Monday, July 4, 2011

30 Songs in 30 Days, Day 18: A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio

Song: "Higher and Higher"
Writers: Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner and Carl Smith
Performers: The Mint Juleps
Documentary: Do it a capella

This is a tricky one. Every time I thought of a song, I remembered hearing it on the radio recently. Such is the greatness of MP103! I went with a song that represents an entire genre of music which I'm surprised doesn't get more airplay. In my experience - be it as performer or audience member - nothing engages the listener more quickly than a capella singing. The style of music hardly matters. Whether it's doo-wop, barbershop or Palestrina masses, there's an intimacy with the audience that exists with few other musical styles. In fact, that may be the problem for radio. Without the immediacy of live performance, some of the magic is lost.

Spike Lee created Do it a capella for television and if you've never see in it, I recommend it highly. In addition to The Mint Juleps, the documentary includes Take 6, Rockapella and Ladysmith Black Mambazo among others. I don't think the video is currently in print but there are more youtube videos. I watched it in that good old listening room at my college library - perhaps the best bet for watching the whole thing.


I hope you'll join us for the "30 Songs in 30 Days" challenge, inspired by the tumblr list. Our 30 Songs roster:

Stay on target...
Marc Whitman's Blog
Haley says "Hello" To You

It's never too late to post your own. Tomorrow is...

Day 19: A Song from Your Favorite Album


  1. Another song that is good in any version...LOVE Jackie Wilson's original SO much!

  2. I've never seen this documentary, I really enjoyed the Mint Juleps! But I think I like Jackie Wilson's more...

    1. Me, too.

      The documentary is wonderful - well worth hunting down if you're interested.