Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Music to go with My New Hat

a list of songs to go with my new hat
So what is it about a new hat that makes you want to get up and dance?

1.   You Can Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker - This song was written by Randy Newman in 1972. But Joe Cocker made it famous when he sang it for the movie 9 1/2 Weeks. Tom Jones sang it for The Full Monty.

2.   Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat - John Mellencamp - Bob Dylan wrote this song for his 1966 Blonde on Blonde album. But John Mellencamp's recording is my favorite.

3.   Wherever I Lay My Hat - Taylor Hicks  - This was written by Marvin Gaye and sung by so many. I love Taylor Hick's version.

4.   Hats - Amy Grant - A great song for dancing around the house when you feel like you are wearing way too many hats.

5.   Don't Touch My Hat - Lyle Lovett - What can I say? It's so Lyle Lovett

6.   Big Hat No Cattle - Eli Barsi - This is another great song by Randy Newman. We've all known men like this. It reminds me of some politicians.

7.   Hat Full of Stars - Cyndi Lauper

8.   Top Hat, White Tie - Ella Fitzgerald - This song was written by Irving Berlin for Fred Astaire in 1935. Many have recorded it. Great version by Ella Fitzgerald.

9.   My Hat's on the Side of My Head - Lynwood Slim and the Igor Prado Band

10. Top Hat Bar and Grill - Jim Croce - This song was written by Croce about some of the places he had worked in. He died way too early, in a plane crash in 1973. He was only 30 years old.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dancing on the Fourth of July

So are you going to be dancing on the 4th of July? Here's my playlist to get the party started!

Back in the USA - Linda Ronstadt -This song was written by Chuck Berry and originally released in 1959. Ronstadt released her version in the 1978 hit album Living in the USA.
We're an American Band - Grand Funk Railroad - This song was released in 1973 and was the group's first #1 hit.
Only in America - The Drifters - This song has been done by many performers, but I like The Drifters version best.
Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival - This song was written by John Fogerty and released by Creedence in 1969. I also love the Tina Turner version.  I saw Tina do this live, when she was still with Ike, and again live when she was in her 60s wearing high high heels on a platform that swung out above the Oakland Coliseum. Tina is one impressive woman!
All American Country Boy - Alan Jackson
American Made - The Oak Ridge Boys - This song was written by Bob DiPioro and Pat McManus and  was the featured in the album by the same name in 1983.
Power and Glory - Phil Ochs - This song was written by Phil Ochs, a protest singer of the 1960s, as a kind of anthem about the best parts of America.
America - Simon and Garfunkel - America was written by Paul Simon and released in 1969. The lyrics describe a hitch hiking trip east across the United States by two lovers.
Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys - The lyrics were written by Brian Wilson and set to the music of Little Sweet Sixteen by Chuck Berry. The single was released in 1963.
An American Trilogy - Elvis Presley - Elvis began including this in his concerts in the 1970s
America the Beautiful - Ray Charles and Alicia Keys - This is from Ray Charles' Genius and Friends album. It's beautiful and is perfect to play when those fireworks start shooting off!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Twenty Great Summer Songs

Summer makes me want to do a happy dance, especially when the garden is in bloom, the string of party patio lights are on, everything is swept and watered, the pillows are plumped on the glider, there is beer and wine in the cooler and friends are on the way over.

... and summer music of course...
Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
Curvas Peligrosas - Extra Large
Fun, Fun, Fun by the Beach Boys 
Summertime - Janis Joplin
Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
Summer Breeze - Jason Mraz
Saturday in the Park - Chicago
Summer - War
Under the Boardwalk - the Drifters
In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone
Surfin' USA - the Beach Boys (Actually all of the Beach Boys songs remind me of summer!)
Surf City - Jan and Dean
Wipe Out - the Safries
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka dot Bikini - Bryan Highland
Summer City - the Lovin' Spoonful
Heat Wave - Martha and the Vandellas
The Girl from Ipanema - Amy Winehouse
Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers
Sunny Afternoon - the Kinks

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baby Work Out!

I usually wake up a bit on the down side. Today I woke up as a 5. (That's okay, leaning slightly towards unhappy on the mood scale at the left.) Twenty minutes of dancing and I am now  7.5. It never stops amazing me how fast I can bounce up my mood with just a bit of dancing around the house.

My "go to" song this morning was Baby Work Out by Jackie Wilson. There is absolutely no way you can continue sitting at your computer when this song comes on. Go ahead. Try it. Did it get you up and dance?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Open Windows and Doors, and 70's Music

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in Northern California, the kind of day that promises that summer picnics, vineyards full of grapes and trips to the beach are near. The sky was a deep blue and all the doors and windows were open. Neighbors were walking their dogs, working in their yards, washing cars and readying their barbecues for a season of grilled chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs.

The two young men across the street were fixing an old automobile. The front car door was left open so they could listen to the CD player while they worked. I recognized all the music playing. It was the music from my life...from the 60s and 70s - Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater, Buffalo Springfield and the fabulous Bob Marley. Now I am quite sure that neither were born in the 70s. They were probably not born until the mid 80s or maybe even the early 90s. It's their parents house so I am guessing it's also Dad and Mom's playlist. I love it when there's music in the air and I know the words to all the songs. And yes it definitely got me up and dancing.

The Playlist...
Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress - The Hollies Long Cool Woman - Hell or Bust
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl (Single Version) - Super Hits
Spirit In the Sky - Norman Greenbaum Spirit In the Sky - Spirit In the Sky - The Definitive Anthology
Brandy - Looking Glass Brandy - Looking Glass
Swingtown - Steve Miller Band Swingtown - Greatest Hits 1974-78
Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival Bad Moon Rising - Chronicle - The 20 Greatest Hits
Up Around the Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival Up Around the Bend - Chronicle - The 20 Greatest Hits
The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals The House of the Rising Sun (Re-Recorded) - The Animals: All-Time Greatest Hits (Re-Recorded Version)
For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield For What It's Worth - Rhino Hi-Five: Buffalo Springfield - EP
Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley and the Wailers Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers: Gold

So what gets you up and dancing around the house?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lola and I Danced Today

Lola loves to dance with me. If I am busy and don't get around to it, she bugs me until we go into the kitchen or living room to dance. She knows a bunch of steps...conga, shimmy, the twist, flamenco and salsa. The girl has rhythm. Today we danced for twenty minutes. It improved my mood by 20%. Lola was all out happy from the words..."Lola, do you want to dance?"

Our Go To song... Koop Island Blues 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Danced Today

This Morning I Danced in my Kitchen and Living Room for 20 minutes
Mood before - 5.5
Mood after - 7
Go to Song: Hey Eugene by Pink Martini 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Keep On Dancing

Fifteen minutes in my little dance world and I am a new woman... happier, more energetic, and feeling ready to take on the world and any problems I am trying to work out. How does that happen? I don't know but it works EVERY SINGLE TIME, and I have been doing it for years. The dancing doesn't have to be pretty. It just has to be enthusiastic. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think the uglier and sillier I dance the more it improves my mood. Dancing in the kitchen is not to be taken seriously.

The right music makes all the difference in getting me up out of my chair, away from my computer and dancing around my house. Here are 10 songs that are guaranteed to get me dancing. They are oldies but put a shimmy in my spirit, a strut in my walk and rhythm back into my soul! Guaranteed.

1.   Respect by the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin 
2.   Shake, Rattle and Roll by Joe Turner
3.   Born on the Bayou by John Fogerty
4.   Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band
5.   Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham
6.   Louie Louie by The Kingsmen
7.   All Shook Up by Elvis Presley
8    The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett
9.   The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis
10.  Smooth by Santana

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dancing In My Kitchen - Makes Everything Better

Haven't danced much lately. Haven't done much of anything exercise-wise except walk my dog. So today I did a 15 minute Legs Up the Wall yoga stretch/meditation and then danced around my kitchen and living room for 15 minutes.

Legs Up the Wall reduced my stress and the dancing improved my mood by 20%. Works every time. It's silly of me not to do this every day. It changes everything for the better.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Have You Tried Zumba?

My style of dancing tends to be shake as many body parts as possible as I move around the kitchen and living room. After reading this article about Zumba in Harper's Bazaar, I am thinking maybe it's time to find a group. Do you Zumba?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Freestyle Dancing Reduces the Onset of Dementia

I just read a terrific article in Psychology Today by neuropsychologist Jenni Ogden, Ph.D. She describes a research study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings of the study suggest that freestyle dancing (as in the kind I do in my kitchen and living room) is one of the best activities to "stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia."

Soooo...let me get this straight. If I dance around my house, I am having fun, exercising my body, losing weight, improving my mood by 15-20% and reducing the chances of dementia?!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On My Shazam

I have recently added a number of songs to my dancing playlist that I had forgotten about and have rediscovered with my Shazam App. Do you Shazam?

1.  Something's Got a Hold on Me - Etta James
2.  Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus
3.  As - Stevie Wonder
4.  Boogie Shoes - KC & the Sunshine Band
5.  Do You Love Me - The Contours
6.  New Shoes - Paolo Nutini 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year's Resolution - Just Push Play

I am keeping it simple. I have only one resolution for 2013...Every day just push play! If I have the right playlist, the music will take care of getting me dancing around the kitchen and house. The dancing around the kitchen will take care of everything else...

1.  If I dance for only 10-15 minutes I will improve my mood by 15-20%.
2.  If I dance in the morning, everything I do during the day is done with a significantly better mood.
3.  My creativity flows so much better after I dance.
4.  My problem solving is better after I dance.
5.  Dancing for only 15 minutes helps me maintain my weight.
6.  Dancing for only 30 minutes a day helps me lose weight.
7.  I build and tone muscles when I dance.
8.  I laugh more
9.  Life just works better.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dancing in the Kitchen While Making Hot Fudge

So today is cooking day. Making the annual hot fudge sauce that goes over vanilla ice-cream (and served with crushed candy canes). If you are looking for great Christmas songs for dancing around the kitchen, here are some of my favorites.

Christmas for You and Me - Drew Holcomb Christmas for You and Me - Another Neighborly Christmas - EP
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus - Brian Setzer Boogie Woogie Santa Claus - Christmas Rocks! - The Best of Collection
What Christmas Means to Me - Cee Lo Green What Christmas Means to Me - CeeLo's Magic Moment

Merry Christmas Baby by Bruce Springsteen has been a favorite for years. Last year I found out that Elvis had a version too. This year there is a great duet with Cee Lo Green and Rod Stewart.
Merry Christmas Baby - Cee Lo Green and Rod Stewart Merry Christmas, Baby (feat. Rod Stewart & Trombone Shorty) - CeeLo's Magic Moment
Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen Merry Christmas Baby - A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1
Merry Christmas Baby - Elvis Merry Christmas Baby - Elvis Christmas
Gotta Be Good - Chris Isaak Gotta Be Good - Christmas
Christmas in the Sand - Colbie Caillet Christmas In the Sand - Christmas In the Sand
Santa Claus Baby - Joan Osborne Santa Claus Baby - Christmas Means Love

And for those who have been a bit naughty this year...
What Do Bad Girls Get - Joan Osborne What Do Bad Girls Get? - Christmas Means Love
Maybe Next Year - Meiko Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) - Winter Songs

Please Come Home for Christmas - Grace Potter Please Come Home for Christmas - Now That's What I Call Today's Christmas
Step Into Christmas - The Puppini Sisters Step Into Christmas - Christmas With the Puppini Sisters
Señor Santa - Y La Bamba Señor Santa (Mister Santa) - Holidays Rule

Another two big favorites are Bette Midler's Cool Yule. You know it's going to be good if it's Midler. And I should warn you, once you listen to I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas you will be singing it for weeks!
Cool Yule - Bette Midler Cool Yule - Cool Yule
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - Gretchen Wilson I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - Single

Santa Baby - Pink Martini Santa Baby - Joy to the World
Ain't Nothin' Like Christmas - Shelby Lynn Ain't Nothin' Like Christmas - Merry Christmas
Red-Suited Super Man - Rod Stewart Red-Suited Super Man (feat. Trombone Shorty) - Merry Christmas, Baby
Party Hard - Zach Gill Party Hard - This Warm December, A Brushfire Holiday, Vol. 2
Children Go Where I Send Thee - Natalie Merchant Children Go Where I Send Thee - A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3

Love me a New Orleans Christmas...
Such a Night - Aaron Neville Such a Night - Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas
Louisiana Christmas Day - Aaron Neville Louisiana Christmas Day - Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas

Then there is classic Brenda Lee...
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - 20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: The Best of Brenda Lee

Hope these songs get you and your family and friends up and rockin' around the Christmas Tree.
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