Death A La Mode: Folk Music




This week’s Pinterest Pick topic for Death A La Mode is Folk Music! Crissy Darwin, local folk music rising star, is at the center of a series of troubling deaths. Can Jackie and Lucas help her out of this mess before the curtain falls?

Pin this image to your own Pinterest boards–and stop by my Pinterest page to repin other fun stuff. Don’t forget to nab the Death A La Mode cover, too!

Summer Lovin’ on Summer Nights

You’d think that this IS the theme of my summer–ahem, summer BEACH lovin’–I’d have talked about this song before now. But I was saving it.

I was a child of the ’70s and ’80s, and as such, Grease was a hugely defining movie for me. I remember when it came out. Since my parents played oldies all the time and talked about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, and since we loved shows like Happy Days, I was really excited about to see Grease. Plus. . .John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John? How could it miss?

I’m pretty sure my parents saw it first. I was in middle school, so VCR’s had just become a thing. I don’t remember seeing Grease in the theater; I think my parents let us watch it on video–and they fast-forwarded through questionable parts. Didn’t matter though; I was totally in love with the music, the clothes, the characters. . .I related to Sandy, though I have to admit I was disappointed with her decision at the end. (Hey! I was only 13!)

But the music. . .it was perfect. Who can forget Hopelessly Devoted To You? (It became my theme song, played over and over, when my own heart was broken.) Or Beauty School Drop Out? But my favorite number of the whole movie had to be Summer Nights. It made me think of my own summers (which did *not* involve lovin’ of that kind!), and I loved the interplay and the lyrics.

I won’t go into detail about how much I also loved the much-less-appreciated Grease 2, or about how my sister and I both had Pink Ladies T-shirts. Instead, let’s sit back and listen to the memory of some summer nights.

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over

Happy June! Are you ready for summer? When I was a kid, I lived for June. It meant the end of school (in the northeast, we didn’t finish until about mid-June)–and the best part of school, really, since we had half-days, movies and more fun than work. Plus, in my family it meant we returned to our trailer at the shore on weekends, going to the beach and the boardwalk. And two of my favorite holidays were Flag Day (June 14) and Independence Day (okay, that’s July, but so close to the end of June. . .)

Music was huge in the summer. We listened to tapes as we drove to the shore or hung out by the pool. And my parents, as always, shared their favorites with us, including cute stories about the memories the songs prompted.

I always think of my mother when I hear this one. She used to sing it to us, and then laugh as she shared how her siblings would say, “Here comes Jeannie in her polka dot bikini!”

Such a sweet, innocent song from 1960 . . . this poor little girl who was afraid to come out the locker room!

I hope your summer is filled with chances to wear bikinis–or enjoy the view of them. Oooh la la!



Memorial Day Monday

Today is the unofficial start of summer, and as such, it’s the official kick-off of the summer music season (I have deemed it so!).

recordimagesSummer’s always been a time when we listen to more music than ever: driving to the beach, sitting in the sand, hanging out at the pool, barbecuing in the backyard . . . summertime fun and awesome tunes go together like hotdogs and mustard.

Since 2015 is the Summer of Beach Lovin’, each Monday of this summer I’ll be posting a different summer-themed song and talking about it. I’d love to hear YOUR favorite summer jam: which song absolutely means summer and beach to you? Comment here or on my Facebook page, and I’ll feature it in an upcoming post.

We’ll start with what is to me one of the most-often identified favorite summer songs: Surfin’ USA by the aptly-named Beach Boys (1963). I’ve loved this song since I was a kid–it named so many places in the US that were familiar to me, and my sister and I got a kick out of the lines:

You’d seem ’em wearing their baggies468-Kayla-Huarache-sandals-Ankle
Huarachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U. S. A.

Because no matter where we all live, whether in the middle of Manhattan, a wheat field in Kansas or on the shores of Lake Michigan, during the summer, don’t we all want to be going on a surfin’ safari?

Happy Memorial Day! Bring on the summer.

Songs That Tell a Story

Last week, we talked about songs that are part of our stories, that become woven into our family or personal mythology. But what about songs that tell a story in and of themselves?

I’ve always been intrigued with those. I remember hearing American Pie by Don McLean and wanting to know more about Buddy Holly and how it fit into that story. I was a big Helen Reddy fan when I was little, and I loved that her songs often told tales–like Angie Baby, which was actually pretty scary. And how about the oldies that broke our hearts: Tell Laura I Love Her, Teen Angel, or Last Kiss?

I’ve always been a sucker for a song story that makes me sob. Exhibit A: The Last Game of the Season, arguably one of the saddest story-songs ever. If you haven’t heard it, take a listen here. But it’s a tear-jerker–you’ve been warned!

What songs captured your heart with a story? Which ones made you laugh, made you cry, stayed in your mind?