51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 16: Van McCoy- The Hustle

I think I might have missed a week but I’m back with my song to share for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

In 1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony released the disco hit- “The Hustle”.  The song was written after McCoy’s music partner watched people doing the dance by the same name in a New York City nightclub.

A few years ago, CJ who was four at the time, caught us off guard by humming this song. When we questioned where he heard it, he told us that his grandma listened to it all the time. Mystery solved. We showed him a video of what the dance that accompanied the song looked like and he was thoroughly entertained, asking us to play it over and over.

I admit to being a bit of a clutz, so I actually have never done “The Hustle” but if you are interested in learning, here is a video (although a little creepy because the guy’s head is chopped off—-watch it, you’ll see what I mean), it gives you the steps.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of the song yet, here’s an interesting video I came across while looking for one that showed the steps. It’s definitely the 70’s!!!

So, tell me- can you do The Hustle?

#AtoZChallenge M is for Music

M

“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m not sure I agree with this statement. I know that although I love music, I would rather write while listening to music than make the music. My youngest child, Andy, is blessed to be both a gifted writer and musician. His eloquence with words, innate humor and endless imagination could have easily led him to a career in writing.

In middle school he took part in a solo competition, where he played his trombone accompanied by a pianist in a room where he was judged by a music teacher he did not know. He was around 12 years old at the time. The only people in the room besides the judge were my husband and me. As always, my husband was video taping.

His solo began without incident but as he went to turn the first page, we saw a look of panic cross his face. While the pianist was playing, he mouthed to us, ‘Missing a page!’ I bent down to search through his belongings, not even sure what I was looking for. He completed the song without the missing music and with my husband whispering, “Does he have it memorized?” I kept my facial expression positive and supportive as I hissed back, “No clue.”

Afterward while the judge worked on the score, Andy spoke briefly with his pianist, we thanked her and then we awaited his results. Andy shared with us that he had improvised a good part of the song, making sure he was back in place when he reached the part where he had the music once more.

That day Andrew received the highest rating, with impressive comments from the judge. We never knew if he realized that Andy had been winging it. His ability to think quickly on his feet and improvise served him well. If he had been giving a speech and that happened, I’m not sure if the words would have come that quickly.

But he chose music. And that’s where he should be.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

 

 

Imagine- We Are the World #AtoZChallenge

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
-John Lennon, “Imagine”
Maybe it is unrealistic to think that we could all “be as one” as John Lennon dreamed but I would like to think there’s hope that we can step closer to living in peace. Horrible things are happening to people all over the world, not only here in our own backyards.
Sometimes we get it right and I think “We Are the World” is an example.

“We Are the World” is the song I am sharing for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.  The idea for this song originated with Harry Belafonte, who asked Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers to take part. From there, more artists were included until it culminated into an incredible success, never losing sight of the end goal- to provide relief for starving people in Africa.

Just the facts:

Released- March 7, 1985

Written by- Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie

Produced by- Quincy Jones

Awards- 3 Grammy Awards, American Music Award and Peoples Choice Award

Raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the U.S. with over 20 million copies sold.

Performed by- Quincy Jones, Conductor

Soloists- Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson,  Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Darryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles

Chorus- Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Jackie Jackson LaToya Jackson,  Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, The Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson.

Instruments played by-  David Paich – synthesizers, Michael Boddicker – synthesizers, programming,  Paulinho da Costa – percussion,  Louis Johnson – synth bass, Michael Omartian – keyboards, Greg Phillinganes – keyboards, John Robinson – drums

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Peace,

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 13: Baha Men- Who Let the Dogs Out?

This week’s song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past is Who Let the Dogs Out? performed by Baha Men.

The 2000 song was a chart topper in the US and UK as well as Australia and New Zealand. It’s popularity grew when it was featured in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. This song has the distinction of taking 3rd place on Rolling Stone’s 20 most annoying songs list, as well as 8th on their poll of worst songs of the 1990’s, and also ranking first on Spinner’s 2008 list of the “Top 20 Worst Songs Ever.”

This song was brought to you compliments of seven year old C.J. His little brother loves The Cat Came Back, which he sings all the time. After finding himself humming and singing it himself, he suggested Who Let the Dogs Out? as the perfect song to pair with it. I’ve included a video of The Cat Came Back, in case you aren’t familiar. But really, doesn’t everyone know this song???

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: G or H

Here are my photos for Cee’s Black & White Challenge: G or H

bw glasses
Glasses
bw giraffe and horse
I don’t know what farms little Beej visits but apparently giraffes and horses hang out together in the barn.
bw handles
Handles
bw hideaway
Hideaway- maybe not so secret with no leaves on the trees and bushes to conceal it

Cee's BW Challenge

Have a great day!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 12: Stray Cats- Stray Cat Strut

I can’t believe it’s already week 12 of 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past! Time is sure flying, isn’t it?

Stray Cat Strut was released in the U.K. in 1981, reaching 11 on the charts, and in the U.S. in 1982, topping at #5 by the group- Stray Cats.

The group’s sound blended elements of rockabilly and punk. And their visual style was unique as well, as you can see in the video. I like the 1950’s feel of the song and the video. I remember hearing this song as a teenager and thinking it was an old song. Having grown up listening to my dad’s 50’s and 60’s music, it was a surprise to find out that this was a new release.

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hope you like this catchy little tune!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 11: Cheap Trick- In the Street or That 70’s Song

“In The Street” by Cheap Trick is the theme song for the tv show- That 70’s Show. I didn’t watch this show when it first aired from 1998-2006. I was in full swing mom-mode and this show just did not appeal to me. I didn’t really know anything about it. And then a few years ago, it caught my attention. I’m not even sure why but I started watching it on Netflix and I was hooked! The theme song, which I had never heard before, immediately became one of my favorites.

About the song- originally recorded by Big Star and released in 1972, it gained popularity as the theme song for That 70’s Show.  Cheap Trick’s version of the song was used as the theme song beginning with the second season.

The tv show takes place in a suburb in Wisconsin in the late 1970’s, following a group of teenagers who are friends and sometimes boyfriend and girlfriend. Having grown up in the midwest in the late 70’s/early 80’s, this show grew on me rather quickly. The characters were wearing the same clothes I wore as a teenager. They reminded me of people I grew up with (including myself). The decor of the house reminded me of my childhood home. In fact, the pots and pans used were the same ones we had growing up with the orange and yellow flowers on them. There’s an orange ashtray on the coffee table that looks like the same one we had, except ours was green. I later read that they actually scoured thrift stores in search of 70’s clothing and household items to create an air of authenticity. The show feels like a step back in time and when I hear this song, through it’s association with the show, I’m transported back to those oh,so fun teenage years and the 70’s.

And in case you aren’t familiar with the show, you might recognize the actors who brought some very memorable characters to life- Topher Grace (Eric),  Mila Kunis (Jackie),  Ashton Kutcher (Kelso), Danny Masterson (Hyde), Laura Prepon (Donna),  Wilmer Valderrama (Fez), Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty), and Kurtwood Smith (Red).

I found a fun video of the song. This was not what the opening credits of the tv show were- just a random video. I hope you enjoy my song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 11.

It looks like fun, doesn’t it?

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hello, Wisconsin!

-Kat