Jimmy Glass, 60: Jackie Wilson's 'Because Of You' : Songs Of Remembrance The father was a huge Northern Soul fan, and her turned to Jackie Wilson's "Because Of You" during his illness.
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Jimmy Glass, 60: Jackie Wilson's 'Because Of You'

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Jimmy Glass, 60: Jackie Wilson's 'Because Of You'

Jimmy Glass, 60: Jackie Wilson's 'Because Of You'

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This week, we're remembering some of the half a million people in the U.S. who have died of COVID-19 through the music that gave their lives meaning. We're calling our tribute Songs of Remembrance. Today Cathy Glass remembers her father, Jimmy Glass, from Winter Springs, Fla., and his favorite song, "Because Of You" by Jackie Wilson.

CATHERINE GLASS: My dad was raised by his mom in England, but had a presence of a father. And she had manic depression, but she was treated as a schizophrenic. So every 18 months, she would deteriorate and have to go back into hospital. So he was in and out of foster care since the age of 2, I believe.

(SOUNDBITE OF JACKIE WILSON SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

GLASS: In 1980, when he was 21 and my mom was 32, she had just separated from her husband. And my mom was working behind the bar where my parents met. He came in, and my mom said, oh, look at that young man. And, you know, he was good-looking. And they ended up the next day basically moving in together (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

JACKIE WILSON: (Singing) 'Cause when I was down and out, just like a mother, you took me in - sweet baby.

GLASS: Everyone said it wouldn't last because my mom was much older and he was younger, but it lasted, and they were together for 40 years.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) 'Cause we've got love on our side. We're gonna let love be our guide. And it's all...

GLASS: He was always a truck driver. And I would actually go in the truck with him if my mom couldn't watch me because she was working or there was no school. So I would go in the truck with him, and he would play the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) Because of you.

GLASS: In 2018, he was diagnosed with Stage IV small cell lung cancer. We were sitting down, listening to his music because that's what he liked to do. That's what got him through the challenges in his life. And he sat down with me, and he said, this is my favorite song. And I wrote it down in my notes of my phone because I knew it was something that I had to remember.

I had to listen to the words until I played it at his memorial service. And I realized that this was a message to my mom and how she helped him be the man that he was supposed to be. And my mom said my dad saved her because she was spiraling and not doing well in her life at that time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) You put together all of my dreams that were once shattered and torn apart. You've got to be...

GLASS: They were able to come together and have a family and - a family that my dad never was able to have as a child.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) 'Cause we've got love on our side...

GLASS: The line says, 'cause we've got love on our side. We're gonna let love be our guide all because of you. And I think that's what guided them throughout their whole life was just the love that they had for each other, and the love that my mom still has for my dad.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) Woah, yes, I am because of you.

SHAPIRO: That's Cathy Glass remembering her father, Jimmy Glass, who was 60 when he died of COVID-19 in June of last year. And you can visit our tribute, NPR's Songs of Remembrance, at npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BECAUSE OF YOU")

WILSON: (Singing) Got to make you my wife 'cause I was lost and going in circles when you found me - oh, yes, you found me.

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