It takes two, baby, me and you

Two’s company.  Tea for two.  Two heads are better than one.  It takes two to tango.


And the pantheon of popular music is abundant with duets — songs that combine and contrast the vocal talents of two different but complementary singers.

By definition, a duet is a recording or performance that features two vocalists taking turns singing solo sections of equal importance to the piece.  This differs from a harmony, in which the vocalists sing together, in harmony or in unison.  Duos like Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, Seals & Crofts or Hall and Oates don’t really do duets — their songs typically offer one lead voice throughout with occasional harmonies, or harmonies throughout.

Duets first started appearing in popular music in the 1940s, when stars like Bing Crosby and Judy Garland, and Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark, each had Top Five hits with “Talk, Talk, Talk” (1945) and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (1949), respectively.  The ’50s saw more successful duets such as 1957’s “Love is Strange” by Mickey & Sylvia (which enjoyed a second life 30 years later on the “Dirty Dancing” film soundtrack). The early ’60s brought dialog-type duets like Paul & Paula’s “Hey Paula” (1962), Dale and Grace’s “I’m Leaving It All Up to You” (1963) and Inez and Charlie Foxx’s “Mockingbird” (1963). Read More

Nice day for a white wedding

There may not be a more frequently explored topic in popular music lyrics than love.  Good or bad, brief or long lasting, love and romance have been mainstays as subject matter for six decades:  “Love Reign O’er Me.”  “Love is the Drug.”  “Love Will Keep Us Together.”  “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”  “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”  “Love in an Elevator.”  “Love is Like Oxygen.”  “Love You Inside Out.”  “Love Stinks.”

continental-dance-club-logo-bloomfield-nj-91Songs about weddings and marriage, though, are less plentiful, perhaps because the music industry isn’t exactly overflowing with examples of life-long relationships.  Still, year in and year out, music lovers everywhere continue to give the institution of marriage a go, and who doesn’t enjoy the warm, festive nature of a great wedding ceremony and reception?

As with other important milestones in life, weddings need a soundtrack, and popular music once again comes through with enough songs to build a decent set list.  I’ve selected a baker’s dozen tunes to examine below, via Spotify, along with another 15 “honorable mentions” that also focus on weddings.  For the brides and grooms out there, and all those who celebrate their union, this blog’s for you! Read More