Tag: Judy Garland

Friday 5: 5 Great Broadway Singers

This week on the Friday 5 we were asked to focus on 5 great female singers.  Well, I could have easily went with singers like Adele, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion etc but the more I thought about it the more I came back to Broadway.  For my money there is nothing like a Broadway singer in terms of quality of the singing voice.  Maybe you could make a claim for opera but I’m not as familiar with individual opera singers as Broadway.  Anyway, Broadway was my pick and I chose 5 singers I love:

  1. Julie Andrews- Does anything even need to be said to defend this choice? I mean Mary Poppins and Sound of Music alone seal the deal alone. The fact she can no longer sing makes me very depressed.  What an amazing voice and actress! Here she is singing Spoonful of Sugar
  2. Linda Eder- You might not be as familiar with Linda but she is an incredible talent.  She became famous playing Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde.   The most famous song from that show is Someone Like You.  I almost went with her rendition of Anthem from Chess but I couldn’t find a good 25 second or under section.  That’s the trouble with Friday 5 is you have to find a song that sell’s itself in a short section because of copyright issues. Not all songs do.
  3. Idina Menzel- My favorite belt singer is Idina and after seeing her live I am an even bigger fan of hers.  What a mastery over this particular type of sound.  It’s bold, striking and beautiful.  Here she is singing Defying Gravity from Wicked and Let it Go from Frozen
  4. Judy Garland- Ok she was not technically Broadway but she was in a lot of musicals and did a lot of concert albums, so I say it counts.  This particular song I went with because You Made Me Love You is such a heartbreaking reality of Judy’s life.  I also love her in Meet Me in St Louis and maybe I will use some of her songs from that show in later Friday 5s like the Trolley Song. . Of course I love Over the Rainbow.  Here she is singing it live in her famous London concert
  5. Kelli Ohara- Perhaps non-Broadway buffs might not be super familiar with Kelli but she has an amazing voice and has done just about everything on Broadway.  Recently she lit it up playing Anna in the King and I.  She’s also been amazing in Light in the Piazza, Nice Work if You Can Get It, South Pacific, Pajama Game and more.  Here she is singing Getting to Know You.  and here is Beauty Is from Light in the Piazza. 

What do you think of my 5 choices?  What are some of your favorite female Broadway singers both living and past on?  As a musical buff I would love to talk about it!  What’s your favorite musical?

The Oddness of Modern Community

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on this blog I am going to be in New York next week! On Tuesday night I am taking the red eye to the Big Apple and going to be visiting until Saturday!  I am so excited because I love New York, get some time off work, see a show, visit with my sister and meet up with a bunch of friends I’ve never met before in real life.

Let me explain that last one for a second.  It’s an interesting situation.  You guys know I like the show Survivor.  I find it fascinating to look at the choices men and women make in the game and how every game is different with a different style of win (except for Sandra who won twice).  It’s now going into Season 30 and we have a very promising season with a lot of super fans after season 29 was a super snoozefest.

I would say I was a big fan at the beginning of Survivor and then picked it up again in spurts when there was a Utahn on the show and then with Heroes vs Villains I started watching again regularly.  I missed One World and Philippines but got the rest of the seasons but nobody I know is into the show, which is frustrating because it is the kind of show you want to talk about with others. 
In fact, I miss the social aspect of movies and TV.  In my 20s it was quite common for me to gather with friends and watch American Idol, Survivor, Lost or The Office.  Now that never happens.  Same thing for movies.  Most movies I go to by myself these days.

But around Season 26: Survivor Caramoan I stumbled on a podcast where former Survivors Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach were talking about the show each week and I loved it!  A lot of people don’t care for Caramoan but I love Dawn and Cochran and it was my introduction to the podcast and the Rob Has a Podcast Planet.

I think someone could enjoy Rob’s podcast even if they didn’t watch any of his shows.  Kind of like I enjoy Car Talk and I hate cars.  Rob’s just so personal, funny and engaging.  Plus, it was so much fun to get involved on the chatroom and talk about the episode.  Again, it reminded me of those times in college when media was a group experience.

Well last year Rob made a proposal to his little planet that if we would support his podcast for .25 cents an episode he would give a monthly patroncast where we could ask questions and set up a patron group to further discuss the show.  Wanting to support Rob I decided to become a patron and so I joined the facebook group at the same time.  I believe I was in the first 100 patrons in the group.  Now I don’t know how many hundreds of us there are but it is an active vibrant group with patrons from all around the world.

rhapWe even did a secret Santa last Christmas where I came up with a gift for a woman named Ana from Brazil and I received maple syrup and some bacon bowl makers from a patron named Rebekkah from Canada!  Each week we talk about whatever reality show is on (Big Brother, Amazing Race and Survivor being the big 3) but also scripted shows, movies and occasionally other silly news.  There have been a few cantankerous souls in the group and some people are too sensitive about spoilers IMO but for the most part its been great!

It sounds crazy but I really feel like it is a community of friends and it seems amazing to me something as silly as a podcast about reality TV could bring people together in a community.  It shows it really doesn’t take much to gather people together, especially in the world of social media and the internet.  But I think even in real interaction if you can find something you have in common with another person, it can be the silliest thing and yet that is enough to start a friendship and get people talking.  I’ve seen it a 100 times that a shared love of dolls, books, Judy Garland, musicals, whatever it is, it’s all it takes to get the ball rolling and create a relationship.  Get enough of those balls rolling and you have a community. Kind of amazing!

I’ve seen it with my open water swimming- how a love of the water and being outdoors brings people who have little to nothing else in common together and fast friendships are formed.  It seems to me sometimes all it takes is finding that one thing you have in common with someone, no matter how stupid, and you can make it work.

Anyway, when Rob announced they were doing a live podcast in New York on March 11th I initially dismissed it.  Who flies across the country after all to listen to a podcast?  That’s crazy talk!

But then the rest of the community kept talking about it and it sounded like so much fun. A few weeks ago I decided to look at plane flights just out of curiosity and to my surprise they weren’t half bad, and then I found a hotel which was reasonable and in a safe neighborhood.  The idea kept germinating and I finally said

“What the heck!  Why not! I’m a super predictable person and for once I’m going to do something strange and fly across the country for a podcast!”

So I got my ticket and it turns out my sister is going to come down the day after the show and we are going to spend a couple days in New York together!  It should be a ton of fun!

There is a side of me which still thinks I am nuts for going to a podcast and meeting strangers but another side is really excited (and nervous) to meet all these people I’ve interacted with over the last year.  I’ve heard their voice when they call into the podcast.  I’ve read their posts, sometimes surprisingly personal and I feel like they are friends.  I really do.

I just hope it is a good experience and people aren’t too rowdy.  I normally don’t go to places like bars or comedy clubs but it is 300 people and the girl I am sitting with doesn’t drink and there are other dry members of the group so it should be good.

I love being a part of this strange modern community so I hope it is a lot of fun.  At the very least it will be something new and different and that is a good thing.

(Plus I get to meet a whole bunch of famous Survivor contestants which I am very excited about!!!).

Have you ever been a part of a community that was unusual or strange?  Maybe played bunco with girlfriends for years or have a group of online chess players or something like that?  I’d love to hear about your experience.  Do you agree sometimes all it takes is finding the one thing you have in common with another person and a friendship can be built?

Well, I look forward to sharing the week with all of you.  Take care!

Favorite Songs

My friend Camille has recently done a series of posts on her favorite songs.  To make it easier she classified them as “song that makes me laugh”, “song that makes me cry” etc. Perhaps I should have followed her example, but I thought I could whittle down my nearly 9,000 ipod songs to a top 20. Boy was I wrong!  It was hard! To start off I cut out all religious, classical and Broadway music (that will be for another post!).  Next I created a top 50 list- even this was harder than I thought it would be. Finally I narrowed it to a top 15.  When push came to shove many songs I LOVE didn’t make the cut.

As will be no surprise to anyone, a majority of the songs are slower and melodic, and many of them are on the melancholy side.  This is strange because I am a very happy person.  I just love romantic sad songs!   I like a number of these songs so much that I have learned how to sing them in my weekly voice lessons. Over half are songs I have loved since high school and every single one of them are tracts I could listen to again and again (and have done so!).  I will be curious for both your thoughts on the list and the songs I should have included.  What are your favorites? By the way, I didn’t put A Song for You, King of Anything or Gravity on this list because I just posted them, but they are some of my favorites.

Listed in no particular order

1. Over the Rainbow- this one is my favorite song.  I love it.  I sang it in May and have at least 12 versions in my ipod.  I have yet to hear a version I do not love.  My favorites are probably a great version by Eva Cassidy and a classic by the Hawaiian singer IZ; however, nobody can top the great Judy Garland.

2. Nightingale- Norah Jones blows me away.  I love all of her albums and could have put a number of her songs on the list. I chose this one because I think it is a beautiful lullaby.

3. Dream- Priscilla Ahn’s first album A Good Day was amazing!  If you haven’t heard it go out and buy it.  I could have picked any song from this album.  I love it!  Dream is another lullaby that is lovely.

4. Everything- Michael Buble. Everybody knows I love me some Michael Buble. He is still the only artist I have seen live twice.  He is a great performer and singer- not to mention terrific songwriter.  I think he has surprised a lot of people by branching out of the Great American Songbook and writing his own stuff.  I was torn between Haven’t Met You Yet, Home and this one, Everything, but I figured put an upbeat song in there!

5. I’m Yours- Jason Mraz. This song reminds me of Hawaii and summertime.  What could be wrong with that?

6. Foolish Games-Jewel. I was obsessed with Jewel in high school.  I think I may have listened to Pieces of You and Spirit albums hundreds of times! Foolish Games is a sad song but one of the first ones I learned in voice lessons.

7. Dreams- Cranberries.  I also loved the Cranberries in high school- still do.  This is such a great song- the only song that ever made yodeling cool!

8.  Awake- Josh Groban.  Josh Groban will always have a special place for me because of the amazing experience Camille and I had at his concert- we got moved from the highest seats to right by the stage where I touched his fingers!  So cool!

9. And So it Goes- Billy Joel.  This was a tough call between the Longest Time (love that romantic song) and this sad song.  The fact that I sang it as one of my first voice lesson songs put it over the edge.

10. Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell.  She set the bar for all female singers/song writers after her.   This is another song I performed in a recital for my voice lessons.

11. Man on the Moon- REM.  The first album I remember buying was Automatic for the People by REM.  I have loved it ever since, which makes nearly 20 years of enjoying this song.

12. Travelin Soldier- Dixie Chicks.  So I don’t like their politics but I love this song.  It is pure poetry.  You’re probably tired of hearing this but it is another one I have sung in voice lessons.

13. Life is a Highway- I have loved all of Rascal Flatts’ albums.  They know how to write catchy hits and this one is their best.  No wonder it was the final encore at their concert!  (I was tempted to pick God Bless the Open Road but I figure an upbeat song is good!)

14. Unwritten- Natasha Bedingfield.   This is probably the only ‘dance’ song I have ever loved.  Despite being over-played and the theme song to the Hills I still love it!

15. Let It Be- The Beatles.  Many Beatles devotees would probably pick something more edgy from the psychedelic phase or more obscure but I’ve always thought this song was beautiful.   This is a version sung by American Idol alum Brooke White.

16.  This Side- Nickel Creek- Ok.  So I did 16 but I just couldn’t leave Nickel Creek off the list.  They are amazing! I must sound like a broken record but I love all of their albums.  They are peaceful, calming and full of gorgeous harmonies.  If you aren’t a fan check them out!  This Side is probably their most popular song and I think you will see why!

Phew!  That was tough.  I’m already picking apart my list.  How is it I didn’t have room for Trouble by Ray LaMontagne, Every Little Thing by the Police, anything by Cold Play,  Ingrid Michelson, Sara Bareilles, Carol King, Regina Spektor, Crosby Stills and Nash, and More.  How did I not have room for any of the standards like LOVE, World on a String, Real McCoy, You Make Me Feel So Young etc?…I guess I will just have to make another list!  I hope you guys enjoy the music.

Over the Rainbow

I have had the craziest week.  Between moving, getting ready for Hawaii, working hard and getting ready for a recital today, my life felt pretty overwhelming.  Today I am pleased to write this blog as a fully moved-in person.  I love my new apartment and feel at home here.  All this unpacking included spending an entire day putting together an IKEA bookcase with doors (it was my nemesis! So hard!) has left me exhausted and ready for vacation.

After a long week I finished it today by performing in my voice lesson recital.  It was my most intimidating recital because I sand Over the Rainbow- the famous Judy Garland version.  It may be my favorite song.  Definitely in my top 10.  Because I love it so much it made all the more nerve-wracking to sing it.  I wanted it to be perfect, which of course it will never be.  It is also a more difficult song than you’d first expect.  Every time you sing “Some” “Where” you do a full octave change.  This happens time and again throughout the song.  It is also such a recognizable song that it almost has to be perfect or people will notice.  It was a big risk for me to select it, but I have improved greatly because of  it. It’s more satisfying than I can explain in words to hear myself get better week-to-week on a song I love so much.  It’s the best!

With all this preparation I stepped onto the stage at Hale Theater Orem and sang my heart out.  Without sounding too arrogant I think it was the best I have ever sung!   I came off the stage beaming and got nothing but positive feedback from my friends and teachers.  The funny thing is that I actually messed up on the words in one verse, but I didn’t let it phase me and nobody noticed. I just bought a new camera with a special video feature that is supposed to make it easier to post online.  Take a look at the video of the performance.   It was an exciting moment in my life.

Like I said, it was the best I have sung and it felt good! I hope you enjoyed it.

On another note my sister Anna had an exciting experience.  She is a die hard David Archuleta fan and when I say die hard I mean it!  She has seen him live several times, has every performance he has ever recorded, and has pictures of him in her room.  You’d think he was a member of the family!  More than just loving his music, she genuinely admires him for sticking to his values.

As a member of the David Archuleta fan club she participated in a contest to promote his album in return for various prizes.  The grand prize was a 5 minute conversation with David.  Anna went full force ahead doing a number of things including sponsoring a fundraiser for a charity David supports.  A couple of weeks ago she submitted her project and then to all of our surprise she got an email announcing her as the winner of the grand prize!  She won a conversation with her idol David Archuleta!  Naturally Anna was beside herself and could hardly sleep the days before the phone call took place.  Finally today it happened.  At 2:49 he called and they chatted for 21 minutes!  I guess they spoke about many things including music, writing songs, religion, BYU, American Idol and more.

Some may say it is a silly thing to get excited over but I disagree. I know David is just a person like anyone else.  I also am aware there are lines in fanaticism, which go overboard and can be dangerous.  However, in this case, I think it is a good thing.  I appreciate anyone who lives his or her life with passion- someone who isn’t afraid to take risks.   Anna is such a person.  Her passion isn’t limited to musicians.  She loves church, her friends, Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter, BYU, and more.  I’ve even seen her get excited over a cool minor chord!  It is so easy to be lukewarm and mediocre in life.  While I was going to school I saw many people satisfied with the bare minimum, with gliding by on the coat tails of others.  I still do not understand how others can be happy with such a paltry blahh life.

If Anna is going to be into David Archuleta, she should be into him all the way.   I like how Anna has set a pattern in her life of living boldly.  Most people wouldn’t have attempted the contest but Anna went for it, and she got it.  I admire that.  Later in life she will meet many obstacles that will seem impossible, but from this and other experiences she will have the courage to make the attempt- to try her hardest and hopefully the reward will come. In a weird way my singing and her phone call have something in common- they both involve passion for music, and trying our utmost to succeed.

Another thing I admire about Anna is  she has learned to accept disappointment. For instance, at her age I would have been more emotional over not getting into the music department.  Her attitude allows her to live with passion because however things turn out she can find happiness.  Sometimes there are discouraging situations and other times, like today, there are moments of excitement and glee. Congrats Anna!  You deserve it!

Looking forward to rest

I admit it today I would annoy Calvin!
I admit it today I would annoy Calvin! It's been a stressful couple of days.

I can’t write much but I wanted to update quickly on the craziness of my life the last few days.  First of all, I  moved on Saturday to my new 2 bedroom apartment.  It is much roomier and in a way feels more like a home than my last place.  I will always love that apartment because it proved I could be on my own and be happy.  This apartment feels different but I have high hopes for it as well.  As you can expect the move was stressful and exhausting.  I am so grateful to Easton Brown, Sarah Creer and other friends from church who came to my moving rescue.  It was a hot day and the move took several hours.  As I have often said I am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

With the boxes moved in the next task of unpacking came into play.  (By the way, we have also had people in all 4 houses over the last few days which is great but stressful!).  It is shocking how much stuff I have.  Truly shocking!  Thank goodness my roommate has only furniture for her bedroom and little kitchen stuff.  That was a huge blessing! She hasn’t officially moved in yet but I consulted with her before placing furniture and unpacking my kitchen stuff.  She seems very easy going, and I think we will make a good team.

I am proud to say I finished the unpacking today!  The final step was my office.  I will put up photos of my new place soon. I just love it so much!

In the midst of all this unpacking and working I also had to do my final check out of my old place today.  This morning to be more particular.  I thought I had done a pretty good job with things but the inspector sure found a big list of problems.  By the end of the check out it seems I will be responsible for $200 worth of stuff!  That’s the downside of renting.

Naturally I was in a bad mood this morning but then we added on more stress by having a crisis at work.  I won’t go into the details but one of the houses had some minor vandalism and we had someone checking into the house today!  It was creepy, annoying and exhausting all at the same time.  It ended up taking Jim and I the entire afternoon to resolve the problem.  Luckily the tenants are happy and nothing was seriously damaged or taken except some sheets that had to be replaced.  We are now already in the process of getting alarm systems on all 4 houses.

The other stressful event that happened is yesterday I made the mistake of purchasing an Ikea bookshelf with doors for the kitchen as a type of pantry. We got the bookshelf together easy enough but the stupid doors were impossible.  We literally spent the entire day.  By saying we, I mean my friend Melany Bushe and I.  I think the definition of a true friend is someone who will help you assemble Ikea furniture.  It was a lot of work and the frustrating thing is that it still isn’t perfect.  It wobbles more than it should and the doors don’t line up perfectly!  Part of the problem is they only give you those silly drawings as instructions.  There are always a million ways to go wrong- and usually I find all of them! Oh well!  It will have to do for now.  You know there is a joke about Ikea furniture- How may PHD’s do you need to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture?- 3 one PHD in Swedish, one in Engineering and one in relationship counseling.  Luckily mine and Melany’s relationship is still intact and the friendship will persist despite the trial!

Need I mention that I also have my recital for voice lessons on Friday! I am doing Somewhere Over the Rainbow which may sound like a simple song but in fact it is quite difficult.  It has an octave change with every Some-where and Rain-bow. It is definitely the hardest song I have done at a recital and is a bit of a risk.  I hope it pays off- especially with how little rehearsal time I have gotten lately with the move and all.  Wish me luck come Friday. I wish it sounded like this. 01 Over The Rainbow (Single Version)

Between everything going on I am looking forward more than ever to the tropical paradise that awaits me this Sunday.  Hawaii here I come!  I can’t think of anything more relaxing than lying in the sun with a good book listening to the waves.  I’d give up a meal a day for that pleasure! Every ounce of my sore achy emotional body is yearning for that blessed island.  Thank goodness for vacations by the ocean! I need it real bad!

Music Galore

As I plugged in my IPOD today and put it on shuffle I thought about the variety of music that I like and how each type had touched my life. My mom and dad used to sit in bafflement over the power music had over me. I would spend way too much time figuring out the perfect song/CD to do silly things such as clean my room. They also didn’t understand why I felt so offended at the idea of anyone (particularly them) not liking my music. Neither of them understood how much of my heart went into the selection of my music. I have always felt that music had a special power to connect me to moments- to express my inside when my words failed miserably. As I’ve grown up I have learned to accept that music is an organic experience and can not be transferred to another person no matter how we might wish it could be. My parents will never understand my music and nothing can make them. It’s just doesn’t move them the way it does me- and that’s the way it is. In this spirit it may seem futile for me to share with you my favorite bands/musicians. I am well aware that each of these groups may not suit your tastes; however, perhaps in my sharing them you will understand a little more of my heart- what moves me, makes me laugh, and motivates me to keep going.

You will notice that many of these are groups from the 90’s. Sorry I can’t help it. That’s when I experienced my most formative musical period. These are in no particular order.

1. REM- Their Automatic for the People album is still one of my favorites. It is one of those great CDs that I can play start to finish. It was actually the first tape (yes cassette tape) that I remember purchasing on my own. I love Everybody Hurts, Man on the Moon, Sidewinder Sleeps, Try Not to Breath, and more. Other albums feature It’s the End of the World As We Know It, What’s the Frequency Kenneth, Losing my Religion, Stand, the Great Beyond and At My Most Beautiful. They are wonderful songs I could listen to again and again.

2. The Cranberries- 2 albums are essentials in my music collection No Need to Argue and Everybody Else is Doing it so Why Can’t We? Songs like Dreams, 21, No Need to Argue, Zombie, Pretty, Dreaming My Dreams and Linger are hauntingly beautiful and bold. Dolores O’Riordan is the only woman who could make yodeling cool.

3. Jewel- I know that she has a cheesy side, but I can’t deny the effect her albums have had on me. Pieces of You came out when I was a freshman in high school and while my friends were all into Oasis I couldn’t get enough of Jewel. Foolish Games, Who will Save Your Soul, You Were Meant for Me are amazing. I also listened her album Spirit over and over again and it is still one of my favorites with songs like Hands, Little Bird, Down So Long and Life Uncommon. It is no small chance that one of the first songs I learned while taking voice lessons was Foolish Games. It’s perfect.

4. Kenny Chesney- I am not going to try and argue that Kenny is an original performer; nevertheless he was my introduction to country music and his songs make me smile every time. He hasn’t put out a bad album yet. He is also important because Anna and I went to one of his outdoor concerts in 2005 and the memory is one of my favorites of the last few years. I love You Save Me, There Goes my Life, Don’t Blink, No Shoes No Shirt No Problems, Summertime, Big Star, Live Those Songs, You Had Me at Hello, Tin Man, and Good Stuff. He’s also the cutest man in a cowboy hat for my money.

5. Fleetwood Mac- Can you top Stevie Nicks? Not for me. Silver Springs, Landslide, Rhianon, Everywhere, Dreams and Go Your Own Way are all great songs. Her voice is raspy but deep and the lyrics are beautiful and fun. I have liked Fleetwood Mac since I was in Middle School. I bought their Greatest Hits right when I purchased the REM tape, so it was one my firsts. I still like it at 27 and that says something!

6. Jack Johnson- Can we all be grateful that Jack took a break from surfing to take a crack at music. What a talent! He just keeps putting out one great album after another. Even his soundtrack for Curious George had great songs. Perhaps it is my love of Hawaii that enhances my appreciation for Jack Johnson, but I could listen to his music all day. Flake, Good People, Sitting Waiting Wishing, Dreams by Dreams, Upside Down, Supposed to Be and If I had Eyes are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to see him live in August!!

7. Michael Buble- My mom has always groaned at Megan and my pleasure at what she calls lounge music. Michael Buble has taken that to a new level for me. He is the only person I have seen live twice and each time he amazed me. Entertaining is the word. He is funny, engaging and of course talented. He sings with a massive band and yet is still the star of the show- now that takes charisma. Not only is he great at singing classics like World on a String, Feeling Good, and Try a little Tenderness but he is a great songwriter penning one of my favorite recent songs Home along with Everything, Lost, and That’s Life. It also doesn’t hurt that he isn’t too hard on the eyes and that voice…

8. Josh Groban- Another performer that I have always liked but gained a whole new infatuation for after seeing him live. It’s a long story but through some luck Camille and I got bumped to the 5th row. He even touched my fingers! I know I sound like a gaping teen, but I can’t help it. It was that cool! I wondered before seeing him if his voice would carry in a large stadium. It certainly did. What a talent! On key, singing in Italian half the time, and completely mesmerizing. Where do I start on his songs- all amazing. My favorites are Awake, So She Dances, February Song, The Prayer, Weeping, To Where You Are, and You Raise Me Up. I just hope that David Foster decides to do a Buble/Groban tour- that would be awesome!

9. Joni Mitchell- There have been so many copy cats of Joni that she doesn’t seem as original as she deserves to be. I joke with my teacher that I love bitter woman songs. Joni definitely fits this category. I don’t know why I love these songs, but they hit an emotion in me and in so doing I feel more understood by the world- more able to move on. Both Sides Now, River, California and of course Blue are pure and peacefully melancholy. If I could sing like anyone it would probably be her. I just love her voice and the simple beauty of one woman singing at a piano or a guitar with no airs or pretense for the crowd!

10. Norah Jones- Rarely do I hear a song on the radio and think- “I love that song, I have to pick it up”. Norah Jones’ Don’t Know Why was one of those songs. Her Come Away album is perfect. Every song could be listened to many times and is great for relaxed settings-even work. She has such a beautiful voice and her arrangements are smart and simple. You can picture her sitting at a piano singing her favorite songs- and then oops they got recorded. I have appreciated all of her albums but Come Away is the best.

11. The Beatles- It would be hard to not put the Beatles on such a list. They have so many great songs- songs that you can dance to, songs that are slow and melodic and songs that are poetic-telling you a story. How different are She Loves Me, 8 Days a Week, Something, Eleanor Rigby and Let it Be? It doesn’t seem like it could be the same band. I am jealous of anyone who ever got to go to a concert live.

12. Judy Garland- I feel sorry for Judy Garland. She had so little choice in her life. She listened dutifully to her mother and doctors and ended up drug addicted and unhappy. I admire that despite everything she kept singing- trying to find something over the rainbow. When I was younger I appreciated Judy as a kind of Disney singer but her songs have a bittersweet meaning to me that I find very moving. Only those that have studied voice understand the difficulty of her arrangements and the purity of her voice. If I could sing like anybody she would be at the top of my list. Incredible.

Wow! That was hard There are so many more I want to include Rascal Flatts, Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Barbra Streisand, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, Barenaked Ladies, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Harry Connick Jr., Adam Pascal, Natalie Merchant, Annie Lenox, Elliot Yamin, James Taylor, John Mayer, Alicia Keyes, KT Tunstall, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, Johnie Cash, Reba, U2, They Might Be Giants, ColdPlay, Beach Boys and more. I am so blessed to have music in my life and hope that I never stop appreciating it and developing my own talents. I can’t imagine heaven without music and I don’t think it will be all hymns up there either! Take care friends and share with me your favorites.