February Artists of the Week
As part of our Island of Dance we feature a musical artist for each week of the year. This month we’ll cover weeks 21 through 24 and our four artists for February are
- The British Invasion,
- Aretha Franklin,
- Walt Disney,
- The Marley Family, and
- a bonus artist ranking for Sweethearts and Valentines.
Again, our intention with the Artists of the Week is to give you a little background in music, along with how that background integrates with dancing. We hope you find them enlightening, and entertaining! And hopefully you find some new favorite dance songs!
Now, let’s dive in!
Our first Artist for February, and 21st artist for the Island of Dance year, is the British Invasion. During the 1960’s British culture began to have a large influence on America. Movies, fashion and particularly music where it is said the U.S. experienced a seismic shift, were “Crossing the pond.” Many recording artists were to achieve success and most well-known among them are:
- The Dave Clark Five
- The Rolling Stones
- The Kinks; Herman’s Hermits
- The Animals and The Who
But no group had a bigger impact than The Beatles who “landed” on the American shores in 1964; whereupon the term Beatlemania became a household world across the states. At one point the Beatles had all five spots on the music charts in the same week, which has never been repeated.
Our second Artist of the Month for February is known as the “Queen of Soul.” My first exposure to Aretha was her performance in the timeless American Film “The Blues Brothers.” She is a multi-Grammy winning artist known for such classic tunes as:
- “Freeway of Love” and
- “I Say a Little Prayer”
We particularly enjoy dancing the Tush Push to her rendition of “Chain of Fools.”
Aretha was born in Memphis, TN., in 1942 and became the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She became a performer at a very early age and was known as a self-taught child prodigy. She has a powerful voice and is an accomplished pianist.
22(b). Sweethearts & Valentines
Our next “Artist of the Week” is actually a theme, and you are encouraged to follow the links below for interesting histories of Valentine’s Day, (although you might think twice if you don’t want to know the controversial background). All you need to know for the Island of Dance application is that Hondo is in trouble each year because we always end up working instead of celebrating. BUT in his defense teaching people how to dance isn’t REALLY work. 😊😊
Here are some of our favorite Sweetheart themed songs to dance to:
- “I Only Have Eyes for You” – Michael Bublé (Fox Trot, Slow Lindy)
- “Fly Me to The Moon” – Frank Sinatra, Count Basie (Fox Trot, Slow Lindy)
- “A Sunday Kind of Love” – Etta James (Slow Dance)
- “From The Ground Up” – Dan + Shay (Viennese Waltz)
- “Reaching For The Moon” – Frank Sinatra (Waltz)
Our third Artist of the Week for February is Walt Disney. While he may not be a musician per se, his work in film and television and theme parks put him in contact with some of the best song writers and performers of the Great American Song Book. It would be quite easy to host a full dance party and use music from the Disney collection. Some of our favorites for dancing include
- “The Bare Necessities” – Phil Harris, Bruce Reitherman (The Jungle Book)
- “Woody’s Waltz” – Helen Darling (Toy Story)
- “Almost There” – Anika Nani Rose (The Princess and the Frog)
Bob Marley’s music is a staple of island entertainment, and one cannot travel the Caribbean without feeling his immense influence. A native of the beautiful country of Jamaica Bob Marley could count at least eight descendants who are successfully continuing his legacy in the recording industry. Some of our favorites for dancing are
- “Buffalo Soldier” by Bob which has a swing feeling
- “True to Myself,” by Ziggy is a solid Rumba
- “Good Girls Culture” is a fun Merengue by Rita
We say it’s a pretty darn good month of artists if you ask us! Now, you can either run to grab your practice shoes and start dancing to these awesome songs, or you can check out a few of our past Artists of the Week. We have January and December’s up on our blog, and we’ll be adding to it every month!
Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to know about these artists, or any dances as well! Until then, we hope you’re practicing, and we’ll see you on the dance floor! 💃🕺
Photos Courtesy of:
The British Invasion: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aankomst_Beatles_op_Schiphol,_overzicht_drukte_op_Schiphol,_Bestanddeelnr_916-5134.jpg
Aretha Franklin: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aretha_Franklin_1968.jpg
Sweet Hearts: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Necco-Candy-SweetHearts.jpg
Walt Disney: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walt_Disney_1946.JPG
Bob Marley: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bob-Marley-in-Concert_Zurich_05-30-80.jpg