The Mothers Behind The Cashbox Team

Dad Sandy and Mum Graham.jpg

PHOTO: Dad Sandy and Mum Graham
Mother’s Day Lenny Stoute

Unless your daddy’s Lionel Richie, most likely the first melodic voice we all hear is that of Mom. Whether she was a cooer or a straight talker, Mom always came in on the softer side of things. As we grew and tried her patience, the voice would on occasion turn as harsh as Courtney Love. But it was only out of love and because of the love, the storms never lasted long and clear skies were never far away.

My Mom was a piano playing lady balancing a large family so by the time I came along, the story was that Mom would only settle in at the keys when she was feeling really chill or alternately, when she was pissed at us beyond words. Funny thing, as I recall, the set list never varied according to mood. Her set list was a mix of the classics and 1930’s era ‘parlour’ music, executed with the same fluid delivery and with great attention to the originals.  So while I have great difficult recalling my first impressions of my mother’s voice, she will forever in my memory be entwined with the cascading minor key chords of “Claire de Lune”, the very first piece of music I can recalling hearing. And in the hearing, rooted to the spot in awe.

To paraphrase John Sebastian, I’m glad I got this chance to say a word about the music and the mothers that inspire us all. Top Three Mother songs-‘Mama Tried’, “Mama Told Me Not To Come’ and ‘Mother and Child Reunion’.

Mima, Music and Memories Sandy Graham

I was one of the lucky kids - we had two great parents who taught us morals and lessons I use today with my own two boys. I am a self-admitted ‘Daddy’s Girl’, although if you met him you would have thought Don Graham Sr. was a cross between Raymond Burr and Archie Bunker. Not all kisses and cuddles, but he adored me. When he died in 1981, my world felt shattered. I still had my Mum, but as most mothers tend to be, she was closer to my brother than me.  I was never a ‘girly-girl’, preferring to go fishing, camping and hanging out with friends at the park. I never learned to cook a meal or make a coffee even until I left home. Dresses were certainly not part of my wardrobe – and even worse I wanted a career not a husband.

My Mum died in 2001, so I was blessed to have her for 20 more years after my Dad died. I had no idea how much I would miss her until she was gone. In the years we had together after Dad passed away, I was lucky enough to have her there when my sons were born. Then I understood more than ever what a great Mum she was, and how much she sacrificed to make our home secure and happy. She taught me the final lessons in life – how to be a mother. She made our house open to anyone, there was always laughter, family and friends.

She was the musical one; always playing the sing-a-long songs at our parent’s house parties, and later on she would drag her little ‘Casio’ keyboard to the Seniors Homes for entertainment. One of the great videos I have is with her and my two boys on either side of her at the piano singing ‘We Ain’t Got a Barrel of Money’. Priceless as she kept shifting side to side, consequently knocking one of them off the piano stool, and then they would climb up again.

When she died, my youngest son, Ian said the sweetest thing ever. He said,’ well now you will have to be crazy Nana one day.’ I hope I can live up to that legacy. Miss you Mum.

Molly Hilary and Gillian FitzGibbonMolly Hilary and Gillian FitzGibbonFrom your daughter, Gillian FitzGibbon
The sweetness of your tender words
The loving touch to quiet the tears
The echo of your heart beats on
In your children and the years
 “Little Molly Sweetheart”
Maud Eileen FitzGibbon

Mum Graham and Don Jr. being christenedMum Graham and Don Jr. being christenedMemories of  Mom –Don Graham

When Cashbox asked us to write a few words on our mothers, I thought of a million things to write about but condensed they all said the same thing, how much I loved her, and how much she encouraged me in my pursuit of a musical career. She played piano and always wanted  me to “jam” with her. She played EVERYTHING with three chords. That was only half the problem. She played the SAME three chords, C,F and G. One day I said  “Mom, learn some more chords!” Her response was “Why? Everybody sings along when I play!” Game, Set, Match! You win.

But perhaps one of my fondest memories is while touring the frozen tundra of Canada in the eighties with Jim Schrock in a duo, Graham& Schrock. That year I swear we spent more man hours in the van than we did on the stage! One time in particular we pulled into a town in Ontario after having driven for GOD knows how many hours, stinking of nicotine, caffeine and general “road” stink. We hadn’t shaved or cleaned up, we looked like a couple of despardos. Even the hotel staff when we were checking in looked leery of us. We got to our rooms, separate but adjoining, and after making sure they adjoined we retreated to our sanctuaries. The next thing I heard was these two rock ‘n’ roll cowboys saying simultaneously in polite loving voices “ Hi mom”……. Priceless!

Love you mom!! See you when I get there. I’ll be tuned and ready to play them all in C, F and G.

Bill Delingat Mom & SisBill Delingat Mom & SisBill Delingat –Memories of Mom

Like many Europeans during the “Great War” she left her homeland of Finland to start a new life in Canada.
Her name was Miriam, close friends and family called her “Honey”, the neighborhood kids who were welcome to hang around the house knew her as Mrs. D, I called her mother and she called me Bill Jr.

Mother and I shared a lot in common, we were both Capricorns, born late December ,mother on the 23rd and mine on the 26th. It was common to spend our Birthdays together with the cake saying “Happy Birthday Honey and Bill. We both loved animals, gardening and music. Rock Music! Mother supported my music career and made the band sandwiches when we rehearsed in the basement. When she finally succumbed to complications of diabetes she requested that at her wake her favorite band’s music should be played, Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones. The wake rocked on.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, you make us what we are today and we will always be your little boy.