U IS FOR UNITED STATES
It would be very unfair for me to talk about world music and omit Motown. It is my utter conviction that Motown music, along with jazz, blues and certain strains of the avant-garde are the greatest things that happened to world music in the USA. So I’ll be covering Motown faves little by little, sprinkling them like sugar here and there. I can’t sing and I’m not into musicals but I always hold out a hope that one day everything around me in the world appears to be decorations on wheels, and all the passersby will break out dancing and singing. I have a long list of songs to be performed, and surely, when it all becomes a live action musical, there’ll be a whole lifetime to do all of them. But the first one will definitely be “Dancing in the street” by Martha and the Vandellas. Could there be any other choice? Of course, then we’ll do more of the Vandellas. Because as much as I love Aretha, Nina, or, say, the Supremes, there is something breathlessly, endlessly youthful about the Vandellas songs, which makes them absolutely incomporable. They’re ones for pure beginnings, and can’t we all use a little bit more of these?