Sunday, January 03, 2010

For my dad

Stu Smith, 1936-2009

My dad passed away on Christmas Eve. He was a great guy who always got the most out of life. He loved his old sailboat and his old cabin in the north woods (even though it lacked indoor plumbing). He also loved a cold beer and a good tune.

To honor his memory I decided to resurrect this blog and post a few of his favorite songs here. Those of you who have spent time with Stu will remember hearing many of them on the boat, by the barbecue, or at the cabin. Some of them I've enjoyed my whole life (thanks to him).

Lyle Lovett - If I Had A Boat (buy). My dad loved every kind of boat from canoes to freighters and spent as much time as he could near the water. This was one of his favorite boat songs.

Jimmy Buffett - Son Of A Son Of A Sailor (buy). Another regular tune heard on Smith family sailboat rides. Almost always with beer in hand.

The Country Gentlemen - Fox On The Run (buy). My dad's favorite style of music was bluegrass, so naturally I learned this one at a young age.

The Osborne Brothers - Rocky Top (buy). You can't have one without the other (at least you couldn't in our house growing up).

Lucinda Williams - Crescent City (buy). "Everybody's had a few." I know that feeling. So did my dad. My dad enjoyed having fun with family and friends at our favorite spots. Giving this album to my dad was probably my most successful music recommendation ever. He really loved it.

Tom T. Hall - The Little Lady Preacher (buy). My dad was a clever guy. So it's no surprise he was a big Tom T. Hall fan. He really liked the funny ending to this one.

Bill Monroe - I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky (buy). You can't be a bluegrass fan without playing a lot of Bill Monroe, which my dad did frequently.

The Stanley Brothers - Rank Strangers (buy). Another one of my dad's favorite bluegrass songs.

Glen Campbell - Gentle On My Mind (buy). This was a huge hit back in the 1960's when my sister and I came into my dad's life. The songwriter, John Hartford, with his love of life (and boats), reminds me of my dad.

Gordon Lightfoot - Christian Island (buy). This song about enjoying a quiet time on a sailboat in the Summer on Georgian Bay. This one best captures my dad's general attitude towards life. He usually liked the mood he was in, especially on his sailboat (at least when the wind was cooperating).

John Denver - Country Roads (live) (buy). If he wasn't on a boat, then my dad wanted to be on a two-track country road.

Willie Nelson - My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (buy). Finally, here's a song from one of my dad's favorite artists that was used in one of his favorite movies.