I had every intention of writing about something else tonight. But then I got word that Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire had passed away.
On one hand it seems silly to be upset over the passing of somebody that you’ve never even met. But then again, it’s kinda not. Music has always been about emotion and memories for me, and I have so many that I associate with EWF. I remember my parents playing their music from “back in the day” on those early Saturday mornings as a kid, which would always (and I mean ALWAYS) had some EWF mixed in there. I don’t know if it was the voice, the bassline, the horn section, or the combination of all three, but one day I just had to ask my mother. “What is the name of this song?” I wondered. “And who sings it?”
Mom smiled. “This is Earth, Wind and Fire,” she explained. “And the song is Let’s Groove.” She would then, without fail, start singing along. Let’s Groove remains to this day my Happy Song. On another day I was riding around with my dad and asked about that heartbreaking song that we just heard with that poor man pouring his soul out.
Dad nodded. “After The Love Is Gone,” he answered. He neglected to begin singing it because, let’s be honest, very few people on this planet can hit those notes. But that never stopped me from trying (within the privacy of my own vehicle as I got older, of course, and after making sure there wasn’t anyone around in at least a 3-mile radius). Their music would guarantee one of two things; I was either going to be in a good mood and shaking my posterior, or I was going deep into my feelings. Their music was a reflection of life to me. It talked about the highs, the lows, our hopes and dreams, and it showed me that awesome things happen when we bring together our various backgrounds and experiences.
EWF shaped my appreciation of music, taught me about funk and soul, and was the perfect soundtrack for those days where you were just happy to be alive. RIP, Maurice White. May we continue to make memories to your wonderful gifts to the world.