It's 8pm and I'm in bed...
Not for any good reason unfortunately. Turns out being diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease isn't fun. I'm very worn out, everything's a bit of an effort. I've had to miss Burlesque tonight for the second week running due to illness which is getting me very down.
Luckily I was still able to present my radio show today which cheered me up! I have some brilliant listeners who always make me smile, and I'm still putting on my lipstick.
My radio show today got me thinking about awesome songs which should be a go to for any red lipstick lady when she's feeling run down so I thought I'd share ten of them with you!
#10 “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” Aretha Franklin
Aretha is, quite simply, a powerhouse. She was named the Queen of Soul early on in her career and has effortlessly maintained her crown over the 50 plus years she has been recording. Her own life was peppered with troubles including teenage pregnancy and an abusive marriage but she forged on. Respect is a song that has been used to empower women during the feminist movement and was also an anthem for the civil rights movement.
Whenever you feel like life’s getting too much I dare you to listen to this song and not feel strengthened.
#9 – "Fujiyama Mama" Wanda Jackson
Wanda Jackson is - quite simply - just a cool lady. If Aretha is the Queen of soul then Wanda is the Queen of Rockabilly.
I've talked before about the difficulties of being a girl in the rock n roll world as it is a very male world. Well Wanda was not only a girl in the rock n roll world she owned it. She was the first female recording artist to record rockabilly after receiving rock n roll lessons from Elvis (who she was dating at the time). Even though she was told "girls don't sell records" and was derided for wearing heels, earings and dresses she still carried on with a successful recording career that endures to this day.
My favourite of all her songs has to be Fujiyama Mama, it's brilliant for singing along to when you're fed up.
#8 – "Fallin’" Connie Francis
I've spoken before about what an inspiration Connie Francis is to me. She has dealt with a lot of rough times in her life including almost suffocating during a horrific rape attack for which the culprit was never found and also losing her beloved brother in a mafia shoot out.
Despite everything she has endured and consistently used her bad experiences to help others. I love her song Fallin as it really shows her amazing vocals.
#7 – "Dynamite" Brenda Lee
Despite being only 4 ft 9 inches tall Brenda Lee earned the nickname Little Miss Dynamite after recording the song Dynamite in 1957 at the age of only 13. A very popular rockabilly performer Brenda Lee had 37 US chart hits during the 60's - only surpassed by Elvis, The Beatles, Ray Charles and Connie Francis.
If you can listen to this song and not have it stuck in your head cheering you up for days then you're a stronger person than I am.
#6 "Shout" LuLu
I don't think this one needs much explanation... I opened my first ever Retro Radio Show with this song just because I think it sums up the red lipstick attitude perfectly. Because sometimes all we need to do is shout.
#5 – "Proud Mary" Tina Turner
Tina's experiences of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband Ike have been well documented. Despite her tough life she has continued to record and to put herself on a stage in front of thousands no matter what anyone thought of her. To me, that is an ultimate red lipstick lady.
And no-one does it quite as well as Tina.
# 4 – "Help Me Make it Through The Night" Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
Sometimes it's easy, when looking at strong women, to start to think that all men are awful beasts who do nothing but make trouble. However, June Carter is proof that sometimesa great love is enough.
An extremely talented and versatile woman (June actually wrote "Ring of Fire" for John) June was, by her own admission, happiest as Mrs John Cash. Through their long marriage she would remain the voice of reason, tempering down John's destructive side and helping him to create a lasting legacy of country music.
This song for me sums up the pair of them.
#3 "You've Got A Friend" Carole King
Carole King is an awesome lady and incredible songwriter. This song won her a grammy award for best songwriter - the first female artist ever to receive the award. Whenever you're feeling a little low this song is a great pick me up, because no matter what - you've always got a friend.
#2 "I only want to be with you" Dusty Springfield
She also had a troubled personal life, struggling with her mental health and sexuality but through her music she became an icon. This is a perfect hairbrush tune.
#1 – Don't Rain on My Parade Barbra Streisand
Is there ever a song more suited to the red lipstick state of mind than this one? Barbra Streisand is a living legend, she's a true star of stage and screen, she's a singer, performer, philanthropist.... you name it. I could spend ages telling you about her but I won't.
Instead I say to you, go get your lipstick on, grab your hairbrush and try not to sing along to this one - it's physically impossible.
Because no matter what no-one is gonna rain on your parade!
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