Lately, I have been remembering a song that runs through several generations, “Frankie and Johnny.” This old, popular American folk song was first sung around the table and in the car on family trips when my dad was growing up in the mountains of Colorado. In fact, during 1st grade, while performing at a local school talent show, Dad proudly sang this tune to a stunned crowd of parents, teachers, students, and staff. His teacher thought my father was a delinquent in need of rehabilitation. Grandad was proud of his son’s performance and thought his teacher should mind her own business and promptly told her so!
Later, this song resurfaced again as part of a collection of favorite songs from a good friend, John Willson. We named this collection the John Willson tape, and it was a favorite music selection for the long drives up north to our family cabin. Today a sentimental feeling arises as I hear my kids singing along and sharing with them the story of Dad’s talent show, plus a stern reminder that this song will not be sung at their school’s talent show! I enjoy hearing the old version from the John Willson tape with all the hisses and pops. I only hope that my version is worthy to be included in the same collection.