There's more to explore in the August issue!

Hitting the High Notes

Much to the chagrin of my parents, the two little girls in the photo did not become pianists. And much to our own regret, neither my sister nor I continued playing the piano after we left home. Nevertheless, music is a part of our family history. My mother was a talented piano player well into her 80s, and my father played acoustic guitar with his bluegrass friends, often doing volunteer gigs at retirement homes around east Mississippi. Remembering their love of music continues to inspire me.
This month, we offer stories about how music enriches our lives, from the cradle to the grave. Before you read those stories, though, we know you’ll flip to our cover story about the legendary Dolly Parton and her exclusive interview with writer Jackie Sheckler Finch, who has been fortunate to meet the iconic performer several times. To millions of children, Dolly is more than a superstar… she is the “Book Lady.” In 1996, she started the Imagination Library and today 1.4 million children receive free books each month through the program. She shares with DeSoto readers how reading one particular book as a child changed her own life.
Travelers needing changes in latitudes and attitudes will find rock-star accommodations at one of the musically inspired resorts featured in my story, “Sweet Dreams.”
Several long-running music festivals take place this fall, including the King Biscuit Blues Festival which has been a cultural highpoint in the region for more than 30 years. Karen Ott Mayer writes about the festival’s history and founder.
This month’s issue hits a lot of high notes, especially with stories about how music benefits babies as well as the elderly. It’s never too early or too late to take up an instrument… or return to those piano lessons from long ago.

Happy reading!

Mary Ann