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Music Memory - Mark Yearwood

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project":  a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week's Music Memory comes to us via listener Mark Yearwood! Mark is the founder and executive Director of Kids in the Wood Initiative (K.I.W.I.), an organization dedicated to reconnecting children and youth to nature, through adventure-play and mentoring in the great outdoors.  For more information, visit

“Frank Sinatra and Count Basie:  they seemed to me like the best of friends, as I held that old LP cover in my hands.  I was just a kid at the time, going through my father's old record collection, and there were others, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and even Sammy Davis Jr., to name a few, but Sinatra and Basie had me.

A smiling Sinatra with his hands draped over the shoulders of the Count whose smile was even bigger, marked my first introduction to jazz.  I tipped the album cover on its side and out slipped a 33 1/3 LP, still in its paper dust sleeve that was just beginning to yellow with age.  I turned on my father’s giant old Blaupunkt console stereo, that seemed as wide as I was tall, pressed the "phono" button, and played that record.  And there, as I listened to "Pennies from Heaven" and the "Tender Trap" in our basement, my love of jazz was sparked.

Dad didn't have a lot of records, for some reason he left most of them behind in Manchester, England, when he and Mom came to Canada, but what he did bring with him is a large part of the reason why I love jazz music today.”

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