As I assembled this list, I noticed many of the songs feature piano accompaniment, which makes sense since my mother taught piano. Many are old, but not all. I seem to favor outstanding performances, possibly due to hearing so much BAD piano, but there are other factors, too.
1. Let Her Go by Passenger. Caught onto this during the Budweiser Super Bowl ad with the puppy and the Clydesdale and have enjoyed Passenger’s voice, exceptional timing, and visual descriptions ever since.
2. Summertime by the Preservation Hall Jazz band. This clarinet performance is a masterpiece–the skill, the improvisation, the breath control. I’ve listened to it so many times that I anticipate every note, including one tiny little squeak. Tend to love this song anyway, (Note: Fantasia’s memorable performance on American Idol). Dixieland jazz by this ever-changing group is my go-to “favorite band” answer. I love the creativity of the format, the evenhanded way they feature each instrument individually, the joyous upbeat rising out of the funereal dirge. Classic, timeless stuff that just plain feels good. Listened to an album of theirs on the way to meet my newborn granddaughter.
3. Searchin’ by the Coasters. The detectives, of course. Fun sound, but how could I resist the mention of TV characters from my earliest formative years? Boston Blackie, Bulldog Drummond? Please… Not bad for dancing either.
4. Desperado by the Eagles. Winsome, gentle melody, yes, but great poetic lyrics. Some of the best. Hotel California ain’t bad either.
5. The Fat Man by Fats Domino. He has long been a favorite of mine, and this recording has great piano. He is also from New Orleans, and I’m inclined to like any music from there.
6. If I Only Had a Heart by Jesse Ruben. Beautiful rendition of also splendid lyrics. Sweet, relaxing listening music.
7. Lost Boy by Ruth B. This one sticks in my head for days. Especially admire her musicality, the whole package. Accompanied appropriately by nothing but piano.
Also rans: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Forget about the side issues, it’s sexy and fun.
Cupid Shuffle by Cupid. Saw people dancing to this on vacation in the Caribbean. Used my Shazam to look it up and discovered I was way way late catching on, but I’m getting used to that.
What a Wonderful World by Elizabeth of Asleep at the Wheel. Lovely version.
My Life by Billy Joel. Wanted this for my ring tone. If you know the song, you’ll know why.
And finally: Everybody Loves a Lover by Doris Day. Heard this on the radio on her birthday and thought it was pure abandoned happiness–and who doesn’t need that now and then. Also like the way she pronounces her Os.
Please let me know if you like some of these, too, and be sure to mention your own favorites.