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The Birthday Song(s)

January 30, 2023 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic, Writing tagged as , ,

I often listen to music while I’m writing, and it’s nearly always to one of my two favorite college radio stations: WPRB in Princeton, NJ, or KVCU in Boulder, CO. No Spotify or Pandora for me. 

The other day the DJ Dana K from WPRB decided to celebrate her birthday by playing during her two-hour show songs only from the year she was born. What a cool idea, I thought. I’d never looked back at songs that way. And since this post is the closest to my birthday month—I won’t be posting in February because my slot falls on the 30th of the month—I am going to do that look-back here.

To give the range more breadth than Dana K did, I expanded my research (thank you, Google) beyond my birth year to all years that are decades for it—so, all years that end in the same digit. I discovered, though, that, like any best-of list, what’s “best” is in the eye of the beholder. Since I don’t currently listen to top-40 radio, those that floated to the top of the online lists were not often ones I would choose to play (or remember fondly).

I did see some favorites, but many other popular hits did not register high on my interest gauge. 

I was delighted to find that both “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Suede and “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone were on the list. I am a big fan of the film Guardians of the Galaxy, and those two songs are part of the much-played soundtrack. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton is on the list; I also love Jack White’s version of the song, which came out 30 years later, on the White Stripes’ Under Blackpool Lights.

“Beeswing” by Richard Thompson was not a top-40 hit on the lists, but it’s a stunning song-story on Mirror Blue by one of my favorite singer-songwriters. “Crown of Love,” from the debut album by Arcade Fire, is another on the timeline that swept me away. And I was happy to discover that “Say It Ain’t So” on Weezer‘s Blue Album fit my time parameter; the song speaks to a topic that’s personal for me. 

There are many other songs I could mention. Instead, I’ll just slip on my ear buds, crank up the volume, and get back to writing my next story.

Some of Dianna’s Books

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April 22, 2021 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Veronica Jorge is out of the office this month, so we’re running one of her columns from our archives. Hope you enjoy it!

A Dance of Words | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of Orange


Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.

The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.

My mother, Write from the Heart | Veronica Jorge | A Slice of OrangeCelina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).

Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.

And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

~ Veronica

Veronica will be here next time on May 22nd.


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Music by E. J. Williams

February 3, 2021 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , ,


The Top 10 1960s Billboard Hits

Enjoy the waltz down memory lane!

  1. 1960 A Summer Place Theme recorded by Percy Faith and orchestra

2. 1961 Tossin and Turnin by Bobby Lewis

3. 1962 Stranger on the Shore by Mr. Acker Bilk

4. 1963 Sugar Shack by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

5. 1964 I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles (Ed Sullivan Show)

6. 1965 I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

7. 1966 Ballad of the Green Berets by SSgt. Barry Sadler

8. 1967 To Sir with Love by Lulu

9. 1968 Hey Jude by The Beatles

10. 1969 Sugar, Sugar by The Archies (You’ll get a kick out of the animation.)

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Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember by Neetu

January 26, 2021 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , , , ,
a trombone in a spotlight

Wendell Eugene: A Night to Remember

Rain drops drizzled
from the night sky,
café lights twinkled
in dream-lit New Orleans

you strode gracefully–
ninety and one years of life
trailing grandly behind

your trombone
dazzling on the stage,
you raised a toast to
the joy of living
among fans and friends

I watched you tune
your gleaming instrument,
lifting it to your lips
with the ease
of one who knows
an old Fidus Achates–

as one who has carried
ecstasy and heartache
through time’s mist
and glory

my eyes
transfixed upon
shimmering brass
as you played

you turned to the applause,
our eyes met, you smiled

awed by your presence,
charmed by the smile
of a music man

who brought jazz to life
every night

for me, it was a first time,
and perhaps the last
at that fine restaurant.

©Neetu Malik

In honor and memory of Wendell Eugene (1923-2017), the longest-performing jazz musician/trombonist of New Orleans.

Some of Neetu’s Books

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The Pianist by Neetu

April 26, 2019 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , ,
You play the piano, I listen— 
notes slide off 
your fingers

smooth as ambrosia, 
dripping a symphony 
or a ragtime song 
into my senses 
parched for so long. 

Thirsting for the heady 
intoxication to fill 
my emptiness
I turn to see your 
graceful form, 
your dancing fingers, 

the world slips away, 
as drop by drop, 
pure enchantment 
shivers briefly 

then sinks into 
the deepest 
tunnels of me. 

© Neetu Malik
This poem was first published in The Australia Times Poetry Magazine.

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