Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Cocktail Mix

I'm in California this week to help my friend, Lea, make the final preparations for her wedding this weekend. In honor of this auspicious occasion, and because this is our last wedding of the season, I have decided to make this "Wedding Week" on the blog. Don't worry if you aren't a bride- or groom-to-be, however -- I'll try to make this week's post applicable to the soon-to-be-hitched, already-wed, and don't-believe-in-the-institution-of-marriage, alike. Read on, lovers.

Lea's wedding this weekend is going to feature a jazz trio during the dancing portion, but for the cocktail hour, we're just using an iPod to create a fun, festive mix of background music. And, in fact, I have long worked to create the perfect cocktail-party playlist that is diverse across genres and peppy enough to get the party going, without distracting from it. There is a fine line between songs that feel happily ambient and background and those that make you feel like you're in an elevator. But it's also important that the music encourage conversation and mingling, and not make you feel like you need to pay attention to it by bopping your head or singing along. Trust me, I've thought about this a lot, and it's easier said than done. So I view this weekend's festivities as a challenge and an opportunity. Here is a list of some tunes (about three hours' worth) that I think have what it takes. There's a little Big Band, a little Latin, a little Motown, and even a little fat Hawaiian Elvis. If they do their job, they will put you in a jubilant, outgoing mood, without you actually, you know, noticing them.

A Charmed Cocktail Mix

That's Why (I Love You So) - Jackie Wilson
Quizas, Quizas, Quizas - Nat King Cole
Tea For Two - Bud Powell
Let's Face the Music and Dance - Diana Krall
Corcovado - Astrud Gilberto
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo
A String of Pearls - Glenn Miller
Under a Blanket of Blue - Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Cupid- Sam Cooke
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross and the Supremes
Ain't The Loving You - Johnnie Taylor
Tracks of My Tears- Smokey Robinson
Agua de Beber - Antonio Carlos Jobim
La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
Love Is Here to Stay - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Brandy - Looking Glass
They Can't Take That Away - Ella Fitzgerald
Having a Party - Sam Cooke
Let's Fall in Love- Diana Krall
Hawaiian Wedding Song - Elvis Presley
Sunny - Bobby Hebb
You Go to My Head - Chet Baker
Cheek to Cheek - Fred Astaire
Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - Glenn Miller
What A Difference A Day Made - Billie Holliday
La Mer - Charles Trenet
Paper Moon - Django Reinhardt
Fly Me To the Moon - Frank Sinatra
I've Got You Under My Skin - Ella Fitzgerald
I Say A Little Prayer - Burt Bacharach
Sail On - The Commodores
All I Have to Do Is Dream -The Everly Brothers
Let the Rest of the World Go By - Ernest R. Ball
A Sunday Kind of Love - Etta James
Weep - Bob Andy
My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone
Blue Skies - Louis Armstrong
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien - Edith Piaf
So Nice - Astrud Gilberto
You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You - Dean Martin
I Hear a Symphony - the Supremes
Papa Loves Mambo - Perry Como
Handyman - Jimmy Jones
The Book of Love - The Monotones
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
Dream Girl - Robert & Johnny
Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens
Sugar Sugar - Celia Cruz
April in Paris - Count Basie
Sara Smile - Hall & Oates
These Foolish Things - Billie Holliday
Sea of Love - Phil Phillips

photo credit: vintage Vogue, via CocoChanel Blog

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