My musical tastes generally fall into three categories – R&B/Soul (what I listen to most often), jazz (I’ve grown to appreciate it more as I mature), and some hip hop (I can count on one hand the amount of hip-hop artists I listen to on a consistent basis).
Occasionally, there are a few pop songs I’ve uploaded into my iTunes library that filter through my speakers (this includes the Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and old-school Madonna). But they are not on continuous rotation.
As of late I’ve decided that, since I blog about music, I should at least make an effort and open myself to other genres.
While I can’t remember really being a fan of rock music (I may have liked Billy Idol in the 80s because my sister made me), rock isn’t a genre I see becoming an intergral part of my musical selections.
I’ve heard a few country songs that I liked, but they didn’t make me a full-on convert.
Then along came The Wayman Tisdale Story.
Back in February, when television was geared towards the Black experience because it was Black History Month, I recorded many programs covering a variety of topics – the plight of the Black fighter and quarterback in America, The Jackie Robinson Story, The Black Power Mixtape, the story of Daisy Bates (if you aren’t familiar with the name, wikipedia her and find out) and on and on.
What drew me to DVR the story of Wayman Tisdale, a former NBA player turned bassist and jazz musician, was him seemingly maneuvering from one extreme to another. After watching the documentary, I understood it wasn’t extreme for Wayman – music had always been his first love and passion; it just so happens that basketball is what made him a household name.
Unfortunately, Wayman’s passed away in 2009 at the young age of 44, two years after doctor’s discovered cancer in his knee.
Which brings me back to exploring other genres of music. The end of the program featured a track written and performed by country music star Toby Keith. The song was a dedication to the life of his now departed friend. I couldn’t help but shed tears at the deep, emotional message of the song.
Featuring saxophonist Dave Koz, bass player Marcus Miller and drummer Arthur Thompson, Cryin’ For Me (Wayman’s Song), is a touching tribute to a man who had a big, albeit short life, but never it never got s big that he forgot who he was, where he came from and what he’d accomplished.
The song appears on Toby’s 2009 album American Ride, which, according to the linear notes, is dedicated to Wayman’s memory.
I was so moved by the song that I immediately went to iTunes and purchased it. I believe it’s now the only country song in my library.
So there you have it, my first step out of my musical comfort zone (thanks to Wayman Tisdale). I’m looking forward to stepping out even further in the future.
Sidenote: I urge you to find and watch The Wayman Tisdale Story (visit www.thewaymantisdalestory.com). I promise that seeing his story will touch your spirit and leave you inspired.