A Musical Compass in the Journey of Life

The Takeaway

Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

Music critic Rashod Ollison was born in rural Arkansas, and he grew up listening to soul records that his father picked out for him in the early 1980s. After his parents separated, Rashod gravitated toward those albums—he was hoping to glean insight into his father. Instead, he found himself. 

Ollison, author of "Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues, & Coming of Age Through Vinyl," discusses his life's journey through five influential songs, and how music is like a relative in his family.

His top five songs include: 

  • Aretha Franklin, "Soul Serenade"
  • Joni Mitchell, "Black Crow" 
  • Bobby Womack, "Put Something Down On It" 
  • Minnie Riperton, "Inside My Love" 
  • Michael Jackson, "Human Nature"  

Check out some family photos from Rashod below, and tell us about a lyric or song that defines a period of your life. What was happening at the time? Leave us a message in the comments or call 1-877-869-8253.