Nostalgic Music to Exercise/Dance/Clean By

Need to get yourself moving? Rhythmic music helps. Remember when lyrics were non-violent and “clean”, when music was infectious and unfussy? Here’s some good listening with the double asset of nostalgia and umph. (Yes there are some ballads. Stretch until the beat picks up.) Whether you came of age with this or were introduced to it at Jersey Boys, Tina (Tina Turner) or ain’t too proud– (The Temptations) musicals… These are fun!

Bette Midler: It’s the Girls! Bette and back-up Bette sing old favorites: “Be My Baby,” “Tell Him,” “Too Many Fish in the Sea,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” From a decidedly distaff point of view. No sturm und drang or sociological undertones, just good-time, movin’ music. Also fine for this is Midler’s Thighs and Whispers featuring “Big Noise From Winnetka” “My Knight in Black Leather,” “Hurricane,” and “Married Men”…

The Definitive Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Bound to make you smile. Remember when every group appeared behind/beside its lead with choreography?! This one’s got all the hits- “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” Let’s Hang On,” “Rag Doll”… there’s that harmony and soaring falsetto.

Where the Boys Are -The Songs of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield: One of the famous  teams to emerge from the 1650 Broadway Hit Factory. “Stupid Cupid,” “Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do,” “Calendar Boy,” “Foolish Little Girl,” “Walkin’ in the Footsteps of a Fool”…Original recordings from Connie Francis, Bobby Darren, Carole King, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Dionne Warwick, Leslie Gore, The Everly Brothers…

Darlene Love -The Concert of Love: One of the great dames of the era (I saw her live last year, she hasn’t dropped a stitch.) “Wait Till My Baby Get’s Home,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “He’s a Rebel”…

The Big Chill: Soundtrack of the excellent 1983 film (Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, Mary Kay Place…On Amazon Prime) Oldies but goodies: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,””My Girl,” “Joy to The World,” “I Second that Emotion,” “Tell Him”… Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Three Dog Night…original recordings.

The Best of The Drifters: It’s easy to conjure the matching tuxes and parent leather shoes. “Kissin’ in the Back Row of the Movies,” “Summer in the City,” “Sweet Caroline,” Midnight Cowboy,” Down on the Beach Tonight,” “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me”…

Donna Summer – She Works Hard for The Money: 1983 and holds up just fine, thanks. “She Works Hard for The Money,” “Stop, Look, and Listen,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Woman,” “Unconditional Love,” (I Do Believe) I Fell I Love.”…

And one contemporary collection:

Norbert Leo Butz: Girl, Girls Girls – One of our notable musical theater actors, Butz’s surprising shows have raised the roof at 54Below to deserved acclaim. Having been for some time surrounded by women – two wives, mothers-in-law, daughters, friends, even his plumber – and no closer to understanding our sex, a friend recommends the artist research Greek and Roman Mythology for iconic female paradigms. Each of these unexpected numbers relates to a goddess. There’s rock n’ roll, R & B, country, pop…Infectious, wildly varied and smartly paralleled.

Top photo: Bigstock

About Alix Cohen (900 Articles)
Alix Cohen is the recipient of nine New York Press Club Awards for work published on this venue. Her writing history began with poetry, segued into lyrics and took a commercial detour while holding executive positions in product development, merchandising, and design. A cultural sponge, she now turns her diverse personal and professional background to authoring pieces about culture/the arts with particular interest in artists/performers and entrepreneurs. Theater, music, art/design are lifelong areas of study and passion. She is a voting member of Drama Desk and Drama League. Alix’s professional experience in women’s fashion fuels writing in that area. Besides Woman Around Town, the journalist writes for Cabaret Scenes, Broadway World, and Theater Pizzazz. Additional pieces have been published by The New York Post, The National Observer’s Playground Magazine, Pasadena Magazine, Times Square Chronicles, and ifashionnetwork. She lives in Manhattan. Of course.