14 June 2022 ~
Music is a constant. It is in every fiber of our being… it is in the rhythm of our breath, our heartbeat, and even in the steps, we take. Music is in nature… the wind blowing through the trees, the waves crashing on the shore… it’s in the birds singing, a lion’s roar, even in the pitter-patter of raindrops. Music is life!
I love music! It has been part of my life since birth. I come from a family of lead singers and musicians – I guess you can say it is in my blood. My grandfather, Daniel Webster Robbins was the original “Professor Dan” and performed at the Grand Ole Opry with his band. (That’s my grandfather on the front row on the left with his guitar.)
His son, my father, Webb Robbins, was the frontman of a band (The Jackets) that was popular in Birmingham from the late 50s to the mid-70s and recorded several songs on Reed Records, and a few of my dad’s songs are online. (My dad is the first one in line – the tall guy)
My little brother, Jerry, was the lead singer of a metal band in the 80s called Reek Havok. (My brother is the second from the right – the blond with the leg bandana with the shades.)
Through those relationships – and others, I have been afforded opportunities to meet many other musicians and entertainers.
Although I never chose a career in music… along the way, I played several instruments and sang… and I think my air pods might be part of my anatomy.
There are some 30,000 songs in my iTunes account – a combination of purchased songs and my personal collection. My collection is eclectic. I have song lists for every situation or mood you can imagine, but for the field… I prefer to keep it simple, with a list that contains about three hundred rock, rap, metal, hip-hop, and grunge songs – you know… the sort of songs that kick it in gear!
I have learned along the way, that inspiration sometimes comes from the most unusual sources. A couple years ago, music helped a group of strangers get through a life and death situation – and a rock song served to bond forty-two people, in the most unusual of places – and helped us to survive.
Between 2018 and 2021 – my team spent seventeen months in Yemen – investigating war crimes and helping the people caught in the middle of the conflict. One day our team came under heavy shelling by the Saudi-led coalition. The team of fifteen took cover in a building with twenty-seven Yemeni civilians to wait it out. The building was hit, and we were trapped. In an effort to keep everyone calm, I turned on the music and let it play.
Although there was a language barrier, the music had a calming effect. After a couple of hours, a song came on that comforted everyone. When another round of shelling began … someone would say, “Again”, and I knew to play the song. During the three days that we were buried under that building, “Rainbow in the Rose” by the rock band Winger was played countless times, It gave us hope and helped us keep it together.
In the end, we all made it out alive, and my team and I went on to continue our work. This year, I wrote a book about our mission in Yemen and the stories of the people I met while I was there. Stories from Yemen: A Diary from the Field is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover. #ThinkingOutLoud #music #fieldtunes #Winger #WebbRobbins #ReekHavok #ReedRecords #Yemen #StoriesFromYemen
I’d love to hear how music comforts you… and your favorite song or band! Thanks for reading and rock on!
With gratitude… Lara