We will be celebrating Mom’s 80th birthday in a few weeks, and preparations for the big shindig already are underway. My sister Cath, the consummate organizer, has decided that rather than a harpist (!), the “entertainment” should consist of a mix of songs I am to prepare on my Ipod. (I must admit that I agree with this decision on Cath’s part, because I associate harps with angels, and you don’t want to be thinking about angels at a person’s 80th birthday party.)
I welcome this challenge. I know that Mom likes ’40s music, and I already have a pretty good selection of “Big Band” stuff on the Ipod. So, preparing a mix of those tunes will just involve creating a new playlist and moving some songs around. I like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and similar artists of that era, and I also like ’40s-style singers such as Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Frank Sinatra.
When I asked Mom about what kind of music she would like to listen to at her party, she also mentioned “show tunes” and songs from movie musicals like South Pacific and The King and I. I’ve never been much of a fan of musicals because the whole concept has always seemed incredibly awkward to me, with people who are living otherwise normal lives suddenly bursting into song at any moment. Being the dutiful son, however, I want to make Mom happy, so I’ve gotten the CDs for those two musicals, plus The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, and West Side Story.
Because I really don’t know much about this genre, I would be happy to get any suggestions from our readers about good “show tunes” to include on the “Mom Mix.” For now, however, I am pretty sure that There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame from South Pacific will make the cut.