Barbara. Paulie. Adrienne. 2Rs. Karen and Katie. Today’s column is all about you. Yep, you, dear readers (and listeners) of this column who not only indulge in my playlists and the musings that go along with them, but have found yourselves motivated enough to give some feedback in the comments section. I love your comments, and I love it when you suggest songs I didn’t think of!
About a year ago I shared a playlist called Hang In There Baby, and discussed the healing powers of music when life’s got you down. I told a story about one of the most dark and sour moments in my own life, and how one song finally helped me pick myself up by the bootstraps, put a smile on my face, and let all the negative crap drain away to make room for some positive energy.
It was one of my most viewed columns ever. The feedback in the comments section was tremendous, especially the song suggestions from readers that I had failed to include in the playlist. The feedback means a lot to me. Lets me know you’re picking up what I’m laying down. Sometimes it’s hard in my line of work to know if the music I’m playing on the radio is getting through to anyone. I’m sitting alone in a room spinning discs and talking into a microphone, and if anyone anywhere in the world is listening, I don’t know it until someone stops me on the street, calls me on the phone or emails to communicate back. Every once in a while I even get a letter from an 85 year old guy in Bandon, Oregon who uses an actual typewriter! In the media world, we’re flying blind, having no idea if there’s anyone out there paying attention until something makes you so happy or so angry that you’re moved to take action.
Cut to a few weeks ago, when someone suggested that I consider jumping on board and creating a playlist for September’s Suicide Prevention Month (A News Cafe has a whole series dedicated to the topic, starting with this). I realized that I’d pretty much done just that last October with Hang In There, Baby. All the songs I would put on a playlist to try to do my part in preventing someone from thinking about taking their own life are exactly the songs I already put onto a playlist. Except, of course, for all the songs that I left off that playlist. The songs that were suggested by readers.
Today, I’m adding those songs onto last year’s playlist, and I invite you to continue offering suggestions in the comments section below if you can think of more tunes that you think should be included. I’ll be happy to add them on as we go forward…ah, the magic of Grooveshark! (That is if I can find them. Grooveshark is an amazing resource, but doesn’t have much in the way of The Beatles or Lenny Kravitz, which I find tragic.)
Please share with us songs that inspire you to move forward, songs that help you suck it up and get yourself back on track. Songs that help you hang on, stand up, hang tough and cowboy up. Songs that help you find faith in yourself. And whenever life is getting you down, stream this playlist, and keep hanging in there. And if you think you can’t do it by yourself, there are people out there ready to help, like Help, Inc. (which is looking for volunteers, by the way).
Stream the playlist on Grooveshark:
- Mose Allison – I Don’t Worry About A Thing
- Crescent City Gold – Hang Tough This is the musical Dream Team of New Orleans. Dr. John, Allan Toussaint, all the great musicians together, hanging tough.
- Lenny Kravitz – Stand Unfortunately, Grooveshark doesn’t carry this tune. Bummer. Fortunately, YouTube does! Please enjoy this song by watching the video. It’s one of the most meaningful of the bunch.
- Destiny’s Child – Survivor
- Morcheeba – Good Girl Down
- Randy Newman – Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
- Andy Grammer – Keep Your Head Up
- Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
- Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side
- Frank Sinatra – On The Sunny Side Of The Street
- Ingrid Michaelson – Be OK
- Pink Martini – Hang On Little Tomato That little tomato is you!
- Ben Folds – Golden Slumbers Maybe what you really need is a nap.
- Coldplay – Everything’s Not Lost
- Michael Franti & Spearhead – Hey World (Don’t Give Up)
- Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up
- Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down
- Shakira – Waka Waka
- Chris LeDoux – Cowboy Up
- Gene Autry – Back In The Saddle Again
- Andrews Sisters & Bing Crosby – Ac-cen-tu-ate The Positive
- Anita O’Day – Pick Yourself Up
- Stevie Wonder – Put On A Happy Face
- Michael Franti & Spearhead – Have A Little Faith
- Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
- Helen Reddy – I Am Woman
- Playing For Change – One World
- Randy Newman – You’ve Got A Friend In Me My apologies… reader Paul suggested a song by Randy Newman that includes the iconic Mark Twain quote, “Sing like nobody’s listening.” Alas, I couldn’t find it. This was the best I could do. If anyone knows the song he speaketh of, let me know!
- Brett Dennen – Nothing Lasts Forever Brett Dennen, however, included the line in this sweet song.
- Celine Dion – A New Day Has Come
- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
- Sarah McLachlan – Arms Of An Angel
- Sheryl Crow – Here Comes The Sun
- Megan Slankard – Sails This one wasn’t on Grooveshark, but you can listen to it on Megan’s website. You can also hear her live in person from time to time when this talented Bay Area musician performs in Redding, usually at Vintage.
Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.