How Did Your Parents Influence Your Musical Taste?

Having just got back from a long weekend visit with my parents–people who still can’t quite figure out what their son does for a living–I found this article to be rather relevant.  From NBC:

Sure, your musical tastes may not be the same as your parents. Maybe they never missed “Lawrence Welk,” all the while yelling at you to turn down your KISS cassette. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t influence your taste in tunes.

Depending on your parents’ generation, they may have passed on a love for big bands, Elvis, the Beatles or any of hundreds of other genres and artists. Maybe they started draggng you to classical concerts as a tot, or taught you the hidden beauty of accordion music, or made sure you appreciated the lyric poetry of Leonard Cohen or Lou Reed. We asked our staff to share their favorite musical influence from Mom and Dad.

Read it all here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “How Did Your Parents Influence Your Musical Taste?

  • July 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Does it count if your parents "influenced" you to never listen to the music they listen to?

  • July 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    My parents would spin vinyl compilations that would include stuff like CCR, KISS, Rush, yet at the same time would have cheesy stuff like David Cassidy, Neil Diamond, etc. You can thrown in country music and The Association. Being of immigrant parents in a new culture, it definitely shaped what I listened to later on.

  • July 24, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    At first glance you would never think that my parents influenced my musical tastes, me with my heavy love of Joy Division (ahem Mr. Cross – a "J" band…), punk/ska, and other UK underground music. But look a little closer to my collection, and you will see Hank Williams Sr., Stan Rogers, and other old time acts (maybe why "A Fisherman's Blues" by the Waterboys may be my favorite album of all time).

    It was quite the laugh to see my Dad's face when he came into my room one day, expecting to hear that "awful ear splitting crap" and instead heard "Your Cheatin' Heart". I thought his heart was going to give out on him at first. But then he closed his mouth, gave the the "good job nod" fathers do, and walked out.

  • July 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I thank my parents for installing a love of almost all music in me.

    My parents are both English, and I have heard countless stories and touched several pieces of classic memorabilia and concert mementos they have kept.

    My dad was into bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones; and has old concert posters and flyers from all these classic bands were still playing clubs.

    My mum was more of a Beatles, Simon & Garfunkle sort of person.

    So I was getting my musical knowledge from both ends of the spectrum. It was my dad that got me into hard rock and metal, by buying an Iron Maiden album (Powerslave) once when I was in a record store with him.

    We still talk and discuss and argue about music to this day!

    I listen to pretty much everything, with the exception of country music and rap, and there are a couple of exceptions for each of those genres. Everything else appears in my collection: all kinds of metal, industrial and electronic, danc e* pop, blues, jazz, punk, you name it.

    They still don't get my ongoing love of hair metal though.


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