07 Mar

Music Influences Part 1

This is going to be hard, I know this will have to be a series.  I have been influenced by so many people that it will be hard to fit all into one blog. Instead of making this a really long novel, I’ll break this up until I feel I have accomplished all I have to say.  I will start with two huge influences in my life when I was a kid, my grandfather and uncles, and Tops in Blue.

Tops in Blue

This was a concert put on by Tops in Blue for Travis Air Force Base.  I was actually there working the event.  How cool is that?!

This was a concert put on by Tops in Blue for Travis Air Force Base. I was actually there working the event. How cool is that?!

Being a military brat we had to move around.  My father got stationed to Malstrom Air Force Base in the eighties.  As soon as we settled in, my father was deployed to Egypt.  On the base was  me and my mom.  Through base promotions, my mother got wind of a concert put on by active duty men and women of the United States Air Force.  The touring concert was called Tops in Blues.  I remember hearing the first set and I was blown away. I was mesmerized by the talent that was put together and I was watching a concert.  My first concert ever was on a military base. I wanted to be a performer so bad.  I had to become a singer.  After the Tops in Blue performance I remember going home and putting on some records and practicing until I had an asthma attack, literally.

My Grandfather and the Iriarte Family 

When my father got stationed back to Travis Air Force Base, that was a chance for me to get to know my Iriarte family.  We stayed with my grandfather and grandmother for a while until my parents were able to get a home.  During that time, our family had quite a few gatherings.  My uncles knew how to play guitar.  It was great because at  the barbecues my uncles would gather around and sing some classic tunes like, “What’s YourName” and “Daddy’s Home.”  What got me into singing was my grandfather.  I remember staying home with him one day and on TV was a tribute to all of our service men and women.  In the opener of the ceremony the National Anthem came on.  If you were present at the event we all know that you are to stand up and put your hand of our heart or salute.  Well, my grandfather wasn’t present at the event and he still stood up.  He even made me respect the flag and required me to stand up too.  He sang along with the anthem.  I stood in awe because little did i know my grandfather could sing.  From time to time, he would take me to get something to eat or to my aunties house to visit my only brother.  As we would drive he would sing.  I started to sing a long.  Knowing that I could hold a tune, he told me he wanted me to learn how to sing.
Iriarte Family Mary AnnI started hearing stories about how the Iriarte Family put out a few records.  (I am trying to find my recordings of them so I will post them as soon if I can.) Music is in the Iriarte blood and I never knew that.  When my grandfather said the Iriartes put out some records, he wasn’t lying.   

So my Grandther and Uncles inspired me to be a singer.  I’m not that good, but hey inspiration doesn’t make you great, it makes you want to be great.




I still love making music and listening to all types of music.  My grandfather and uncles helped me to get in touch with my music, emotionally.  The way they sung around during the barbecue, was as if they all forgot they were fighting with one another a minute ago.  It was amazing to see how grown men at the time put their differences aside to hit a harmony over a Major, Major, Minor, Major chord progression.

Tops in Blue, well let’s say this I had the opportunity to work with the creators of the program at my job. How cool is that?  I work with the same people that helped influence my passion for entertainment and music.

Wrap up

My family and Tops in Blue inspired me to be a singer and entertainer.  I have had many jobs in the entertainment business and I owe that inspiration to Tops in Blue.  I listen to music with a tear in my eye because of the emotional connection to music that my family had.   Thank you for inspiring me, now I hope to return the favor to someone else.

Live to inspire.