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Nov 26, 2022 - 11:11:16 AM
1694 posts since 7/14/2004

No, I dont mean the first song you learned to play on the banjo.  In the majority of cases that would be Cripple Creek.  I mean, the first song you remember hearing as a very young child. When did you first become aware of this phenomenon we know as music.  For me it was this one.  Vaughn Monroe's Black denim trousers and motorcycle boots.  It must have really made an impression on my young mind.  I still remember the lyrics and orchestra accompaniment nearly 70 years after its release. It was the first biker song and the first of the teenage tragedy tunes that emerged in the 60's.  I am sure I was exposed to music in church prior to hearing this tune for the first time but I have no memory of the church music. 

What was your first?

Nov 26, 2022 - 11:42:13 AM



2015 posts since 8/9/2019

No idea

Nov 26, 2022 - 11:53:12 AM



67786 posts since 10/5/2013

Church music, probably something like “He Leadeth Me”.
But for pop music I seem to remember liking “The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant.

Nov 26, 2022 - 12:09:43 PM

3063 posts since 3/30/2008

I was obsessed with "Thumbelina", & "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

Nov 26, 2022 - 12:42:41 PM

2082 posts since 5/19/2018

Probably some church music. Cant recall what, as I would be too young.

Two I recall as a very small child,

One, I have no idea of the title, or where it is from, But one of the lines is “Toot,toot, toot goes the whistle...clang, clang, clang goes the bell.” Can still hear it in my head.

The other is from an Offenbach opera, “Tales of Hoffman”. My Dad loved opera. Blasted it on a large Heathkit HiFi system he built from a kit. He was an engineer and specialized in sonar and acoustics. We always had one heck of a sound system in our house. Hopped up and hot rodded per his specs.

Row, Row , Row your boat was the first I learned to sing with my two brothers. 3 or 4 at the time.

when we all got a little older, my Grandfather  taught us all "Jacks Bar Room" . My Brotjers and I all still sing  it to this day in remembrance of him. 

My dad taught us "Poor John is Dead" from the musical Oklahoma when we were pups. When my Father passed, my Brothers and I all sang it and got a laugh of the memory of our Pop and his theatrics when teaching us songs or poetry. 

both songs would cause some level of hysterics with my Mom, who was a very devout church woman, but had a great sense of humor and put up with us kids. 

Edited by - Alvin Conder on 11/26/2022 12:52:46

Nov 26, 2022 - 12:43:16 PM
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2986 posts since 5/2/2012

chuckv97 Thanks for reminding me of "The Wayward Wind", as that one made a big impression on me. I would have been 10 at the time.

Nov 26, 2022 - 1:20:32 PM

59975 posts since 12/14/2005

Judy Garland sang "Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolley" in the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis"

Can't remember the first song I ever sang along with, accompanied by my family, but the car didn't have a radio, so we sang on the way to anywhere out of town.

"Show me the Way to Go Home" was a big favorite, along with "Oh, Aren't We Crazy", a song overloaded with puns and nonsense.

It was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight...
I stepped into a drugstore, to buy myself a light.
The man behind the counter was a woman old and grey, who used to peddle donuts on the road to Mandalay
Oh aren't we crazy!
Oh aren't we crazy!
We're going to sing this song all night today!

Her children were all orphans, except one tiny tot,
who lived just across the street, above the vacant lot

(and so on)

Nov 26, 2022 - 1:23:15 PM

561 posts since 2/11/2019

According to my mom it was Maggie May by Rod Stewart. She said I sang it all over the house. I sorta remember LOL

Nov 26, 2022 - 1:30:13 PM

174 posts since 7/24/2021

Old Dan Tucker . There was another little boy at our church when I was a kid. He always had a song to sing. This little light of mine, zaccheaus was a wee lil man and others. Out of jealousy I decided.. unbeknownst to my mother , to render my version of old Dan Tucker. My mom about died while the rest of the congregation laughed. So… I sing the praises of ole Dan .

Nov 26, 2022 - 2:07:46 PM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)


28208 posts since 8/3/2003

I can't remember the first song I heard/learned. I know there was usually some sort of music around the house. I remember mother singing nursery rhymes, so maybe it was one of those type songs.

Nov 26, 2022 - 2:36:49 PM

652 posts since 3/9/2013

I was obsessed with born in the USA and Blue Cyclone by Ray Stevens. I memorized Blue Cyclone and my mom used to have me sing it for people.

Nov 26, 2022 - 2:40:39 PM

77152 posts since 5/9/2007

I'm fairly sure it was chording Oh Them Golden Slippers to my Mother's Story and Clark playing.
My first melody was the Bonanza theme learned from watching the show.

First singing was This Little Light of Mine with my brother and sister in church when we were 5-8 years old.We'd practice at home the week before (after supper) and have to stand in front of the congregation of 25-30 with Mom playing the piano on Sunday.We did that for a couple of years.

I always thought that's why I never had stage fright.

That little Advent Christian Church with the bell tower is in my homepage picture.It was about 100 yard walk along the shore from our house to the church.

Edited by - steve davis on 11/26/2022 14:55:22

Nov 26, 2022 - 3:55:54 PM



190 posts since 2/18/2018

Somebody bought me a 45 by Disney Records of Turkey in the Straw. I just about wore that record out on our little portable record player. There was another Disney record but I can’t remember the title. I was also REALLY impressed with Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.

Nov 26, 2022 - 4:38:38 PM

5544 posts since 5/9/2007

The first that made a real impression on me was in early grade school.
It was Danny Kaye's "Inch Worm”.
Major key melody with sustained notes, paired with minor key harmony utilizing staccato notes … interdigitating rhythms.
It made the hair on my arms stand up!

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 11/26/2022 16:43:07

Nov 26, 2022 - 8:19:39 PM



279 posts since 9/3/2018

Happy Birthday seems the most likely tho I don’t have a clear memory. After that, lullabies. Again no clear memory. First clear memory I think is woody Guthrie Let’s Go Ridin in the Car Car, and Pete Seeger. Sweepy Sweepy, abiyoyo, Green grass grows all around
which may explain how I find myself here on BHO

My mother got to sit in song circles led by a young Pete Seeger at idyllwild back in the day. And it trickled down to me in my childhood.

Nov 26, 2022 - 8:36:06 PM



23153 posts since 7/6/2005

My dad was an Al Jolson fan, and i remember Swanee, How I Love Ya, as a small child back in the 50’s

Nov 27, 2022 - 8:02:54 AM

337 posts since 8/25/2009

The ones I remember were from grammar school music class:
Down in the Valley
Oh Susanna
The Bells of Rhymney

The first banjo tunes I learned (frailing):
Hard, Ain't it Hard
Bile 'em Cabbage Down

And I have yet to learn "Cripple Creek", although I was within 20 miles when I visited Colorado.

Nov 28, 2022 - 7:46:39 PM
Players Union Member



665 posts since 7/15/2008

Dad liked Sinatra and Count Basie Live at...oh wrong forum.......

Nov 28, 2022 - 8:07:13 PM
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12246 posts since 6/5/2011

Thread drift, but part of our family lore concerns my oldest brother when he was 3 or 4 (?) years old.  Apparently there was some good OT fiddle music on the radio, so he turned it "off" in order to "save it" for Dad, who was out doing barn chores.

Edited by - Owen on 11/28/2022 20:15:32

Nov 30, 2022 - 6:24:33 AM
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1499 posts since 10/5/2006

The first music I was exposed to and remember well was my father playing Mozart and Haydn variations on his violin and piano.

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:47:52 AM

3060 posts since 12/4/2009


My father had purchased an album of different country music stars. Flatt and Scruggs had two songs, Pike County Breakdown and FMB. I was enthralled by the sound. I wanted to play what I heard.

Nov 30, 2022 - 11:40:45 AM

2922 posts since 4/16/2003

My first banjo was a Sears Silvertone bought in 1964. It came with a 45rpm record by Nat Winston that taught you basic rolls and included a few simple tunes. I recall that one was "Red River Valley", so that might have been "my first tune"...

Dec 8, 2022 - 9:20:28 PM

114 posts since 4/6/2009

I can't remember the very first song, so I'll answer with the first rock song I heard, somewhere between 1st and 3rd grade circa 1956-7, from the juke box in the corner store/soda counter owned by parents of a classmate: Hill and Gully Riders.

And the first old-time songs I heard were doing my middle school years, when I discovered the record collection at our local state college library which included: Doc Boggs' first Folkways recording by Mike Seeger, and Harry and Jeanie West on a different label. I'd play them for entertainment, laughing and laughing at that weird "hillbilly" sound. Some weeks after my discovery, my ridicule turned to fascination, and around 1967 I started learning banjo, with my own copies of those very recording (and many others) to guide me.

Dec 9, 2022 - 2:29:25 PM



12084 posts since 2/7/2008

My older sister would teach us songs she learned in school. I don't remember which was first but we sang, Billy Boy, Raggle Taggle Gypsies and Flow Gently Sweet Afton.

Dec 22, 2022 - 8:51:14 AM

1 posts since 9/2/2013

My brother and I sang for my grandmothers Gold Star Banquet, I was not in grade school yet, so I was probably 5, my brother 6. We sang "Home On the Range" with my mother on piano.

Dec 22, 2022 - 9:53:10 AM

111 posts since 8/1/2012

First song I remember singing, in grammar school class was “Lavender’s Blue (dilly dilly…)” I vaguely knew lavender was some kind of flower, and the first line of the song got me. How could lavender be both blue and green? I loved fairy tales, so the queen and king part also appealed to me.
First banjo tune to pLay was “simple gifts” because… it was simple!

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