Last February’s monthly playlist was titled “Love Songs?”. It had romantic love songs like “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood, “I Hope” by Gabby Barrett and “Love Hurts” by Nazareth. Obviously it was meant for those of us that were not celebrating the Valentine’s holiday for one reason or another. This year the playlist title “Romeo & Juliet” would lead you to believe it’s for lovers, but that was not the case.
This month’s playlist was not created with romance in mind. I did make the title so it did coincide with this month containing Valentine’s Day. The theme this month is songs performed by a man and a woman singer who at one point were a couple. The couple may not have performed the song when they were a couple, but at one point in their lives they were a couple. Some couples like Johnny and June Carter Cash or Sonny and Cher were pretty obvious. There were more singers that I didn’t know were couples than those I knew.
Not surprisingly, Ariana Grande made the list multiple times. Grande is known for her whirlwind romances. She had two songs with Mac Miller, “My Favorite Part” and “The Way”. She also made the playlist with Nathan Sykes who she met and dated for 5 months when collaborating on the song titled “Almost is Never Enough”. I wonder if her inspiration for her music comes more from her relationships, unlike Taylor Swift who seems to be inspired by her breakups. I would be curious to know how many artists make songs about breakups vs. how many make songs about relationships they are in.
Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s story was one romantic story that made the playlist. They were married in 1968 and continued to work, raise their child, create music and tour together for 35 years until June’s death in May of 2003. Like a lot of couples, they had their issues during their marriage. Johnny had a problem with amphetamines during the time they were together and June made every effort to keep him straight. June stayed with him during his multiple admissions to rehab. After June died in 2003, like many spouses, Johnny died just four months after her. Unlike Johnny and June, most of the relationships were not until death do they part.
One of Ike and Tina Turner’s biggest hits, “Proud Mary”, made this month’s playlist. Anyone who knew this couple knows their relationship did not end well. They were married in 1962. Tina had started performing with Ike’s King of Rhythm in 1957. They had a lot of success throughout the years. But by the mid-1970s Ike was heavily addicted to cocaine. In July of 1976 the couple flew from Los Angeles to Dallas where they had a show at the Dallas Statler Hilton. On the way to the hotel, they got into a physical altercation. Not long after arriving at the hotel, Tina fled from Ike and hid at a friend’s house. On July 27 she filed for divorce. After their separation, United Artists released two more studio albums by the duo. As you can see all kinds of relationships made this month’s playlist.
As I mentioned early on in the article, last year was about songs that were anything but love songs. This month’s “Romeo & Juliet” is more about the couples singing than the music. Personally I have met someone special recently so I am looking forward to what next year’s Valentine’s playlist will be. I hope that all of you have a great month regardless of your relationship status. The last year has shown me that good things come when least expected. Come check out next month’s article and playlist, “Life”. Until then if you want a music fix, you can hear, see or learn about something new every day on my Facebook group, Spotify playlist or YouTube playlist. And as always, feel free to reach out and let me know about your favorite new musical discovery.