on Top 40 radio and remember first paying attention to rotation with Another Saturday Night by Sam Cooke. The concept of "crossover" music was years away for me.
One year my older sister came back from summer vacation with a stack of albums that I quickly appropriated. Artists like Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Friends of Distinction, Junior Walker & the All-Stars. She also had a coupla things I just couldn't get with: A mopped female vocal quartet called The Beatle Buddies and a female country singer. All I remember about her was a cover of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe. …