William D. Waltz

from All-Time Greatest

Upon successful passage through the birth canal, newborns can immediately recognize the voices of their mothers and fathers, for they have been listening and listening well for nine months to the voices and the music of this world. According to my mother, John Phillip Sousa moved me first. I kicked my legs and banged my head in utero to the staccato karate chop of the marching band's drum section. For a trimester, a lonely astronaut strolling through the night sky, I stopped to tap on the hull whenever I heard the strains of music emanating from the other side. Doris Day, Bobby Darin, Bob Wills, Benny Goodman, Sinatra, Elvis, Ella, apparently I loved them all.