Dad's Favorite Albums: Seal's SOUL [2008]

We all have many people in our lives to be thankful for this week of giving thanks.  I am extremely thankful for everyone in my life while only a little less thankful for all the ones that have come and gone, leaving their mark on me whether I realize it or not.  Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday but I appreciate the traditions so many others look forward to with relish.  Not a fan of turkey, stuffing, yams or the cranberry-whatever-the-heck-that-is.  My own father seemed to live for family gatherings and enjoyed his role as family patriarch.  This will be our first Holiday Season without Dad but we'll always have the memories and the music. Thanks, Dad.
My father died suddenly and without warning on Sunday, May 17th.  Mom was in one end of the house, putting away laundry and he was in his office on the other end of the house, doing whatever people do on Facebook.  Mom walked by and peeked in on him and he was typing away but looked up at her and said "I really like rice" which was one of the sides she had made for their dinner earlier that night.  The next time Mom walked by, he was slumped over unconscious, leaning over the side of his desk chair.  My wife and I caught a flight out the next morning after getting the horrible phone call - I literally dropped the phone after hearing "you father is dead" but my wife was strong enough for the both of us as they say and we arrived in Springfield, Missouri late on Monday, hopped in a tiny Buick rental car and drove the 101 miles to Pineville, where my parents had lived for almost twenty years.  Mom was still up when we drove up and in an amazingly good mood considering life as she knew had just taken a tragic turn.  We talked for hours, about everything, my wife and I exchanging glances like I can't believe how well she is doing. After a hard night's sleep, we began to plan and made phone calls and set up appointments.  On Tuesday, my wife and I accompanied Mom and my Aunt Nancy to the nearest funeral home, 15 minutes away in the town of Anderson.  Aunt Nancy was there for moral support and because she told Mom that she loved my Dad so much and was thankful for everything he did for her after she was widowed ten years earlier that she would pay for his entire memorial service and burial.  Mom was still amazingly cool and collected throughout some tough questions and made all the appropriate choices: cremation, no graveside service, military color guard, two pastors officiating the service and two songs she wanted played at the service itself.

My father was not a practicing Christian but he likened himself one as he got older.  He believed in love and if God is love then by association, Dad believed in God.  Mom chose the Vince Gill song because Dad mentioned that he liked it and it would be appropriate for a funeral.
Mom felt similarly about Seal's cover of "People Get Ready", that it was "churchy" and appropriate and as she repeated over the next four weeks, it was one of my father's favorite songs from one of his favorite albums.  I knew Dad liked the song and the album because he had asked me about them around five years ago.  I think he saw Seal on an awards show or other TV appearance and emailed me, asking if I had the album Soul.  I emailed him back, saying I did and also Soul Live, which came out the following year in 2009. He replied saying that he really liked the way the songs sounded on the CD which I assumed was a complement on David Foster's production.  He also asked if Soul Live was a DVD he could watch and I replied that it was available that way but I did not own the DVD version.  According to the last email of that conversation, he asked why not and then asked if I had the Jeff Beck version of "People Get Ready".  (It's the Rod Stewart version with Jeff on guitar.)  I don't know if I didn't answer him or if I called or what but a quick email search yielded no results - I did not save all the emails from my Dad but I saved some for whatever reason.  So as far as I know, Dad loved Soul, never heard or saw Soul Live or Soul 2, which came out in 2011.  Wonder if he would have liked Seal's new album, 7?  Or even Seal's Hits?

I would have shared the Spotify playlist below with Dad if he was still around.  Spotify frustrated him to no end.  He didn't understand why he should have to pay to not hear commercials and why couldn't he just download the songs he wanted to instead of having all 40,000,000+ songs for $10 a month?  Maybe I just wasn't expalining the benefits clearly enough.  Someone told him about a program that ripped audio from YouTube videos earlier this year and when I went to backup his digital music collection after he passed, he had a file "YT" that had maybe just over a thousand You Tube rips, nearly all of them below 128 kbps, incoherently labeled and sounding worse than bad reception AM radio horrible.  I know he spent a lot of time finding and ripping those songs but I deleted the whole tiny folder.

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