Michelle Obama Discusses Her Childhood Music in Exclusive Podcast Clip - Rolling Stone
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Michelle Obama Discusses Her Childhood Music Taste in Exclusive Podcast Clip

Former First Lady recalls her family’s vinyl collections, playing the Jackson 5

Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama listens to female students at the Can Giuoc high school in Long An province, Vietnam, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. Mrs. Obama is on a visit to Vietnam to promote education for adolescent girls. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama listens to female students at the Can Giuoc high school in Long An province, Vietnam, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. Mrs. Obama is on a visit to Vietnam to promote education for adolescent girls.

Hau Dinh/AP

In an exclusive segment for the latest episode of her new podcast, Michelle Obama discusses the music of her childhood with her brother, Craig Robinson, and how their father and grandfather’s vinyl collections shaped their understanding of the art form.

“When I think of Euclid [Avenue], when I think of our childhood, I think of music,” Obama says in the two-minute clip. “Music was the backdrop of everything. We didn’t do anything without music, and that’s because our father was a big jazz lover and had a huge jazz album collection that he cherished. And our maternal grandfather, Southside, was a big music enthusiast. He had a wall full of jazz albums.”

Together with her brother, Obama recalls how their elders didn’t treat their collections as precious objects for display only — she, Craig and the other kids were encouraged to (correctly) handle the vinyl and put it on the turntable so they could hear it play.

“One of my favorites was the Jackson 5,” she remembers. “‘Stop the Love You Save,’ and ‘ABC’ on the B-side — that was that little record, on our little bitty, makeshift record player. It wasn’t the stereo system, but it was the thing you plugged in, and you could put the disc, in the 45, to play it. But we used to love playing the Jackson 5.”

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