What Music Brings Back Your Childhood?

Childhood music cropThis time I’m not referring to the music of one’s ‘youth’, the time when one starts to decide which tribe to join and make active decisions which lay the foundations of the genres which will accompany us throughout the rest of our life.

No! I’m talking about our childhood. The time when all doors are gigantic portals and we spend much of our life looking up. The time all adults look like caricatures of themselves (especially teachers) and the world is all colour and emotion rather than logic and reason.

For me at least, this was a vastly different musical landscape to the one where I discovered my first Beatles album (my school friends were all listening to Abba which didn’t do it for me) and which I see as the bridging point from child to youth.

Growing up in Vienna, the capital of classical music, to parents who were both classical musicians, it comes as no surprise that Beethoven and Mozart feature heavily in bringing back my childhood memories. But strangely I don’t think they were the most significant ones. I had a record player from an early age and loved Peter & the Wolf and Holst the Planets which are definite memory triggers. Oddly some of the albums my mother brought back from auction (job lot – could be anything) still resonate strongly. For example Bulgarian and other ethnic folk music.

Having spent a great deal of time in the van with various musicians, I am constantly amazed how many theme tunes they remember from childrens TV programmes. It seems a never ending stream and everyone apart from me joins in. I feel have missed out somewhere!

Truth is, TV didn’t feature that heavily in my childhood. We had one, but at the time in Austria there were 2 TV stations (imaginatively called O1 and O2) and were for the most part pretty boring. We had a German version of Play School (through the round window…) and otherwise I only recall ‘the Mumins’ which was a quirky Russian animation series. The only things I watched occasionally were Kojak horribly dubbed into German and the odd film. I remember my first trip to America and being thoroughly excited at the hours of cartoons in the morning! Wow! Well times have certainly changed in that respect and I’m sure that TV theme tunes feature heavily in most peoples childhood memories. And perhaps more recently, computer games play their part too.

But I think there are far more fundamental musical memories, especially Christmas Carols. There’s something about Christmas which catapults us back to our earliest memories – whether bad or good! Let’s face it, most people either LOVE Christmas or hate it utterly. And the tones of ‘Jingle Bells’ will evoke strong emotions in either direction. Much more than ‘Happy Birthday’ which should evoke lasting childhood memories, but perhaps makes us focus too much on our mortality instead.

An interesting thought (and one that warms my cockles… wherever they are) is that Lee’s son was born during the recording of Not Utopia and spent his early years listening to the tones of my voice while Lee was producing the album upstairs. And since then this has repeated with the production of ‘Upside Down World’. So for 4 years my voice has been a constant accompaniment to his childhood. It will be interesting to see whether hearing my voice when he’s older will bring back those times.

As ever, I would love to hear about your early musical memories!

Looking forward to it…

To hear what Lee’s son listened to while still in the womb! www.dorisbrendelmusic.com


  • David Robbie says:

    Well I don’t think my parents music taste did much to inspire my future music direction South Pacific and Chamber music.
    My Brother however had Del Shannon, The Stones, Joe Brown, and The Shadows etc in his 45’s collection which may well have had a lasting affect.
    The first single that I would admit to buying was Keep on Running by The Spencer Davis Group!
    My happy memories music related are listening to Radio London etc.
    I was very much into pop music until I discovered Black Sabbath (although I wouldn’t give an Ozzy Album houseroom these days).
    Alvin Lee’s “Rocket Fuel” & Stray’s debut album pretty much cemented my future music direction!

  • stephen says:

    my first single I had was schools out by alice cooper and then I think the sweet, slade, so first music influences was glam rock then rolling stones and bowie and into acdc black sabboth ect So Rock is my music.

  • Shane Carlson says:

    I used to religiously listen to Pick of the Pops presented by Alan “Fluff” Freeman. The Radio Luxembourg playlist also featured heavily in my formative years. The first single I bought was Paperback Writer by The Beatles. My first album was A New World Record by ELO. When I saw my first live bands at the age of 18 (The George Hatcher Band followed by UFO) I was hooked to gigs for life!! The one band that has written the soundtrack to my life is Camel – even to this day!! ROCK ON!!

  • Trev says:

    Dead End Street. the Kinks. White Room.Cream.
    Purple Haze. Jimi Hendrix. Leader of the Pack. The Shangri-Las. And many many more !

  • The song that really takes me back to childhood is “Morningtown Ride” by the Seekers

  • Pippa Beech says:

    Growing up, I was subjected to military band music, which i absolutely loathe, this was from my dad. my mum quite liked Cliff Richard and Kenny Rogers but i didn’t get to listen to much at all. Though i do remember listening to the Beatles and apparently doing the twist at about the age of 3 or 4.. My first time music properly registered was Mary Hopkin Those were the days. seemed to be a soundtrack to one summer when think i was 7 or 8 , Kites Simon Dupree and the song from the Nimble bread advert, Can’t let Maggie go.
    I first sat up and noticed music When I heard Silver machine by Hawkwind but all through the seventies i listened to anything and everything like a sponge, and apart from teenage crushes I’m definitely a rocker. Deep Purple , Jethro Tull are my first loves but i like blues too, unlike the rest of my family

  • Dean Powell says:

    Hi Doris,
    your question got me thinking, mainly because music is very important to me and I love to listen to a very eclectic mix of styles and genres. This is why you are high up on my list of favourites. But looking back my dad once told me that when I was running around in nappies (only a couple of years ago) :), when my dad put on Beniamino Gigli singing Nessun Dorma I would stop in front of the record player and listen to it, then wander off again when it had finished. I don’t remember that, so it’s an early memory for my dad about me. Even now whenever I play Nessun Dorma I always think of my dad who died in 2017. Sorry getting maudling now. Anyway as I grew up my parents would play opera and classical, Frankie Laine, Perry Como, Al Martino et cetera, and I actually liked some of them. I developed my tastes through the Kinks, Yardbirds, John Mayal, Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, then David Bowie my all time favourite, T.Rex, Slade, Genesis, Yes, The Enid, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix, Marillion and Fish et cetera. I now listen to a new girl called Doris Brendel, you may have heard of her, Art Schop, Nightwish, Alter Bridge, Dream Theater, Sonata Arctica, Apocalyptica, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie,and many more. So thanks Doris for your question and sorry for rambling a bit.
    Take Care. Dean.

  • mark says:

    I remember led zep, black sabbath in the 70’s that got me into music in a big way. my parent’s also defined my musical taste with the carpenters, country music in general

  • Darren Smith says:

    Hi Doris
    A really interesting question. Very easy to remember what music inspired me as a teenager but much more thoughtful about what music struck a nerve with me as a child. The teenage stuff was definitely down the rock road and then into metal. Kind of started with Big Country, U2,The Alarm and Bryan Adams and then progressed into Marillion, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden which really led me to where I am now. But the stuff from my childhood has in some ways still stayed with me. The first song I ever remember seeing on Top of the Pops was Blondie with their video to Denis and also remember singing along to Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall and Paul McCartney, Mull of Kintyre. I remember playing that over and over again as a 7 year old kid after getting my Mum to record it on the radio and keep stopping it so I could write down the lyrics and learn them off by heart. Don’t remember too much else until I was 10 and 11 when I became obsessed with Adam and the Ants and Flash by Queen. Great to think back to those times and realise what superb music made me the fan I am today.

  • Andy J Old says:

    Gosh, where do I start? I have (now) quite diverse and eclectic tastes. I vary between many genres in my listening habits. Anything from Motörhead to Mozart to Motown! Figuring out where this began, what is my own choice rather than early childhood influence is not easy! My family were always very musical but my parents’ taste, as far as ‘modern’ music goes, always perplexed me. They were both born in ‘38, so in ‘56 (when Heartbreak Hotel came out), they’d have been 18 and well placed to enjoy the new ‘youth’ culture. However, they must have been old before their time (the clue’s in the name!). Not interested! They listened to the old BBC ‘light program’, aka Radio2 of old, which catered for mums and dads – ‘sing something simple’ was their staple, which I hated! I was born in ‘62, the year The Beatles first achieved success, and I guess they were my first love. Then, aged about 8 or 9, through a combination of circumstances, I started DJing at youth clubs and school discos. I quickly absorbed everything going on around me (1970-ish, onwards), including pop, glam, soul, Motown and rock(!), and started avidly collecting all and any vinyl I could lay my hands on! This included the required trip to Woolworths with my pocket money, every Saturday, but also scouring jumble sales and 2nd-hand stores for lost, past, gems. Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of records and, later, CDs. It’s really hard to single out specific stand-outs, coz there are so many, but here goes … Slade (what a voice!), Diana Ross (another great voice! – there’s a theme developing …); as an aside, I do have my Mum to thank for starting my love of Motown, she had an early ‘gold’ compilation which I purloined; I came by a 2nd-hand, Track records, sampler album (called Backtrack 3, with a baby smoking a joint on the cover!), from a family friend who had a clear-out, with one side by The Who and the other by Hendrix – this got me started with ‘rock’; then a friend, with much older brothers who had more ‘mature’ tastes, introduced me to Deep Purple, via the magnificent ‘Made in Japan’ album. I was smitten! As the 70’s progressed, I continued to enjoy both rock and soul in equal measure, and this continues to this day. I also came to appreciate classical music, as I’ve matured, especially given the parallels and similarities with prog-rock. I love Bach and anything ‘baroque’; I’m a huge fan of U.K. and John Wetton (rip). I love Seal. A big favourite are Rush (rip Neal ). I’ve got loads of soul compilations. Very pleased I got to see Anita Baker at her peak. Frankly, what I’ve listed, so far, is really just the tip of the iceberg! One thing I can say is that I’m a big fan of distinctive voices, which is really how I came to be a fan of Doris. I could go on … but that’s enough, I’m sure. I hope it gives you a flavour for where I started my musical journey. Music is my greatest love and makes my world a happy place, even when it seems chaos reigns, all around. Thanks for listening!

  • Mike Wilce says:

    Anything by the Stones, Beatles or Dylan.

  • Rodney Cousins says:

    I remember listening to the Billy Cotton band show on my grans valve radio

  • Keith Allen says:

    My early days were records at my uncle’s house Pat Boone mac the knife
    everly bros walk right back and b side ebony eyes until my oldest sister got into the Beatles then the hollies I have these tracks on my I phone and I pod along with my early 70s rock albums 60s music was an essential part of my growing up more of the phsycodelic music not the poppy stuff

  • Padi Phillips says:

    The soundtrack to my childhood was very much marked by the eclectic musical tastes of my father, who was a huge classical music fan, (today I often find myself in the frustrating position of hearing pieces of familiar classical music, but not being able to put a title, or a composer to them) and also a big fan of musical movie soundtracks, so we had Oklahoma!, High Society, Singing in the Rain, The King and I, My Fair Lady and many, many more. But more than this, there were also the great popular performers of the 60s too, The Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel and lots of others. My earlier childhood was spent all over Europe as my dad was in the RAF, so we travelled, and I would guess that having colleagues from the USA would have also had an influence on my father’s musical tastes, as it seems to have been, as far as I can recall, very much biased towards American artists when it came to the more contemporary stuff. Though I remember the Beatles and bands like Rolling Stones from the period of the early sixties, those bands, and other Brit bands didn’t seem to figure much in my father’s tastes – and not in mine either. I’ve never been much impressed by the Beatles, and five year old me could never get my head around what all the fuss was about. I definitely remember giving a big thumbs down to ‘She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’! When I later developed my own musical taste it didn’t include much classical. It’s not that I dislike classical music, but I think I heard enough as a child to last me a lifetime!

  • Al Moulder says:

    I was a teenager in the 70’s in the States. As such I tended to be very top 40 oriented. Beatles, Chicago, Abba, Steve Miller and the like. I was also a big Billy Preston fan.Then I discovered Bowie and Rush and that changed things up a bit for me.

    Any of those artists still resonate with me today and take me back to being a teenager.

  • Stuart Eccles says:

    Hi Doris,
    The music which influences me which set up my life of music is split into 2 area. Being a child of the 80’s music pop was to Adam and the Ants, then Bon Jovi and Europe pushed me into the heavier side of rock music after Pop was getting boring. The raw talents the power of the music gave me hope in the 90’s.
    My heart is still in ROCK but my wife bought in the classical long with my Dad. He let discover our own taste of music only rule was the radio stayed on radio 2 except of the top of pops.

  • Austen Merritt says:

    Everything by the Beatles and the groups from Liverpool, but the song that was on the first EP that I bought, that has stayed with me is ‘She’s not there’ by The Zombies, although really by Rod Argent, The song still stands up now.

  • Dave says:

    Hi Doris

    The band/musician that has basically recorded the soundtrack to my youth / life is Marillion (the fish year’s) and the big man himself … the first time I saw them was on the old grey whistle test singing Forgotten Sons and from that day I was hooked..
    I first saw them at Hull city Hall in 198@ .
    Ironically I the first time I saw you was at Hull city hall along with Fish .. totally awesome gig

  • Mark Bewley says:

    Hi Doris, I didn’t realise that you were of German/Austrian heritage. I have to say that my formative years were spent in Germany and I loved every second of it. The music, the food ,the bier lol. It is where I discovered rock music for the first time, the usual English and American stuff but also things like UDO, blind guardian, creator, grinder, die ertz, Warlock…. etc.
    Tho I know it is an English band I think the most influential band that I heard for the first time at the tender age of 16 was New Model Army. The green and the grey is still one of my favourite and most thought provoking song that I know.
    Hope this helps Doris
    Much love and keep up the good work xx

    P.s. you going to HRH in Yarmouth this year?

  • Rudi,Albert Lehnert says:

    Hello my dear Doris,
    thank y so much for you music there I fund at last time on youtube !
    Now to you question, so I lifed in the GDR and was born 1954 June, so when I was going to School and we make Party , I was a dancer to The Beatles,Stones,Deep Purple,Jimmy Hendrix ,Free , Janis Joplin and other musician from that Time.I remember me by one evening so I do dancing with 6 Girls out my Class and was so happy to do that !
    Now I am much older , but dancing ever so much wild before \m/.
    Wish you ever good time ,peace and love to you !!!

  • John Paine says:

    Where could I possibly start,being a 60s child ,my first memory and according to my mum,i danced to it ,was Downtown ,by Petula Clark,I was 2 in 1965 when it was released !
    Next was Excerpt from a teenage opera,Keith west,I used to cry to that one !
    Poor old grocer Jack died and all the people cared about was getting their milk and marmalade,! Lol
    Mum would get the albums and 78s out at the weekends as we had no tv untill 1970
    So we had ,Glenn Miller,Elvis,Jim Reeves ,Connie Francis,Shirley Bassey,Judy Garland and many more show tunes
    Then the 70s arrived and arguments with my sister,whilst we did our chores listening to the old fashioned radio one ,Tony Blackburn and lots of glam rock….I won’t tell you about the later 70’s and 80’s lol
    I now appreciate all genres xx

  • Rodney Houlders says:

    The first song that ever made an impression on me as a very young child (3yrs) was rock island line by Lonnie Donegan.I was later surprised to find out that Leadbelly had released it many years before,and that the blues had a profound impact on the music of so many musicians.

  • Derek Taylor says:

    Tony Blackburns Sunday Radio Show BBC Radio2, Tommy Steel, Charlie Drake, Rolf Harris and the like.

  • Stephen Thom says:

    For me, the first single I ever owned was Ride A White Swan by TRex
    First album was the Star Wars soundtrack.
    Though a major album that makes me remember my youth the most has to be Jeff Wayne’s War of the World’s

  • Cezary says:

    During communism, we had limited access to foreign vinyls in Poland. However, we had very good national bands. My favorite records from that time are: SBB – Memento z banalnym tryptykiem and EXODUS – The Most Beautiful Day. To this day, I think they are great albums. I greet you warmly. Cezary.


  • Eugen Eickhoff says:

    Deep Purple, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Frumpy.

  • Quentin Mitchell says:

    Peter’s Pop keeps a Lollipop Shop. Sloppy lagoon. I like Java,I like Tea. Giving my age away!

  • Mick says:

    Sorry forgot to mention your music is up there in my list of favourites.

  • Mick says:

    In my younger years I was influenced by my mums taste in music which included Joan Baez ( who’s music I still love and listen to in the bath). Also Gilbert o Sullivan. Now I am in my senior years my taste of music is extremely diverse it ranges from folk and country through to reggae and heavy rock.

  • Andy Coleman says:

    Hi Doris , my earliest memory would have been the likes of Slade , Mud , Wizard then in my teens Maiden ,Saxon etc.

  • RICHARD FORD says:

    Hi Doris, listened to Radio Luxemburg from the age of 5 ( my uncle was a radio engineer so I grew up with C&W, Blues, R&B, Rock,n Roll ….Did you know that Elvis Presley was member no. 11321 of the Radio Luxemburg club? That is how much I soaked it all up.

    Doris. thank you for your music and the grace with which you look after us, your fans.What a Lady you are.

  • Robert Williams says:

    Has to be Hells Bells by AC/DC. First concert ever saw and was their opening number. Angus Young coming down hanging onto the bell. Absolutely brilliant!!!

  • Stan Clay says:

    Beatles, Stones, The Who

  • Hi Doris It would have to be Elvis’ King Creole lp and the Beatles I Want to hold Your Hand. These were the best records in my aunt’s collection. A New World Record by ELO takes me right back to ’76 Good Times x.

  • Andy Lynam says:

    I can remember listening to music on Mum and Dad’s radiogram on a Sunday afternoon. I can always remember the soundtrack of That’ll Be The Day being on constant rotation along with Roy Orbison and Billy Fury as my Dad who passed away in 1996 was a bit of a teddy boy in his youth. The Carpenters always take me back to the Sunday afternoons too, the warm faultless tones of Karen Carpenter enveloping like a comfort blanket.
    The first record I bought myself was Xanadu by ELO and Olivia Newton-John and the first band I really followed was Adam And The Ants. It was seeing the video to Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills on Tizwaz one Saturday morning that started me on a lifetime love of all things heavy, Iron Maiden in particular and the first band I saw live were Motorhead back in 1983 supported by Anvil. I think it was a year later I saw Marillion for the first time which started another obsession and I have voraciously followed all things involving Fish ever since.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing you and your excellent band when you support Fish again in December in Newcastle xx

  • Dave Honeybone says:

    Hi Doris
    For me my childhood music was via my dad, so Gilbert and Sullivan operettas some Beethoven 1812 etc Swan lake. The 1970’s kids tv. My first single was Mull of Kintyre followed by my first compilation cassette of rock tunes Ac/Dc Saxon Quo Motörhead Alice Cooper. So well inducted to rock which lead onto groups like Deep purple Genesis Iron Maiden Marillion. But as with my taste of music it’s certain songs or albums which I like so it’s eclectic. Since the 80’s Def Lepard have become at fav band they come from Sheffield which is about 20 miles from me .
    These days I’ve got into bands like Linkin Park Good Charlotte and others.

  • Doris says:

    Wow Michael! That’s a hell of a list! xx

  • anthony says:

    how do I buy your cds

  • Michael Potter says:

    My Uncle Reg introduced me to “Fingals Cave” I even got to visit it later in life. I was in The Beatles Fan Club so they were a big influence Tornadoes “TELSTAR” again I saw them live Bee Gees “New York Mining Disaster” Then every thing changed “Sabre Dance” Love Sculpture Then it was Peter Green “man of the World” STILL MY HERO and then YES PINK FLOYD ELP FLEETWOOD MAC early days “GREEN MANALISHEE” MY FAV TRACK OF ALL TIME KATE BUSH saw live when she played Birmingham Hippodrome SADLY I WAS IN HER FAN CLUB TOO HA HA Too Many other influences Sabbath Iron Maiden Bowie Thin Lizzy Motorhead Derek and the Dominoes King Crimson Jethro Tull Rory Gallagher COCTEU TWINS ROD STEWART FACES T REX MOUNTAIN IRON BUTTERFLY JOHN MANAVISHNA SANTANA and so many more I was a very lucky HIPPIE and still rockin going to see 30 Seconds to Mars March 29th Just for good measure CLIFF ENGLEBERT MARY HOPKINS TOM JONES(Who we met “IT’S NOT UNUSUAL” Birmingham Hipp Harry H with SOOTY (ALL LIVE) and many more LOL XXX

  • Murray says:

    Music has dominated my life. Growing up like most I had idols and bands that I followed, some of which I still follow.

    Early on it was The Police and Adam and the Ants. That was followed by Duran Duran and Marillion (yes I know, weird combo). Then it was Fish, Rush, Peter Gabriel and Sting. Then its the college days of Pearl Jam, Faith No More and Sugar.

    In my days of working there have been tons of bands. In the last few years current bands would include Editors, White Lies, Biffy Clyro and more recently The Amazons.

    I can’t name every band I love as I’d bore you to tears. I did catch The Violet Hour touring with Marillion and was obsessed with their album. I’m so glad I saw you with Fish. Especially glad that someone with a great voice like yours is still singing. I don’t have much money, so thus far I only have one of your vinyl albums (I got it at the Glasgow gig). Hopefully I’ll be in a position to buy another one soon.

    Thanks for some great music and keep it coming!

    • Doris says:

      Hi Murray,
      How wonderful to be included on such a great list of musicians! It seems you had great taste from the start.
      Hope to see you again later in the year.

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