Janet Hommel Mangas: Singing a different tune

I was reminded a few days before Thanksgiving that had Dr. Steve and I met in our late teens or early 20s, we would have never, ever even dated. We have both agreed on this fact.

Daughter No. 2 (a.k.a. Chloe) reminded me of this when she texted, “What are some of your favorite songs when you were 18-25? I think of Kool and the Gang, Earth Wind and Fire and Luther Vandross, but he’s not very dancey.”

I texted back: “Did you want dance music?”

Chloe: “Mostly dance in the kitchen songs, LOL — Luther is a little too slow.”

She sent a starter list that she was fairly certain was on my “Jan’s Jams” list: “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll” by Vaughan Mason & Crew,” “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire, and “Ladies Night” by Kool & the Gang.

For the next few hours, I began listening and listing music I hadn’t listened to for years. I stopped texting Chloe song titles and artists after 10 p.m. since she had a 5 a.m. flight the next morning, but I’m not ashamed to admit that when the hubby and I hit the sack after 11, I was still bouncing my toes and making him listen to Jocelyn Brown wail “Somebody Else’s Guy,” — a 1984 classic. I may have taken it too far when, at midnight, I began the shoulder-bounce while singing Kool & the Gang’s lyrics:

“Everybody stand up and sing, and say I love you

Stand on up and sing

Everybody stand up and sing, and say I love you

Oh yeah

Take this time to open your heart

Show your feelings right from the start

Now is the time to spread love around

Show your thanks when your dreams are found …”

Steve rolled over and huffed: “I have 6 a.m. kettlebell in the morning — I wish I was ‘Somebody Else’s Guy!’”

We had talked earlier in the evening how while he was rock-‘n’-rolling, I was dancing to disco and funk music.

He was 16-years old when he saw the Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels and the Outlaws at University of Tennessee Arena in Knoxville, with his older brother on Dec. 28th, 1976.

Steve saw Rolling Stones ‘Wild Horses” tour at Assembly Hall in Bloomington in 1975, for $25 — and 40 years later saw the Stones at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4, 2015 for over $100.

In addition, he saw Frank Zappa at Indiana University Auditorium for $15 and Johnny Cougar (now known as John Mellencamp) at the Bluebird in Bloomington.

Another favorite concert was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” tour.

A favorite of mine was a $5 Kool & the Gang concert at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and the Cincinnati Jazz Festival at the Riverfront Stadium in 1980 featuring Rufus and Chaka Khan, BB King, Cameo, the Isley Brothers, Chic, Kool & The Gang, and The Gap Band.

Lately our favorite song is our daughter Phoebe’s version of Brandon Lake’s “Gratitude” with the Trader’s Point Worship Team. That, we have in common and are grateful for.