Interesting stories, most I haven't heard, some I've heard tidbits of here and there. Good topic!
I'm pretty sure I've told most of this before somewhere on these boards, but I'll bite again. My Dad took guitar lessons when he was young, and I grew up with him being "the guy" at campfires playing and singing tunes. He was a train Engineer on the railroad so was gone a lot, but when he was laid off and home for periods of time, we'd sit together and he'd practice guitar and teach me how to sing, to hold out a note, add a little vibrato, to properly end a word that ended with a consonant (he had lots of choir practice in his youth). I got rudimentary lessons in reading music, or at least watching for the chord changes and words to know when to turn the pages for him in his music books. I sang along. He played a lot of the songs from the 60's and 70's, and some folk tunes, but always put his own spin on them. I grew up knowing Dad's version of songs, not the radio versions, and it's only been the past few years that I've ever even bothered to listen to the originals to really begin to understand my Dad's taste in music (and why some people don't know "these great songs" - lots were really dull recordings, but not the way Dad played and sang 'em).
He tried to talk me into learning guitar as a kid, I just wanted to sing though. I was required to learn an instrument in grade school and picked up the B-flat clarinet. That's where I learned to read the treble clef. Then I quit playing after a few years and just sang and sang, took voice lessons for a bit (learning Italian Arias, really odd musical numbers, and old Latin religious songs as well as participating in vocal competitions), made it to All County as well as All State choir. My parents said I wouldn't make money in music and encouraged me NOT to follow my dreams and go to a music college - Willie said so, I needed to be a doctor or lawyer or something. Long story short, I didn't end up going to any college but finally picked up the guitar a few years ago.
My Grandma was a big fat lady, she was always playing her 8-tracks - Elvis, Dolly, Willie. My other Grandma played the organ (typical church music and songs from the 20's-40's) and gave it to me at one point, but I never learned to do more than plunk out notes. She taught me where they were by writing on the keys in pencil.
I wish I'd have taken music theory in high school, but there just wasn't time with Girls Choir, Jazz Choir, regular Choir, voice lessons, and boys. Maybe someday I'll bother to learn more, but for now I'm just happy strumming a few chords to sing with.