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

Courtesy of Catherine Glass

Updated June 15, 2021 at 1:18 PM ET

More than 600,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit this country and the world just over a year ago. NPR is remembering some of those who lost their lives by listening to the music they loved and hearing their stories. We're calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.

My dad loved anything Northern Soul. He grew up in England in the 1960s and '70s, when Northern Soul music was popular. He had a hard childhood, growing up in foster care and on the streets. I believe this music helped him through hard times in his life. At age 57, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and he listened to his music during many hours of chemotherapy. When he was suffering with COVID-19, he also turned to his music. The music made him happy and made him want to dance. One of the songs I know he loved was "Because Of You" by Jackie Wilson. He never told me why he liked it, but after listening to the words of the song, I believe it's for my mother, who saved him. But my mom insists they saved each other.

The song "Because Of You" by Jackie Wilson reminds of the time my dad and I were sitting in his living room after he was diagnosed with cancer and he told me this was his favorite song. I wrote it down in my notes section of my phone because I knew it would be important to remember. We ended up playing it at his memorial service. It also reminds me of how my mom and dad met, my dad was only 21, young, and trying to find his way in life; my mom was 32, divorced and also trying to find her way. They helped each other find their way in life over 40 years. —Catherine Glass, daughter

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