“Your Mom” 1934-2012

Idol Musings lost its most loyal fellow muser as frequent commenter Your Mom aka Fannie Ruth Linder aka my mother passed away earlier this month. Your Mom was a faithful Idol fan who was proud to say she watched the show from its first episode. One of the core traditions in the quasi-religion of Idol in my household was waiting for the phone to ring after each show was over. The quicker the phone call came – sometime within seconds after the closing credits – the more ecstatic or agitated you knew she was going to be about what had just transpired that night.

In spite of the insightful brilliance the writer of this blog brings to the table, other musers awaited Your Mom’s pronouncements as the final authority on the subject, as if her being a classically trained concert singer and international stage and recording artist gave her some credibility. I know some of you still cherish those moments when Your Mom agreed with one of your comments – especially if they were counter to mine.

Growing up with Your Mom meant there was music all around whether it was her records on the stereo[1] or just the sound of her singing throughout the house. Eventually those sounds would be replaced by someone else’s huge stereo blasting rock music from his bedroom loud enough for the neighbors to hear. There may have been more than a few “discussions” about the volume as well as the content of said music, but I digress.

There are way too many amazing musical moments with Your Mom to tell or even remember them all and it seems that each person has their own. For example, a recent discussion about what song she sang best failed to reach a consensus. Some think it’s The Lord’s Prayer; some think it’s O Holy Night; Hawaiian pop star Don Ho (remember Tiny Bubbles?) wanted to hire her on the spot after hearing her sing Danny Boy. Reasonable opinions but all wrong. The right answer is clearly Ave Maria.

Innumerable amazing moments aside, here are my favorite Your Mom music stories.

This is an excerpt from a concert review in a German newspaper: When she sang “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, it was clear: a voice like summer. If summer is the high time of the year with their whole fullness of joy – then her voice is such as summer. And when this voice rings out, it makes the heart gladder, and fills it with a deep happiness . . . Fannie Linder is a natural talent with a vocal range of three octaves – an octave above high F!

My dad loves this story. Believing she couldn’t really sing, Your Mom bowed to pressure from my dad and friends and decided to get vocal training. She auditioned for a teacher who only took on personally chosen students of the highest caliber and potential. His response to her audition was, “Lady, I’m not sure why you’re here. There really isn’t anything I can do for your voice. I might be able to help you a bit with your breathing. But you should be in New York City right now starting your career.” When she got home, she sheepishly told my dad, “I guess I can sing.”

Our family favorite is this one. While on R&R[2] with my dad when he was in Vietnam, they went to the aforementioned Don Ho’s nightclub. It was his tradition to have the soldiers come on stage and tell a funny story or joke. My dad replied that he didn’t have either one of those but had a wife who could sing. Don wasn’t impressed with my dad’s proposition yet couldn’t turn down a soldier. With a pained expression he asked mom what she wanted to sing and she replied, Danny Boy in the key of B flat. Well that got his attention! She sang and brought the house down. He then left the stage, sat down and told her his band was hers! She sang another song whereupon he offered her a job or said he could connect her with other people if she didn’t want to work his club. She kindly turned him down – raising her family was her top priority at that time.[3]

My last story is more personal. It’s this excerpt from the liner notes to her independently produced album: “All selections were recorded during a live concert and edited by Fannie’s son Ray.” Yes, folks – my contribution to the music business and by the business I mean the industry.

Without Your Mom, Idol will go on being a family religion but it will never be quite the same. We will miss anticipating the post-show phone call and my animated discussion/debates with Your Mom over the evening’s events. The blog will miss the professional knowledge her comments represented. You will miss the joy of Your Mom agreeing with you. My dad will miss Your Mom printing out the blog and reading it with him. I will miss wondering which jokes they will find funny.

And obviously we will all miss much, much more. R.I.P. Your Mom.[4]


[1] She loved Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones and Barbra Streisand, among others.

[2] Rest and Recuperation

[3] Please withhold your comments on how raising me was more than a full-time job.

[4] For more on Your Mom go to:

Explore posts in the same categories: Mindless Rant or Intelligent Commentary

5 Comments on ““Your Mom” 1934-2012”

  1. Barbara Ring Says:

    A fitting tribute, Ray, written as only you can do! Thanks for sharing about the Noble Soul whose life and love has impacted me personally more than any other. It touches my heart so…

  2. Sherri B. Says:

    Ray, this is beautiful…I am moved to tears. It was an honor to be in the presence of Your Mom on this blog. I was never able to meet her in person, but her presence here was larger than life and I always enjoyed her very thoughtful, intelligent thoughts on Idol. And yes, I must confess that I was always thrilled when I would check back and see she had agree with me on one of my Idol opinions!

    Thanks for sharing this lovely post and tribute to a woman I wish I could’ve known in person. It’s no wonder you are the amazing person you are with a mother like that! How could you not be? 🙂 Her spirit will live on in this blog…I will think of her every time I visit.

  3. Nanette Says:

    Oh Ray, I can’t say it any better than Sherri. I too was moved to tears reading this. Your writing bares your soul. I can feel your pride and your pains through your written word. I will truly miss “Your Mom” comments on the blog and our little side chats on subjects like “SYTYCD”. 🙂 It’s a good thing she made raising her family her priority because she did a stellar job!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. Lori M. Says:

    Terrific tribute Ray,wish I had known her. Now my parents,brother and daughter can hear her in the heavenly choir.

  5. […] Mom”. My tribute to my mother aka “Your Mom” is here. Within the community of the blog, I was a lower court. If a reader disagreed with me, they could […]

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