Okay, influences from the earliest recollection:
Igor Stravinsky. Leopold Stokowski. Louis Armstrong. The Beatles. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan,
Peter,Paul, and Mary, my sister's piano practice.
THE MOODY BLUES. Since 1968 no less.
The Irish Rovers (no I am not kidding.)
The Everly Brothers (had such a crush on Phil.....)
Almost any rock music that came out between 1965 and 1972. Way too many to list and many of them long gone. And I am talking ROCK, not that bubblegum BS or nauseating pop crap.
(God I hated Bobby Sherman and that damned Partridge family!)
Weather Report and especially Jaco Pastorius. That man single-handedly changed how I listen to music. Well, okay, he probably used both hands, but you get my drift.
Focus, Golden Earring, PFM, and a number of other European bands that couldn't get an even break in the US. Subsequently, Jan Akkerman, Thijs van Leer, Cesar Zuiderwijk,
Barry Hay, George Kooymans, Rinus Gerritsen, Pierre Van Der Linden....well, the list goes on.
Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Tomita, Jean Michel Jarre, the Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno,...
Dave Brubeck, Count Basie ( damn that man could ROCK!), Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman,...
Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Julian Bream, the Baroque period, (I loathe opera though...)
Itscak Perlman, and I cannot stand Bela Bartok!
Very little country music, but I like Dwight Yoakum, Asleep at the Wheel, and a few others. Closest I got to hearing country was the folk period: Simon and Garfunkle, Donovan, that sort.
My tastes have leaned toward what is called world music for many years. I find that music truly is a eraser of differences. We may have trouble as species communicating with each other, but let a couple of people start playing guitars or drums and the lines of seperation that we have set upon ourselves start to fade. I have traveled much of the world, and music is the one constant among humans.
Oh yeah -and the music of the Spheres. Literally. I love recordings done by NASA's two Voyager satellites. As they passed through our solar system on their way out of the Sol system, they used a very sophisticated bit of technology to record the sounds of the solar wind tearing over the magnetic fields of most of the planets and some of the moons.
The resulting cds are the most amazing stuff. Some of them sound like masses of voices in harmony, some like singing bowls, even the song of whales. It is very comforting and familiar. There are times when I wonder if this is where we get music from- that we unconciously hear these sounds filtering through our atmosphere.
You can find copies of these at the Centre for Neuroacoustic Research online.
How's that for a list of favs?
you know, it is amazing what one can forget in too long a moment...
This list above barely scrapes the surface. I even forgot my two most influential singers: Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey. I love to sing, though I usually do not subject anyone to it. I believe in exercising the throat chakra, and can actually sing better than too many of those out there with recording contracts(!), but it is a personal thing for me.
I have no desire to be on a stage.
I am not going to try to go any further with this list; it's pointless. If it had/has musical talent of a notable form, I probably paid attention for a little while at least. And incidently, just because someone can play an instrument or open his/her mouth does NOT mean that person has talent. Looking at the Billboard 100 much of the time, one also must realise that in the world of pop culture, true talent is no longer an issue......more is the pity.