Behind the Music: 20K Group

A couple of weeks ago, NPR ran a story about a project by the Guardian's Eric Clarke to map "Six Songs of Me" playlists for as many people as possible. Clarke, a musicologist at Oxford, is studying why music plays a central role in cultures across the world and how personal music preferences define us. Music is certainly an important supporting character in our lives at 20K Group, so we thought we'd let you get to know our team a bit better by letting you sneak a peek into our "Six Songs of Me." We'd love to hear the soundtrack of your lives in the comments section, too! Debbie What was the first song you ever bought?  "Let's Twist Again" by Chubby Checker. I bought it from Woolworth's when I was in fourth grade. What song always gets you dancing? "Single Ladies," by Beyonce. What song takes you back to your childhood? "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade, playing at the pool by the golf course near my BFF's house. What is your perfect love song? No doubt about it. "Falling Slowly" from "Once." What song would you want at your funeral? I'm not having a funeral. It will be a party with Motown, the Stones, Clapton and Marley at sunset. Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you? I may be shallow, but "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley.   Courtenay  What was the first song you ever bought?  Back in the 1800s (kidding), we didn't buy music á la carte on iTunes and Amazon. Our music came in packages from the store. Packages like cassette tapes and LPs, and even the occasional 8-track. But these times the have a'changed, and we now can buy a Katy Perry song for our "workout" playlist, without having to endure the shame of paying $12.99 for the full album. Wait, what was the question? Oh yeah. I don't remember the first "song" I bought, but the first album I remember requesting as a kid was U2's "Achtung Baby." "One" from that album is still my favorite U2 song. Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and "Thriller" were earlier, but I can't recall if I actually asked my parents for those albums or whether they just bought them for me. Either way, my Southern grandmother was scandalized.  What song always gets you dancing? Anything by the Queen of Soul. I grew up dancing to "Natural Woman" and "Respect" in the kitchen with my mom. It's one of my favorite memories. And we're passing that along to my niece and nephews. If you ever come to a Sunday dinner, there's a good chance that you'll be hustled into an impromptu karaoke/dance session around the stove. What song takes you back to your childhood? Well, I already mentioned Aretha. "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys takes me back, too . I grew up listening to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and my dad's favorite party trick was getting me to identify those bands on command when I was two years old. I should point out that I wasn't actually 2 when Kokomo came out. What is your perfect love song? "I'll Be Your Mirror" (originally by the The Velvet Underground, but I'm partial to the Clem Snide version). Nothing seems as pure as a love that sees you for you. What song would you want at your funeral? No question. I've been oddly verbal to friends and family about this request for years. The Beatles' "In My Life." My favorite line is "with lovers and friends I still can recall...in my life I've loved them all." That's the life I want to be remembered for...someone who loved the people in my life with all my heart. I'm a sap. But you probably already figured that one out. Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you? Water--in many different forms--has been a calming force throughout out my life, as has Otis Redding. At the end of the day, I just want to be "Sitting by the Dock of the Bay" and watching the tides roll away.   Patrick  What was the first song you ever bought?  I'm not sure I bought a song until iTunes came about, but the first CD I ever purchased was probably "Big Ones" by Aerosmith. Ten year old me would rock out to songs like "Crazy," "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Livin' on the Edge." What song always gets you dancing? "Country Roads." I'm not from West Virginia; I'm not a WVU alumnus; and I'm not a particularly big fan of John Denver, but I did spend quite a bit of time at Mr. Smith's in Washington, D.C., listening to a piano man who could really get the crowd going with that song. You can see what that was like here. What song takes you back to your childhood? My parents, especially my Dad, were huge Beatles fans. One of my favorites, and one tied to an embarrassing childhood story, would have to be the song that takes me back to my childhood. That song is "Let it Be." What is your perfect love song? In my mind, the perfect love song is another Beatles song called "Till There Was You." According to Wikipedia the song was originally written by Meredith Willson for a musical in 1957, but I'm only familiar with the Fab Four's rendition. What song would you want at your funeral? This is definitely something I've never thought about. Thriller, maybe? I want people to enjoy themselves at my funeral, and something like that could keep things lighthearted. Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a HUGE Clemson fan. I've been a die hard fan since I was born, and because this song still gives me goosebumps, I'd have to say Clemson's "Tiger Rag" is the song that makes me, me.

    4 Responses to “Behind the Music: 20K Group”

    1. Imelda says:

      You know I’m a music lover as well. The song that will be played at my funeral is Johnny Cash’s We’ll Meet Again.. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

      We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day! Keep smiling through, just like you always do, ’till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away! So, will you please say hello to the folks that I know? Tell them I won’t be long! They’ll be happy to know that as you saw me go, I was singin’ this song: We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day! So, will you please say hello to the folks that I know? Tell them I won’t be long! They’ll be happy to know that as you saw me go . . . I was singin’ this song: We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day! We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again . . .

    2. admin says:

      Imelda, that’s a GREAT “see you later” message. Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with any of those things for a very, very long time. – Courtenay

    3. Amy says:

      This is too good to pass up – what a cool “get to know you” exercise! These were the two most important to me:

      My perfect love song is “I Want to Know Your Plans” by Say Anything. The best kind of love is the kind that inspires you and doesn’t ask for much in return.

      The song that will be played at my funeral is “Thrash Unreal” by Against Me!, assuming that I’ll still be into punk rock well into my 80s. It’s more than just a drinking song; it’s got this undercurrent of soulfulness and nostalgia that I can’t get enough of.

    4. admin says:

      I haven’t heard of either of those songs. Looks like it’s time to go treasure hunting on Spotify. Thanks for sharing, Amy! ~ Courtenay

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