This question was posed by my daughter on Twitter yesterday and I decided to take the challenge:
What song must you listen to every day without fail?
I have long and varied playlists that run the gamut of many different genres: techno, house, old country, pop from the 70’s and 80’s, and metal. There’s a tab on Spotify, my platform of choice, that lets you see how often and who you play the most. I was sure what the top ones would be, but was semi-surprised as it went along. Call me eclectic, or just weird, because I won’t be offended:
1) Shaun Cassidy: I make no apologies because he has been my favorite ever since he belted out “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Hey Deanie.” He was also Joe Hardy on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in the late 70’s and that sealed the deal. I was an obsessed reader of the Hardy Boys books, and he came to life for me on that show. I had every one of his albums and now realize I listen to him every day.
2) Barry Manilow: Oh, Barry. “Sweet Melissa, angel of my lifetime” did me in when I heard it for the first time. There was something about his smooth vocals and that small dip into disco he did in the seventies that still holds me in its thrall. I have a long list of his songs that I put on when I need to chill. George says he gets depressed when he hears them, and I reply that I wasn’t really asking him to like Barry anyway. BARRY FOR LIFE.
3) Olivia Newton-John: Long before she donned her aerobic-wear and got physical, she was the Olivia who sang, “Have you never been mellow?” We had the 8-Track and I played that until it was nearly worn out. My sisters and I will still do an acapella version of “Let me be there” at random times, belting out those half-country half-pop notes like no other. In the 80’s I was a big Xanadu fan, and the songs “Make a move on me” and “Magic” are some of my all-time favorites.
4) Metallica: I’m a product of the time I grew up in, and the first time I heard this band growl out their lyrics with those angry guitars, I felt like I was hearing something clandestine. I could find them on an alternative radio station that I could only tune in at night, and I’d lay awake in wonder. The wild beats and drums drew me in and I’ve been a fan since the early 80’s. You couldn’t be a high school kid during that time without loving some form of metal. Metallica forever as well.
5) Steve Wariner or Kenny Rogers or early George Strait: I’m a sucker for this style of country, not the country of today. No haters please. I have long lists of this style of music that I evidently play every single day. My brother got me a Kenny Rogers album in 1979 for Christmas and I never looked back. Marina Del Rey? Kansas City Lights? You Decorated my Life? Nothing more to say here.
So, this is the music I surround myself with nearly every single day. Music is a feeling, an emotion. It can wildly swing you from memory to memory in the span of seconds. I don’t believe I need to stick to a certain genre to be the person I am or profess to be. I challenge all of you to look at the music you listen to, and instead of beating yourself up for it – or being embarrassed - embrace what you love. Life is too short to listen to music that bores you. The next time you hear the words “Hey Deanie, won’t you come out tonight! The stars are dancing like diamonds in the moonlight” whisper across your neck, you won’t be dreaming. That’ll be me blasting Shaun Cassidy at top volume with the windows down, as I cruise through Berlin.