I have no problem making Thanksgiving dinner for everyone but I have been scratching my head and trying to make a decision on music. Been listening to a lot of old timey stuff, Nina Simone, Etta James and the like. Any suggestions?



susan G. November 23, 2010
Much depends on the age(s) of the people at the table. In a retail setting where there were people of all ages, and we wanted the music to be enjoyable but not invasive, we found that soft jazz, big band and swing, ladies like Cesaria Evora and the singers you gave above were enjoyed by the whole cross section. Volume is crucial too -- not too loud, but just right!
boociebear November 22, 2010
Add Bettye LaVette's cover of "Salt of the Earth" to your playlist.(Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook). It falls within the female soul genre you like, and with lyrics referring to drinking and to the popular seasoning, its holiday appropriate.
thirschfeld November 22, 2010
pierino I am glad you mentioned the Ramones and while I will enjoy them Christmas morning I don't want to burn out on them before then. Like the idea of Tiersen. All are good suggestions.
pierino November 22, 2010
Mr. T, you are not doing the Ramones? What's with you man?

Actually I like Yann Tiersen. French composer responsible for the crazy waltzes in Amelie. Of course the French don't celebrate Thanksgiving even though they should be grateful all those cheeses and Perigord truffles.

Stephan Grappelli or Madeline Peyroux might also be good.
campagnes November 21, 2010
What a great question (and great bunch of answers)!
Amanda H. November 21, 2010
Like your avatar Queen of Spoons!
Queen O. November 21, 2010
I'm preferential to Etta, as well and will probably put together an I-tunes playlist in that vein. I've noticed at events where music is not the primary focus, it seems that Motown/Atlantic from the 60's & 70's always makes people smile, sing along and bop around a bit.
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
And just to clarify, I don't like music on during dinner. I find it too distracting, even when it's a very low volume,. It's one of my many idiosyncratic preferences. . . . . ;o)
Kayb November 21, 2010
My Pandora Duke Ellington channel while I'm cooking and probably during dinner. And afterward, with dessert and coffee, the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra "Festival of Carols in Brass" to officially usher in the holiday season.
TiggyBee November 21, 2010
What, no Beiber???
AntoniaJames November 21, 2010
Tracks from Buena Vista Social Club and from the film, Chocolate; for music a bit older: William Boyce Symphonies; certain Beethoven Cello Sonatas (best if performed by Gastinel and Guy); a wide variety of piano solo and piano-included chamber music by Beethoven and Schubert; Marsalis playing Haydn; short works for solo piano by Chopin; and some Eugene Ormandy Phila Orch oldie-but-goody short works. You get the idea. (I play the piano, so I'm rather partial to it . . . and I could listen to Brendel play anything, all day.) December holiday music: either or both of the Eaken Trio recordings (probably out of print but not too hard to find in the secondary market). I could list a half a dozen other favorites but I have to get back to work. ;o)
drbabs November 21, 2010
Ditto on the Pandora. George Winston did Vince Guaraldi's music--you can download it from Amazon. I have a Pink Martini channel on Pandora, too--love it. Try your favorite singers--Pandora finds similar music and it's a fun surprise. In the vein you suggested, we like Tierney Sutton, Jessica Molaskey, Diana Krall, and Nancy LaMott. We've also been known to play zydeco at Thanksgiving! But that's just us.
mrslarkin November 21, 2010
Love this question, as we are huge music lovers in this house. And Pandora rocks. You should check it out thirschfeld.

Right now, I'm listening to my Pandora on my Logitech Squeezebox - set to the Brown Eyed Girl station, which has a great mix of oldies like Van Morrison, Sam & Dave, Beatles, George Harrison, with some new stuff mixed in. This link may or may not work: http://bit.ly/cDol79

And I've been listening to the "Swinging Christmas" station too. Driving my family crazy in the process, but, well, that's life!
Savorykitchen November 21, 2010
I've been quite partial to Louis Prima these days. I know Mambo Italiano is hardly traditional Thanksgiving music, but it's fun. I also second the Pandora recommendation.
lapadia November 21, 2010
How about:
Handel for the Holidays (1996)
and for kid in all of us...
A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Vince Guaraldi (1964)
aargersi November 21, 2010
Do you have Pandora? You can set up stations and let it do the work for you - based on Etta James for instance - or maybe something like a Pink Martini channel? Our house will have The Din Of Four Genrations channel playing :-)
Recommended by Food52