Mistress of the Mix: Music To Make Love By

NOT the album I’m referencing in today’s column.

When you were a kid, did ever make that awful discovery that your parents, um, actually…um… had a romantic life? That they weren’t just Mom and Dad, but that they were also living, breathing, sexual creatures, who participated in the act of making babies? For me, there was one fleeting moment when I was about 7, when I caught my dad in the act of trying to pull my mom’s red polyester pants down (in MY bedroom on MY brand new bunk bed). It was a moment that has lasted with me for more than 40 years. My 5 year old sister and I were downstairs minding our own business, when we heard mom start to squeal. We ran our personal best up a flight of stairs to rescue her from what we thought was most likely an attack of fire ants or vampires. At the time, I didn’t really understand what was really going on, only that dad had mom’s pants pulled halfway down, so we did the only thing we could think of: we joined the awkward dog pile, throwing ourselves on top of mom and dad in my bed, squealing and laughing. Poor guy. Whatever mojo he had going on, we totally ruined it.

Years later, as I became interested in music, I came across another awkward example of my parents sexuality, when I discovered a record album that I think was titled “Music To Make Love By” with an ultra-sexy, 1960’s vamp on the cover. I put it on the record player, and the room was filled with slightly shlocky (I have no better term to describe it) music. It was kind of jazzy, in a slo-mo Austin Powers kind of way. It was definitely mood music for my parent’s generation. Very similar to Jackie Gleason’s “Music For Lover’s Only.” But with a twist. In fact, I think this album may have been a spoof on the Gleason album (which remained at the top of the charts for 152 weeks, starting in 1952). Besides the smoky sax and the beautiful strings, this album also had the moaning and groaning of a man and woman throughout the entire thing. Every few seconds a female “Oooooh” was matched by a similar male “Ahhhhhhh,” accented with sexy giggles and occasional crescendos that made it obvious this couple had moved on past 1st base. Way past 1st base. I used to play the LP to get a laugh out of my friends as a teenager, and to this day one of the most embarrassing moments of my young life was when my parents came home unexpectedly while this album was blaring out of the speakers at full volume with a living room full of teenagers laughing hysterically.

I really, really, really wanted to share some of this crazy, ridiculous music with you, but alas, the album has somehow disappeared from my parents very large record collection. I actually made a pilgrimage back to the homestead and went through every single LP trying to track down this crazy record, and ended up empty handed. My parents say they have no recollection of this record. They’re in their 80’s, but hey, if I was them, I’d deny it too. I found plenty of other similarly embarassing 33rpms. Stuff like this:



So obviously, as you can see, it wasn’t beneath my parents to own music that was sexually charged, albums with naked ladies and suggestive sexual scenes on the album cover, music and liner notes that proclaim “This is the meaning of paradise….what would you have? A simpler way of making love?” and “Music as smooth and polished as old mahogany, as fresh as a meadow in spring.” They can protest all they want, claim to not have a clue about what what I remember as a kid. But I know, I remember. And my sister? When I called her, totally out of the blue, and said, “So hey…do you remember that record mom and dad had?” She interrupted me before I could say anything else and said, “Oh, are you talking about that one with the couple moaning & groaning?” So it’s not just some crazy figment of my imagination. This album exists. Somewhere. And someday, I’m gonna track it down.

I’m gonna give my parents the benefit of the doubt. I think the most plausible explanation for this album’s existence in their collection is that it was a silly novelty, a gag gift, and not actual music to ‘make love by.’ Although they come from a completely different generation, I can’t believe, not for a second, that this is the kind of stuff that would get the blood flowing in the loins of anyone. For sure I can speak for myself, that this isn’t what gets me going.

Last Valentines Day, I wrote about the music that does get me going. The music that makes me swoon. The tunes that turn my personal thermostat up to too hot to handle. Now, it’s your turn.
A few days ago I looked at Swoon, the column I posted a year ago, when (after I showed mine), I asked readers to show me theirs. I wanted to know what makes others feel the love. Get a little warm under the collar. What tunes turn up the heat a tad. To be honest, the response was a little underwhelming. So I decided to throw it out there on Facebook, to my 902 friends. And the response was, honestly, a little overwhelming!

Suddenly, I’ve got a playlist of well over 100 of the sexiest, lovey-dovey makeout songs ever put together! And you guys did it yourselves! There’s a few oddball songs in there. Some of the tunes were a little crazy and obnoxious. Because some of of my 902 friends are in their 80’s and some are in their teens, the songs range from Frank Sinatra to The Cure.

I moved songs that were mentioned more than once up to the top of the list, which is why Etta James with “At Last” is in the #1 spot. The top 5 includes Otis Redding, Mazzy Star, Chris Isaak and the surprising Nine Inch Nails (warning: this song is the raunchiest one of the bunch. NSFW or in front of little kids, but totally worthy of being on this list).

As a newlywed, if there’s any advice I can give you for Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to follow the advice of sex advice columnist Dan Savage: this Valentine’s Day, get your lovemaking out of the way before you go out for supper. Instead of waiting until after you’ve imbibed a bottle or two of wine and a 22 ounce steak to get busy with your lover, get busy before your dinner reservations. Trust me. Lovemaking on a full belly is not a whole lotta fun.

And consider starting your Valentine’s Day lovemaking out with this playlist of 125 streaming sexy songs, courtesy of my fantastic friends! So many, that I’m only going to list the top 10….the rest, you’ll just have to hit the play arrow below to hear, or go directly to the Grooveshark playlist on their website.

And you’re always welcome to leave your own songs (and embarrassing stories) in the comments section below, for next year.

  1. At Last – Etta James
  2. These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding
  3. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
  4. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
  5. Closer – Nine Inch Nails
  6. Fever – Peggy Lee
  7. You Can Leave Your Hat On – Joe Cocker
  8. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
  9. Brick House – Commodores
  10. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

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.

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 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 and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
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6 Responses

  1. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    That Julie London jacket reminds me of another one — the one with "Cry Me a River" in it — where Julie is wearing a green VERY low-cut gown. I was a pre-teen, and my cousin and his high school friends would drool over Julie's picture, tilting the jacket in hopes of seeing farther down the front of her dress.

  2. Avatar CoachBob says:

    Ravel's Bolero!

  3. ajac37 ajac37 says:

    Well,, for once I have to agree with coachBob . . . . Nothing better than ol' Ravel. As to the Julie London covers. I had them all and learned a goodly part of my repertoire (Thank goodness THAT word was in my spellcheck dictionary!) off those albums, But then, I'm about two generations older than you and most of the pop songs were in the romantic category . . . ummm . . . well . . . except for a few like Marizy Doats and Hustut Ralston, and Three Little Fishies . . . . oh, never mind!! LOL!!!

  4. Did you ever hear the 60s album by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, featuring "Je t'aime..Moi Non Plus?" It wasn't so much to get one in the mood as it was to provide for a "foursie" when the other couple couldn't be there with you. All sorts of French heavy breathing sex talk over appropriate music. It's still worth a laugh.

  5. Oh yes, I get such a kick out of that album too! I should've mentioned in the column that there IS yet another album, one that also features a couple in the throws of amorous passion over music, but it's pretty recent (meaning within the last 15 years or so). So it's the same idea, but not the same music. And on another sidenote, my sister and my mother both suggested that I go check under the house to see if perhaps the album is stored down there, with all my albums from the 80's! I'm gonna check tonight, so stay tuned.

  6. Interesting article. I wonder what my son will remember about his parents' sex life? I wonder if he's ever noticed all the erotica on the bookshelf in the bedroom? As for music, my husband is a sucker for romantic music, the schmaltzier, the better! But currently, we have a 6 record set of Nat King Cole…can't get enough of that!