We had a nice musical feast last week, with plenty of tearwater tea on the side, as we shared our favorite saddest voices. For the first day of summer, how about the sunniest voices? Who has a voice that just exudes warmth, joy or contentment, no matter what they're singing about? Here are my nominations:
Ladysmith Black Mambazo led by Joseph Shabalala. Most people first met this group when they collaborated with Paul Simon for Graceland. Listening to them always recalibrates my heart a little bit. Here is "Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain."
Rotate the globe north (actually they were an American group, but sang mostly songs of Eastern Europe), and we have the wonderful Pennywhistlers with "Shto Mi e Milo"
I have no idea what they're singing about, but they sound glad. Here's another: "Bright Morning Stars."
Not a favorite of mine (I just need people to clear! their! throats! and I don't think that's too much to ask), but so many people hear "happy" and think "Louis Armstrong." So here he is with "La Vie en Rose," and God bless him for making so many people smile. I chose this song, even though it's not the most chipper, because of the lift it gives me when I think of Daffy Duck's brilliant rendition ("Lumph! Da-da, da da da da da dumph . . . ")
As long as we're talking about Louis Armstrong, we have to include Ella Fitzgerald (not scatting!), whose voice is so warm you could bake bread on it. Here's the Gershwin brothers' "I was doing all right"
Come on, don't be a snob! The Proclaimers are fun, don't take themselves too seriously, and this song is the only time in my entire life that I can remember dancing and enjoying myself at the same time. Here's "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)":
As you can see, my playlist could use some updating. What can you recommend for happy songs by happy people?