There are a few books that have that OMG starting sentence. Daddy Played the Blues has one with: “I was six years old the day we left the farm in Mississippi,”
Our heroine Cassie is not really the focus of the book. But Music is. Blues music in fact. In a fiction format we learn about a family that packed up everything they owned in their truck with her Daddy, Uncle and Mama in the front and Cassie and her two brothers in the back. We see the migration from the South to Chicago. We see the people that made blues music popular to the public. And how the blues helped one family get through the very tough times.
A fun point of the story is how the Daddy loves blues and Mama is not such a fan, but you know deep down, she gets it, too. The two worlds: Mama’s Church Music and Daddy’s Blues Music really are more similar than people may realize. According to Amazon’s review, blues was music that “developed from African music and American spirituals, work songs, and folk ballads.” And Cassie shows this with her words. The other fun point is that the story is told when Cassie is older. I picture her sitting on a porch, telling her grandchildren the story of her Daddy and The Blues.
The back-matter of the story has Garland telling of how he came to find his own music in the 1970s but how he came to find, The Blues. There are portraits and short biographies of the great musicians. Some I knew and some I did not. He also mentions some of the great songs that shaped the music. Here my knowledge is weak. I knew of one or two but could not have told you that. Of course, Hound Dog by Big Mama Thorton is even better than Elvis’s version (Sorry, Mr. Presley, you know you are always The King in my eyes!)