For my first post as guest contributor, I thought I’d share a song. Yesterday I was tidying up the kitchen in my parents’ house in New Jersey. I was waiting for them to return home from Baltimore, where my mom has started radiation treatment. As I wiped the counters and washed the dishes, I was listening to a great Rhino compilation called The Best of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Volume Two. (I’d already played all the way through Volume One.)

Anybody who knows me knows I can’t dance. I’m clumsy, I get really self-conscious, and then I get even clumsier. It’s an ugly circle. But when the chorus to Roy Montrell’s 1956 song “(Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone” came over the speakers, I couldn’t help myself–I started doing some spastic cross between the Twist, the Shing-a-ling, and the Chicken Noodle Soup. Of course I stopped after about ten seconds, but obviously this was a great song to get me to dance even that long.

About a minute later my mom walked in the door. She looked so good, despite all she’s been through in the past month. And before I could even say hello, she stopped, cocked her ear toward the speakers, and started doing the Twist herself. (She’s a lot better dancer than me.) So I joined in. It was just a really nice moment, me and my mom dancing around the kitchen to good R&B and letting off a little steam.

So here’s that song. I hope it spurs a little spontaneous kitchen dancing in your homes, too. Happy holidays.

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