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Growing Bolder Article

When it comes to the music of today, who do you like?

Posted June 23, 2010, 10:33 am

Growing Bolder has gathered some of the brightest leaders, role models, life coaches and entertainers to share their wisdom.

Our question is: We all love the music we grew up with. But what about the music of today? Who do you like?

Ciji Ware, author of Rightsizing Your Life: Simplifying Your Surroundings While Keeping What Matters Most Ciji Ware
Well, I love singer Norah Jones and saxophonist , composer, and fellow Harvardian, Josh Redman, but the musicians working today that I admire the most are artists that never gave up.  Despite the trends, the advent of the digital revolution,  rap, and hip-hop, a couple of my favorites are still playing today and playing better than ever!  

First on my list is the New Orleans legend Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John, an iconic American singer/songwriter/pianist and guitarist whose sound is an instantly identifiable gumbo of blues, pop, jazz, Zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll. His professional musical career began in the Big Easy in the 1950s, and over the years with his own group or sitting in with other greats, he's performed with everyone from Pete Fountain, to Allen Toussaint, Van Morrison, Aaron Neville, Al Hirt, Carly Simon and James Taylor, and Harry Connick, Jr. to name just a few.

Called the "Ambassador of New Orleans funk," Dr. John's version of "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" with Harry Connick, Jr.  can make you weep, especially when you know how much the Crescent City and the state of Louisiana mean to him and the culture he's worked his entire life to preserve.

After Katrina--and long after I'd published my novel set in New Orleans, Midnight on Julia Street--I heard Dr. John's incredible Sippiana Hericane suite of four songs, to benefit New Orleans Musicians Clinic and other local charities.  It's eerie, heartwrenching, and glorious all at once, and if you haven't listened to it, do so in honor of the present agony going on in the Gulf Coast as a result of the BP Spill.

If that composition of Dr. John's doesn't make you want to cry and laugh and dance at the same time, have a listen to his  "Such a Night" --or even better--the title tune "Goin' Back to New Orleans."  

Dr. John hits 70 years-old November 21 of this year, and thus far, appears to be going strong.  For those of us who consider New Orleans our "second city"  Dr. John's music epitomizes the mystery, magnificence, and magic of the City That Care Forgot...

About Ciji Ware
Ciji is a bestselling historical novelist, reporter, writer, lecturer, on-air host, and Emmy-award winning television producer,. Perhaps best known as a commentator and personality for seventeen years on ABC Radio in Los Angeles, she has worked as an on-air talent for PBS in LA and all three major networks, covering a wide range of topics in the areas of health, consumer and lifestyle subjects. Click here to learn more!

Christine Schwab new 3x4.jpg Christine Schwab
I love Lady Antebellum. They are a little rock and a little country and I find myself singing "Need You Now" during the day. I saw them on TV and immediately downloaded the song and have since bought their album.

Of course nobody compares to Neil Diamond in my book. "I Am, I Said" will always be my favorite, but I find many of the new singers amazing. Christine Aguilera blows me away.

And one of my all time favorite soundtracks is from the movie "Once" so when Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze sang the title song, "Falling Slowly" on American Idol I went right on iTunes.

And I'm actually going to see Adam Lambert's concert next  month...well, maybe it's because I am friends with his parents, but I'll keep an open mind.

About Christine Schwab
She's a renowned style expert and fashion consultant who has appeared on "Today," "Entertainment Tonight," "Oprah," "NBC Nightly News," "Live with Regis and Kelly" and more. She's been a spokesperson for many of the world's most powerful fashion brands and retailers. She is all about helping smash ridiculous and unfounded stereotypes, like women over 40 don't care about fashion and style. She's the author of "The Grown-Up Girl's Guide to Style."

Scott-Ludwig1x1.jpg Scott Ludwig
nickelback, shinedown, three days grace, linkin park...and yes, i'm 55.

About Scott Ludwig
30 years ago the self-professed couch potato made himself go for a run. He hasn't missed a day of running since! Soon, even marathons were not enough. So he took on Death Valley. In 130 degree heat, he ran 135 miles in 36 hours. His book, "Running Through My Mind: Confessions of an Everyday Runner" inspires couch potatoes and runners alike!

Lou Whitney Lou Whitney
I just love music of almost any genre and era, except for some of the very hard rock.  I do have preferences, and it depends on my mood and what I'm doing.   When Rock and Roll was introduced in the 50's, I wasn't quite sure what I thought of it.  Some I liked, and some I didn't, but it grew on me the older I got.  Today, when I'm riding my motorcycle across country, I'm usually listening to the 50's station on satellite radio.  When I've heard enough of the 50's music, I'll find a station with modern Pop.  I don't have music idol's like some folks, but people like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley come close.  There are a lot of singers today that I like to listen to, and most are melodic type singers like Michael Buble, Celine Dion, and Carrie Underwood.  I'm not a big fan of Rap or Hip Hop, but there are some that I do like.  Country music has evolved over the years, and I'm becoming more of a fan.  When I want to relax, I might find a good classical piece of music. Music is like everything else in life, it continues to evolve.  You can choose to live in the past, or evolve with it.

About Lou Whitney
Now in his 70s, Lou does things not many people at any age can do. Whitney is not only a pioneer in Veterans Motocross racing -- he's a competitor. He's part of the fastest growing division of the sport, the senior division. And he's responsible for staging the Veterans Motocross Championships. He also does another type of riding -- adventure riding. He goes on an annual trek to places like Mexico, the West Coast and Canada.

Elaine Beaubien Elaine Beaubien
Music of today? Love almost all of it. Well, not rap so much. But I guess I am most connected to the music of my youth…as the majority of you probably do. Music is something that triggers in all of us fantastically vivid memories. Those memories can be wildly diverse…as diverse as the popular songs of any generation.

When I hear “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” I get sucked into a mental time machine and am immediately transported back to the early 70’s. I’m once again dancing like a maniac after winning the football game that put us into a post-season bowl game. I smell the Wind Song that I was wearing and the English Leather my guy preferred. I taste the cheese curds that we favored when our thighs were young and able to fight off the fat. I feel the friendship that surrounded me as we all screamed the lyrics together. 

Music bonds us. It can transform a group of strangers into a cohesive group. Music is as varied as our experiences, as diverse as the many facets of our lives. We are complex and so is our music. In contrast with the frenzy and care-free jumping to “Jeremiah,” my life back then was also filled with the struggle for equal rights, social awareness and consciousness raising. When I hear “We Shall Overcome” or John Lennon’s iconic “Give Peace a Chance,” I am once again marching arm-in-arm with hundreds and singing what became anthems during that time.  Snap. Instant teleportation.

People who make movies know how music can affect us emotionally. What would Star Wars be without the majestic theme song, and would Jaws have been nearly as creepy without the “Thrum Dum Thrum Dum.”

Music accompanies the important milestones in our lives. Our weddings and funerals.  As a professor I attend at least two graduations a year and when “Pomp and Circumstance” begins, I feel the collective sigh of the students, parents, friends and families. The National Anthem is played at sporting events and people from all walks of life with nothing in common come together for a few moments before the game begins. We sing happy birthday to commemorate our yearly celebration and the holidays for me don’t officially begin until I hear Christmas music and feel the uplifting sensation and the intense anticipation I felt as a child. Smiles appear. Energy is increased. Magic!

Something I love is when multiple generations share the same music. As I said, it bonds people together. We may have incredibly different memories, backgrounds, issues, but when my 30 year old niece and my 14 year old niece bop to the Abba music in Mamma Mia, we are one. They may not remember the tunes from the first time around but that’s not important. It’s theirs now and we are all Dancing Queens. I love it! I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do!

Each of us has a sound track that traces our lives. Our memory is imprinted with a series of bookmarks and we can relive any chapter by replaying the song that was playing in the background. Isn’t that lovely? I think so. I think I’ll go hunt down my Jesus Christ Superstar record album. Hmmm.  Never mind. I have nothing to play it on any more. Maybe I can download it for my MP3 player. I’ll ask my 14 year old niece.

About Elaine Beaubien
Elaine Beaubien is an award-winning professor, an international speaker, entrepreneur, corporate trainer and a popular columnist. But after turning 50, she knew she wanted to try her hand at something else -- writing romance novels. So, she started writing under the pen name E.K. Barber but the secret is now out. Her latest is, "Flight into Fate and Flight into Destiny."

pat paciello.JPG Pat Paciello
I must say  the music of today is a decided improvement from the 90's which was God-awful. The fusion of country and rock and roll has opened up a new category that I find appealing. That being said, I can't say that I am a big fan of today's music.

I am a product of the 60's and at the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, the 60's was without question the definitive decade of Rock and Roll. In my quest to stretch my musical horizons, I recently decided to leave my time warp and burn some cd's to add to my music collection. I labeled my new music contemporary songs and hoped to play the CDs at a pool party that I was hosting.

At the pool party my grown up children were looking to play some music, they were relieved and surprised to find some contemporary music in my collection. As they scanned the songs on my CDs, they started to laugh. "Dad, you have got to be kidding me. Your contemporary songs don't go past 1985. These songs are oldies." "Bite your tongue, I replied. The thought that an 80's song was being classified as an oldie was to me -  heresy. Feigning mock horror, I snapped back, "I suppose you consider Space Invaders and Pac Man as oldies?" I pressed a button and the best of the Rolling Stones wailed through the speakers, and I Mick Jaggered my way back to the party.

About Pat Paciello
Pat retired at age 50 only to reinvent himself as an author! His book is called, "Has Anyone Seen My Reading Glasses? The Humorous and Slightly Informative Chronicles of a Retired Baby Boomer." Oh, he really had no intention to "work" again, but the financial crisis gave him nightmares of being forced back into the workplace. And when he began to research other books on retirement, he realized most were dull, dry and uninteresting, three things that Pat Paciello NEVER could be!

Ed Shadle Ed Shadle
I like all sorts of music but one of the songs I most recently heard and enjoy is by George Strait and the name of the song is Remember When.

I just wish John Denver had not been lost to us. Many of his songs hit home with me. George Strait does ride horses and is a pretty good roper.

John Denver was a pilot and adventurer. So many of the musicians, especially country singers, are singers only and couldn't milk a cow, drive a tractor or ride a horse if their lives depended on it but are great pretenders.

About Ed Shadle
Despite being in his late 60s, Ed is a speed demon who's attempting to steal something the British have had for 20 years -- the world land speed record. And he plans on doing it with a jet-powered car he created himself. Shadle, who worked with IBM for 30 years, created the car from an old fighter plane. The North American Eagle is an old Lockheed F-104 Starfighter that he modified to not lift off the ground. But Shadle doesn't want to be the driver of the car when the record attempt is made in Nevada, so he's looking for a driver by holding an essay contest. Shadle says the car will go up 800 mph, which is more than half of the speed of the old airplane that flew 1,400 mph.

susan-silver1x1.jpg Susan Silver
I love Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. They both are romantic and sexy and I could listen to them all day.

I actually flew to Las Vegas to see Josh perform. The oldest groupie..but actually his "fans" do seem older.

Of course no one has come out with a song as good as "I'm Mr.Blue"...wahawahoo.... 

About Susan Silver
Susan was a writer for several of the greatest TV shows of all time, including "The Bob Newhart Show," "Mary Tyler Moore," and "Maude." These days, she writes a hilarious relationship column called, "The Search for Mr. Adequate." and you'll love her radio commentaries that cover just about everything! She is a highly sought-after morning show guest whenever the subject turns to relationships, and she's a Growing Bolder Radio Show favorite.

Sherrie Mathieson Sherrie Mathieson
I find Beyonce and Christina Aguilera extremely talented. They both have great range and the ability to sing in diverse styles and challenged themselves within a broad spectrum. But admittedly I've not bought or downloaded their music as yet.

I do have several songs from Amy Winehouse, who's style (R &B retro?) I love (I just hope she makes it through her drug addiction).

About Sherrie Mathieson
Sherrie has worked in film, television and commercials, and she has clientele of all ages and all personal styles. But it’s her unique way of looking at baby boomers that sets her apart from all the rest. And now, she has done it again. She’s followed up her first book, "Forever Cool" with the must-read, "Steal This Style," which is full of ways women can borrow cues from the younger generation in a flattering way. Click here to visit her Web site.

elli-fordyce1x1.jpg Elli Fordyce
My votes are for Diana Krall, Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr.; and they're all improving drastically.

Also Tony Bennett, who will live forever and is so much better than he was when I was listening to him as a teenager with commercial crap like "Rags to Riches." And they all give me hope for my fledgling re-launch.

About Elli Fordyce
Elli is a highly accomplished vocalist and actor. She has entertained all over the New York Metro area and has numerous acting credits: Film -- September 12th, TV -- Cappelle's Show, and Live Theatre -- Guys & Dolls. Amazing, considering she didn't sing a note for 15 years after a debilitating and traumatic auto accident. But now, in her mid 70s, Elli is back on stage, as entertaining and inspiring as ever. For much more with Elli, check out our special 5 Questions With: Elli Fordyce feature. You can hear her music and see clips of her acting performances in several short films.

Bobbe Lyon Bobbe Lyon
I LOVE Taylor Swift, I think she's fantastic, as a singer, as a person.

About Bobbe Lyon
Bobbe is a believer and practitioner of  the power of humor. She wasn't always that way. She was inconsolable after the death of her husband. At 45, she wondered if life was worth living. Searching for a tool to dig herself out from her despair, she turned to humor. It worked so well, she became known as the Laughing Lyon. She returned to school and earned a BA in Journalism and an MA in Counseling. She's dedicated her life to brightening life for us all.

mrs-hughes1x1.jpg Mrs Hughes
I like Adam Lambert. I am a QUEEN fan and he is very Freddy Mercury like. Andrea Bocelli is wonderful and is not like Mario Lanza and Ezio Pinza but I guess he would be my current substitute. Actually I like him better.

About Mrs Hughes
Carol Hughes never dreamed she'd one day be up on stage telling jokes. But when she turned 40, she gave it a try and loved it! After all, middle age is a subject tailor made for someone with keen observational skills and a slightly offbeat perspective. When Merv Griffin saw her he gave her the boost she needed to turn a hobby into a career. She, and her audiences have been laughing ever since!

don-mcgrath1x1.jpg Don McGrath
Jack Johnson is a recent favorite.
Gwen Stephanie's new music is great.

About Don McGrath
Inching towards age 50 Don wondered how long he'd be able to participate in the sports he loves. So he began to do some research and was amazed at how many vibrant, impressive and inspiring athletes he found. His book, "Dream It, Live It, Love It" is an incredible compilation of some truly unforgettable role models. He's even become an activist with his national 50,000 Athlete Challenge. Not bad for an electrical engineer! He's unwittingly discovered how making your passion a priority can change your life!

© 2013-2014. Growing Bolder Media Group. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Posted 12:57pm February 20th, 2011

     If I had to pick a song to listen to for a few days straight, I think I'd go with Jordin Sparks'  "This is My Now".  What an anthem of self-acceptance and hope!  Plus, she's got an amazing set of pipes to sing with!

  • Posted 1:42am July 2nd, 2010
    I have been listening to, and loving the following artists: Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Woven Hand, Sixteen Horsepower, Sea Wolf, Glasvegas, Elliot Smith, Sera Cahoone, Tarantella, O'death, Midlake, Mumford & Sons, Billy Bragg, just to name a few. Lot's of brilliant music to be discovered if you'd just dig a little. The best artists are not "popular"!


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