Chicago Sun-Times
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Reader request: Inspirational female anthems, anyone?

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Reader Elizabeth Allen-Smith recently sent the following email, looking for some help in choosing songs for a gig she's about to play.

Jim: I've listened to you and read your work for years and thought that if there was anyone who could help me it would have to be you - otherwise I may make some really bad choices!

Here's my problem: I am new to Freeport (one year as a new resident and small business - "Dragon Popcorn") and my business has been tapped repeatedly for not-for-profit events, etc.. (I am trying to make a good impression). One group (Relay For Life) is headed by a woman who heard me sing and asked me to perform "gratis" during their all night event. I have a strong voice and sing everything from country to heavy metal - I can do Grace Slick "with authority" as one person has told me. Please forgive me if this sounds like bragging - I just want you to understand my abilitiy so that you can offer advice if at all possible. I also love to cover Annie Lennox and Bonnie Raitt as well as Reba and K. D. Lang.

So - they want me to sing three to four songs. I have decided to do Etta James', "At Last" because that is my signature song and always brings a wonderful response, but for my other choices I wanted to do something appropriate for the setting - the fight against cancer. I am interested in doing something inspirational but I really don't want to do religious music. I would like to do something that would get the crowd involved but I can only think of "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" (are you cringing?) or "From A Distance". I'd like to do a rock anthem but I can't think of anything!!! Additionally, country music out here would work just as well.

Please, please, please, can you help me? I'd gladly try bribery - I have over 50 types of gourmet popcorn...?! Any consideration would be HUGELY appreciated! -- Liz

Liz: First off, no bribery necessary!

Secondly, when you say strong female voice and inspirational, a couple of tunes pop into my head instantly: "Respect" and "Think" by Aretha Franklin, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, and, probably less appropriate for you on this occasion, "O Bondage, Up Yours!" by X-Ray Spex. Them's my choices, any way! But I'll throw it out on my blog, and let's see what else anybody else comes up with.

JIM

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7 Comments

"Won't back down" by Tom Petty

Happy Birthday by Loretta Lynn

One Way or Another by Blondie

I love the song "Here Comes the Rain Again." If you are doing a running event, consider "Chicks Like Us, Baby We Were Born to Run."

You've Got A Friend by Carol King
These Are Days by 10,000 Maniacs
Extraordinary Machine by Fiona Apple
Just A Girl by No Doubt
Better by Regina Spektor

If you don't know them all, you might want to check them out. I think you'll agree that they are all
apropos (not to mention great songs).

Brass in Pocket or Mystery Achievement from the Pretenders.

PJ Harvey -- "Man-Size","Me Jane" or "50 Foot Queenie"

Doesn't get more female-empowering than that :-)

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on January 28, 2008 11:01 AM.

The Chicago Music Commission is talking a lot, but is it doing anything? was the previous entry in this blog.

And another query from the peanut gallery is the next entry in this blog.

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