Day Five – A Song That Reminds Me of Someone:
I credit my parents with introducing me to music. As far back as I can remember we’ve always had some sort of music playing in the background; whether it be the radio on trips to London, Ontario or 8-track tapes on the way down to Florida. Or even at home, listening to the crackle of vinyl on our ancient belt-driven turntable.
In particular, my Dad loved Motown, Elvis and the Beatles. He may have not had the best of singing voices (I get my “decent” singing voice from my Mom), but he would still try to sing those tunes.
And dance … Goodness! My Dad loved to dance. He could take anyone onto a dance floor and teach them to boogie or jive or samba. And he made you feel as if a two-left-footed person (aka me) was good enough to be on Dancing With The Stars.
Last week, I was in Las Vegas with my Mom. It had been the first time both of us had been to their timeshare in Vegas since Dad passed away. Needless to say it was an emotional trip. Add to that, the fact that we were there for my Mom’s High School Grand Reunion Ball (54 years since she’s graduated!) … well, let’s just say that Dad was sorely missed; especially when it came to dancing.
For my wedding, I wanted to have a Father/Daughter dance that would be memorable; something that reflected his and my love of music. I didn’t want to have just any song, so I asked Dad which one he would like. “Nat King Cole,” he told me. “Or Frank Sinatra.”
Something about Nat King Cole stuck with me. I loved that he had such a smooth, quiet yet strong voice. And so I looked at Nat King Cole songs. One song, in particular seemed to exude the perfect amount of sentiment. “Unforgettable” had that blend of happiness with a tinge of sadness to it; perfect for a Father “giving away” his Daughter at her wedding.
Back in 1991 Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie released an album of her covering many of his standard songs. “Unforgettable” was one of the songs covered on that album and it featured Natalie singing a “duet” with her own father, who had passed away in 1965. And when I proposed “Unforgettable” to my Dad as “our song,” Dad had insisted that it be the Nat/Natalie-version of the song. I couldn’t disagree with that idea; as I knew that a Father & Daughter (who shared the same love of music) dancing to a song sung by a Father & Daughter would be a perfect representation of the two of us.
So on my wedding day, back in 1996 … under the twinkling lights of the banquet hall we held our reception … Dad & I danced to Nat & Natalie. And it was an unforgettable moment.