Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dancing on the Sand

I've got Beach Music on the brain today. If you weren't lucky enough to grow up in a beach town in the Carolinas, Virginia or Georgia like I did, Beach Music is a regional genre that developed in the late 1940s and combined Rhythm and Blues, Big Band Swing, Country Blues and a whole bunch of other stuff to create the perfect music for dancing the Shag (also called the Carolina Shag). Sort of kind of like the Jitterbug, but not. I’ve never claimed to be a dancer but I can do pretty mean shag (I can tap dance too, but that’s another post for another day). Beach Music is not to be confused with the Beach Boys; they’re great but another coast entirely. It’s the music of summer and just hearing it makes you feel like dancing. So turn your speakers up, kick off your shoes and go for it!

If you want more beach music tunes you can click here for  the top 100 Beach Music songs. I can’t say that it’s the definitive list, but it’ll definitely get you started.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rules to Love By

Magnolia photo by Imogen Cunningham

Bailey’s first rule of life is just because you can sing in that key doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. The second is like thereunto, just because it comes in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it. I have frequently cited these rules as the creed I live by, and when it comes to issues related to my career and image I certainly try to. They’ve worked out well for me, but recent events have had me thinking about more important rules that I want to live by and where I learned them.
My Aunt, my mother’s sister, died recently and overnight my cousins, sister and I became the “elder” generation in that part of the family. It was sudden and none of us were remotely prepared. In spending time with my cousins I realized that while I had always thought of myself as my mother’s daughter, I am also my aunt’s.Traits that I thought were uniquely my own I have actually inherited from her. I suspect if you asked my cousins would say the same thing about what they got from my mother.
Aside from the fact that we all inherited my Grandma Carter’s high cheekbones it would seem that my six cousins (five girls, one boy), my sister and I have little in common. We lead different lives with widely varying interests and temperaments but that is just the surface. Underneath all that we share a pretty consistent way of looking at the world instilled in us by our mothers.  They taught us to love fiercely, work hard, laugh often, and never EVER give up. They believed that this and good manners would get you far.

These women, my mother, Frances Terra Carter Winters, and my aunt, Elizabeth Lane Carter Pratt had presence, and character. You noticed when they entered a room and we have felt their absence now that they have gone. I still think wearing something flattering and singing in the right key is an important part of life, but because of the lessons learned from these extraordinary women I know that these things are much farther down the list. If I can follow their example of persevering with love, humor and grace I will have done very well indeed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

One of Her Favorite Things

Flowers by Karen Tran

I am sending a big virtual bouquet to Amanda McBroom, artist, friend and all around lovely human being, for mentioning Breathing as one of her favorite things for the month of July. As I may have mentioned ten or twelve times the title song of the album was written by Amanda and Michele Brourman, and this makes her support of the finished project that much sweeter. Click HERE to check out the link.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's too hot to think let alone blog, so I give you this from my friend Russell Fox's blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hit the Road, Red

I just returned from an unexpected road trip down to Southern VA. Actually,” just returned” is a slight overstatement. Physically I have been back for several days, but it took my brain a bit longer to make the return trip.
My efforts to stay awake on the drive home (why is it that the way home is always so much longer than the way down?) included copious amounts of Smartees, Dr. Pepper, and turning up the tunes and singing along at the top of my lungs. Here are some of my favorite road trip tunes guaranteed to keep you awake and amuse fellow drivers. Just turn up the volume, sing out, and repeat as needed. What are your favorite road trip songs?