Kids and their parent’s music

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I didn’t much care for my parent’s music. It just wasn’t cool. And anybody who knows me, knows I’m all about being as cool as the other side of the pillow on a hot summer’s night. Well, not really, but like most kids at the time, I was really concerned about that when I was young.  Now, of course, I’m older and wise enough to know that I’ve never been cool and that my prospects of developing any sort of coolness is about as likely as being kicked in the leg by a snake.  But as a kid, you can imagine my downright mortification that my folks were so very enthusiastic about their musical tastes.


My mom, who was born and raised in Mexico, would subject my sister and me to seemingly endless car rides filled with 50s era rock and roll oldies, courtesy of KRTH 101 FM, or her favorite Mariachi music. Usually this was accompanied by her singing along at the top of lungs and us slinking down in the back seat as low as we possibly could so as not to be seen by anybody that we knew.

My Dad, who was born and raised in Germany (yes, his name is Heino, too) had a different musical approach.  He, ever the early riser, would sneak out to the living room bright and early on weekend mornings to crank up the stereo, blasting out the latest German pop and folks hits at volumes so loud that I can still hear them today. Needless to say, having our very own high-decibel, polka-themed Sunday morning alarm clock was… not cool.

It’s tradition, right?

So, I expected much the same once my own kids came along. But, surprisingly, that’s not what happened. All of my kids actually like the music I listen to. Of course, you can expect that of my little ones under 11 years old, but my two oldest do, too. Recently when I scanned the music collection of my oldest, I found the modern popular music one would expect a 22 year old to be listening to. But, there was also a healthy dose of classic rock, singer/songwriter artists like James Taylor and Billy Joel, the entire the Beatles discography and a bunch of Standards music by the likes of Sinatra, Nat King Cole and the more recent Michael Bublé and Harry Connick, Jr.

Beyond my own family, I’ve noticed that same thing in other kids around the same ages. In fact, when I worked in a radio cluster that had a Classic Rock station, you know Zeppelin, AC-DC, Pink Floyd and the like, one of their largest listener demographics was (and still is) the 18-24 aged group. These kids are listening to music that came out way before they were born!

So, what does all that mean?

I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that we have turned some corner in popular music that is less defined by age group. Our parent’s music is cool now. And on the flip side, our kid’s music is cool, too. There are an awful lot newer bands and recording artists that I really enjoy listening to. The Cadillac Three, Megan Trainor, Justin Timberlake, Pink and Eric Hutchinson come to mind, among others, many of whom I get to meet on the show. Many of my friends feel the same way.

That’s not to say that I don’t love the music I grew up with as well. Heck, who doesn’t love good polka?