I can’t recall a Thanksgiving that wasn’t filled with some form of holiday chaos.

The three most important questions of the day — "What time are you coming over?," "What should I bring?" and "What time is everybody eating?" — are repeated often and at various decibel levels.

Our little family home in McFarland could amazingly hold at times seven different families all under one roof. Siblings, grandkids, great-grandkids, along with the steady stream of family guests — everyone was welcome. Plenty of food, celebratory beverages and, of course, the most eclectic of playlists played randomly from morning till the wee hours.

Both of my parents loved the big band sounds of the 1940s and ’50s from Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra, but my mom was also a huge fan of James Brown, The Young Rascals, Tower of Power, Hall & Oates and Latin pop singer Vikki Carr. I can only guess that much of my parents’ musical tastes were shaped from having seven kids and experiencing the evolution of popular music as it blared from the rooms of teenagers.

"Time to eat, let’s pray," my mom could be heard before launching into a familiar dinner blessing that always included an improvisational segment toward the end that would make us crack up a little.

Giving thanks is what the day is all about and she made sure to verbalize just that.

From dinnertime on, playlists came in groove waves with Motown always at the jump-off, followed by the old school funk station. If you haven’t checked out the Chic station on Pandora, I highly recommend you enjoy with a hearty slice of sweet potato pie.

The memories are endless, the laughs and blessings abundant. I look forward to what this year’s holiday season has in store. Hug those around you, always thank the cook, don’t drive angry, and in the case of a family argument — kick on some Bob Marley to restore peace, love and unity. It works every time. Happy Thanksgiving!

BLACK FRIDAY

In need of some digestion exercise after you’ve gorged yourself on leftovers? Then head over to one of our two locally owned record stores for some Black Friday Record Store Day music shopping.

While Record Store Day normally takes place in April, organizers have brilliantly decided to offer an additional RSD event with a number of limited-edition collector’s vinyl releases made officially for the Record Store Day event brand.

At Going Underground Records, 1312 19th St., store owner Ron Ramirez anticipates smaller crowds to those that line up down the block in April, but said he'll be ready if the response is huge.

“We are keeping it fairly simple here. Opening early, selling records, stocking more records, buying records, staying late.”

In addition to offering a large number of releases made specifically for the occasion, Ramirez will feature storewide discounts adding that serious collectors should set their alarms.

“Arrive early if you’re looking for those special releases and to get a record player before the Christmas rush.”

Pick up the new 7-inch vinyl single “Christmas Sweet” by Bakersfield classic reggae group The Soul Chance, available on red vinyl. The group’s debut album, which sold out of its first pressing, will also be freshly restocked for the occasion. Friday’s store hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit goingundergroundrecords.com or call 633-0111.

World Records, 2815 F St., will host similar festivities, opening its doors at 9 a.m. on Friday.

According to owner Pat Evans, shoppers can enjoy hot pizza made fresh in house while they peruse the bins until 6 p.m.

Evans said, “We’ve been able to order a large portion of titles from the official RSD list, so hopefully shoppers will find their picks.”

For more information, visit shopworldrecords.com or call 325-1982.

Both stores will also be open for business the next day on Small Business Saturday, a day to recognize and support locally owned businesses. 

To see a complete list of this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day releases, visit recordstoreday.com.

Get out and help support your favorite local mom-and-pop shops.

Contributing columnist Matt Munoz brings you the latest news on Bakersfield’s music scene every other Thursday.

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