Three Things to Remember on a Monday Morning

“Dancing in the Streets” ~ Angel City Chorale, Los Angeles
Sue Fink, Founder and Artistic Director


Three Things to Remember


As long as you’re dancing,
you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules
is just extending the rules.
Sometimes, there are no rules.


Mary Oliver


Comments always are welcome.

56 thoughts on “Three Things to Remember on a Monday Morning

    1. The Angel City Chorale is a favorite group. I hadn’t come across this performance until this weekend, and it made me so happy, I thought I’d post it. Then, I remember the Oliver poem — such a nice fit.

  1. I remember the 1964 hit version by Martha and the Vandellas. I can’t say I ever knew who wrote the song till I looked it up just now: Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson, and Ivy Jo Hunter. The version you posted features the largest ensemble I’ve ever heard sing it.

    1. The Chorale’s repertoire is quite varied. I’d heard their versions of other popular music, but I really enjoyed this ‘oldie’ that we grew up with. Another one you might get a kick out of is their version of Korobeiniki. They do have fun with their music.

    2. I am a child of Detroit (actually, Dearborn), and I grew up with this music. I immediately knew that Martha and the Vandellas had performed the classic, and was not surprised that Marvin Gaye was one of the authors. Can’t forget the Motor City!

      1. Can’t forget the Motor City, indeed. It’s still some of my favorite music, and it’s still influencing artists today. Many of the songs were so familiar that it takes only a few chords to know what’s coming, and smile.

    3. When I left my comment last night something kept nagging at me about “Ivy Joe Hunter.” This morning it dawned on me (actually pre-dawned on me, as it’s still dark out) that Wikipedia had made a mistake and the name is really Ivory Joe Hunter, whom I remember from his song “Since I Met You Baby.”

      1. I had no idea that Hunter was born in Kirbyville, or that he worked at KDFM in Beaumont. In fact, if you’d asked me to name the writer of “Since I Met You Baby,” I couldn’t have told you. But the song? I surely do remember it, and the year that it was one of the most popular plays on the jukebox at the Y during junior high lunch hours. (Those were the days when we could go across the street to the Y for lunch; we’d buy hamburgers and fries, and spend twenty minutes dancing before we had to be back in class.)

        1. I caught that Texas connection, too. I speculated that Ivory might have been a name the musician added later in life with reference to the keys on a piano, but according to the article that was his given name. Whether his parents chose it because of a connection to piano keys, who knows?

          1. There’s an answer to almost everything! From Goldmine, aka “The Music Collector’s Magazine”:

            Yes, some performers adopt a stage name…perhaps pulled out of the air by a press agent because it would look good on a record label or concert poster. But that’s not so for Ivory Joe Hunter. That’s his real name, given to him by his father, Dave Hunter, and mother Anna Smith Hunter, when he was born on October 10, 1911, in Kirbyville, a small, sawmill town 70 miles north of Port Arthur in Jasper County, eastern Texas.

            In an article about Ivory Joe titled “I’m A Lucky Man,” written by Micki Robinson for the May 1975 issue of “Country Song Roundup,” Ivory Joe revealed that his parents “thought I looked just like the baby on the outside of the Castoria Ivory bottle, so they called me Ivory. Just think, I was named after a bottle of baby laxative.” He goes on to say his middle name came from his mother’s favorite brother Joe.

    1. You’re welcome, Vicki. It’s a spoonful of musical sugar to help the medicine of life go down, if you will — and who doesn’t like another bit of Mary Oliver?

  2. A great way to start the week, Linda. We have the wonderful words of Mary Oliver (I am sure when she said “Good morning” she made it sound poetic), and the exuberance of this chorale. Given the tenor of the country I hope that the members of the choir can be emblematic of the ability of people of all colours, ages and walks of life, to come together and enjoy each other, without precondition or bias of any kind. I hope that they find ways to interact in their daily lives too and share the experiences of living, aside from their musical commonality.

    1. Part of this choir’s raison d’être has been to provide an example of the kind of community you mention. Their mission statement says it far better than I could. For a group that was founded in 1993 with eighteen members, I’d say they’re doing just fine.

      I’ve only known about them for a year or so. I discovered them while looking for a version of Toto’s “Africa,” and was completely entranced by their approach to the song. I never would have imagined that a choir could replicate the sound of rain moving through the African bush so perfectly, or interpret the song so beautifully. When I get homesick for West Africa, I always have a listen.

    1. As the song says, “It doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there…” It doesn’t make any difference how well you dance, either — it’s the getting up and moving that counts!

  3. Gosh oh gosh oh gosh, what a fantastic way to start a Monday. Such a snappy version of a snappy song. And the voices of the two young women who sing the leads! If I could have a wish granted, it would be to sing like that. Then there is the wonderful diversity—all colors, all ages, men and women. Actually brought tears to my eyes to see them. Now, I must go back and listen to David Bowie and Mick Jagger.

    1. Isn’t this just the best fun? I’m with you about envying the voices of those young women, too — the combination of their sharp, snazzy solos and the large sound of the choir is just perfect. As for the diversity you see, it’s built into their mission statement:

      “Angel City Chorale is an accomplished community choir providing artistic growth and peak musical opportunities for its members and our audience. Embracing diversity in our membership and in our music we seek to “Build Community One Song at a time” by fostering spirited musical, educational, and adventurous community-making experiences in our home of Los Angeles and throughout the world.”

  4. Love this to the max, both the video and Mary’s wonderful words! Always have loved that song, being a Motown kinda girl (and it was also on my Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies” workout). It just makes you happy. This choir is fabulous. I loved their way of costuming, too.

    1. I think you’d really enjoy browsing their offerings on YouTube, Jeanie. Another of my favorites is “Baba Yetu,” composed for the video game “Civilization IV” by Christopher Tin. I’m not a fan of video games, but the Chorale does quite a few arrangements of music found in them, and they’re fabulous.

      “Baba Yetu” is the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili. You can find the original and translated lyrics here.

  5. Music has the power to bring us together, despite our differences. Perhaps somebody should take a “boom box” or something to these street riots and give the angry folks a reason to dance, sing, and smile! You know, this is very much like my vision of Heaven — everybody getting along, no discussion of politics and other tinder-worthy topics, and continual music — thanks for a great pick-me-up, Linda! (Oh, and Mary Oliver’s poem is perfect, too!)

    1. And we know what pleasure it is to rehearse and perform in a group like this: well, maybe not precisely like this, but close. Making music is as pleasurable as listening to music, and perhaps even more so. Maybe the new slogan for the age should be “Make Music, Not War.” I suppose people could fight over which kind of music to make, but it still might take things down a notch.

    1. Isn’t it fun to watch Sue Fink? Her enthusiasm and communication with the musicians is wonderful to behold. To have started with a vision and eighteen musicians, and then to have built it into this, is quite a feat. The group’s repertoire is so varied; I think you’d enjoy browsing it. They have many, many videos on YouTube.

  6. I really enjoyed the choir and it’s always been one of my favorite songs to boot. Thanks for mentioning it on “What’s She Thinking?’ blog.

    1. Isn’t this a great version? I enjoy everything about this group: their repertoire, their professionalism, and the fun they have. I suspect they take their lead from their director!

  7. Everybody needs to dance more. Just put on some funky music and move to the groove. If you have to go in your room and close the door so no one will see, fine. Just do it.

    1. I think my computer decided to go to the dance. I was left with nothing but the blue screen of death last night — oh, horrors! So it’s off to the computer doc this morning. We’ll see if I can manage to post with an iPad and the block editor; I’m not looking forward to it. Still this is a pretty good song for Tuesday, too.

  8. That is a great performance and of course reminded me of Martha and the Vandellas. Funny…when I first started watching I thought the men in the background were priests until I noticed the white was bow ties rather than collars.

    1. Bow ties are uncommon enough these days that it’s a natural association, I think. They’re just a wonderful group, and they do some unusual numbers. While they’re willing to take on popular tunes, like this one, they do everything from gospel to music from video games. They have a YouTube channel if you’re interested.

    1. Well, at least you know why Monday’s post is still up. Dealing with the block editor and an iPad’s no fun, and besides — I can’t get to the photos for my next post since the computer crash. I can’t even load photos onto this ipad without some gizmo from Apple. I think I need to have a real laptop with USB ports as backup, as well as my nice SSD. Sigh! At least I left myself a cheerful last post before the crash!

      1. Oh so you got the WP email saying you’re being shifted over….hiding here (Have you done the button select under administration to put classic editor back? My only hope was that would actually work….
        I blog for fun and entertainment, not mental puzzles to figure out)

        1. No, I did Lagniappe on my own, and was having no trouble on the PC. The trick is to choose the Classic Block, and get used to things there. Once I found where everything is, it wasn’t so bad. There are some things I really. like, too, like the ability to easily shift between the visual and code editors.

          1. Luckily I have your cell #
            Here’s WP post on finding classic editor
            I am not happy that while right now the old posts will remain as they are – you just can’t edit or update them…how long will they live in that shadow world?
            New bloggers are actually in better position for this switch. WP says it was just too much trouble to retro fit old editor with new perks…people remodeling houses say the same thing HAHA

  9. Speaking of songs, I just learned that “Linda,” which you probably know, was written for the then-five-year-old daughter of songwriter Jack Lawrence’s attorney, Lee Eastman. That’s the same Linda Eastman who later married Paul McCartney.

    1. I certainly do know that song. It was written in 1946, the year I was born, and both my mother and dad enjoyed singing it to me. In fact, I was named ‘Linda’ because they thought it was such an unusual name — at least it was unusual in small-town Iowa. I wonder now if the song might have played into my naming. I think I’ll call my aunt tomorrow and ask if she knows anything about it.

      1. By the way, A Dictionary of First Names by Hanks and Hodges says that Linda is “of recent and somewhat uncertain origin.” One explanation is that it’s a shortening of Belinda. Another is that it’s the Spanish word for ‘beautiful.’ The book even offers a third possibility: “it may be derived from the Latinate form of any of various other Germanic female names ending in the element -lind meaning ‘weak, tender, soft.'”

          1. I suspect the first part of that name is (appropriately for a botanist) a different word that means ‘linden tree,’ so Lind-heim-er would be ‘a person from the home of the linden trees.’ Similarly, Lindbergh is ‘linden tree mountain.’

            1. That is more appropriate, especially since Herr Lindheimer seems to have been anything but weak, tender, or soft — although his affection for his family did exhibit those qualities.

  10. An invigorating and rousing rendition. That’ll get your blood pumping while watching the video. Where was this performed or do you know? The sound on my computer is just barely but I could hear it enough to enjoy it. The choir director was a trip. She was geared!

    1. I’m not sure where this was performed. I looked at a couple of videos where they’re obviously performing in the same place, but couldn’t figure it out. I do know that they travel pretty widely, so it could have been anywhere — not just Los Angeles.

      Isn’t that director something? There’s obviously a deep affection between her and the group; watching the communication between them in any given performance is just plain fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.