I was nine years old when my mother brought me a record player and two albums. Aretha Franklin and Klimax. It was 1985. I rushed home with the record player, hurried into my bedroom, and closed the door. I unboxed the record player, placed it on the window sill, and plugged it in. I tore the plastic from the albums, gently laid Aretha's onto the record player, and watched it spin as the needle found its groove. I sat on the floor, my legs crossed. The music began. I closed my eyes. I listened intensely. I heard sounds that others did not. The classical harp subdued in an orchestra of strings in Babyface's "Whip Appeal." Or the whistle beautifully blending with the instruments, on The Deele's song, "Two Occasions." Any time I'd get five dollars I'd walk to Skippy White's to buy a new album. Roger Troutman. Angela Winbush. Rick Astley. Lisa Stanfield. Guy. Madonna. When the song was over I opened my eyes, got up from the floor, and played the same song again. And again.