I like to make CD’s of my favorite songs. Some are themed for inspiration, or upbeat for those roadtrips I keep getting lost on. There’s always at least one each year that seems to become my Soundtrack for the year: that CD that holds songs that inspire and move me.

Some of the songs are repeats each year. Sometimes, it’s the singer that remains the same. There are songs that remind me of friends. Songs that help me dream big. Songs that bring back memories. And songs that are just great to boogie-oogie-oogie to.

So far this year, I’ve made one CD. (I know, we’re less than two weeks into the New Year, but still…)

The music that so far inspires me is (as always) an eclectic collection. And because I like order, the songs are recorded in alphabetical order by title.

On this year’s first soundtrack, I have the following tunes:

1. “You’re Never Fully Dressed (Without a Smile)” from the Broadway Cast of Annie. This reminds me of my friend Lisa who is always playing the movie, and music, for her kids. Also because it takes place in NYC which is where I’ve got a girl date set up in 4 years with her and Lara. Finally, it makes me smile, just like it implores.

2. “All I Need is the Girl” by Frank Sinatra. I renewed my love for this song when it featured last year on So You Think You Can Dance. Frank is always on my soundtrack in one form or another, especially now that I’m being an Orange.

3. “Beautiful Music” by Barry Manilow. Usually I pick “Copacabana” but this year, I picked something more inspirational. Because that’s just how I feel. Like I was just going through the motions of living until I really began to focus on my writing. And now the World is my inspiration and I can’t get enough of it.

4. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin. I like the movie with Kevin Spacey. I like Bobby Darin’s music and drive. Mostly, I just really like this song.

5. “Brand New Day” by Ryan Star. This was the theme song for the now-cancelled TV show, Lie to Me. What a great show! What a great song. It’s about someone who won’t settle for being what others think. He goes for what he wants, and he makes it. Love it!

6. “Don’t Mean Nothing” by Richard Marx. When I was in high school, I was the first of my friends to even know about this song and singer. I loved it. It’s so true: people will chat about useless stuff, they’ll use you to get what they want/need, and forget any promise they made to you. But that didn’t keep him down. He fought through the ranks to become a great singer/songwriter. Keep your head up!

7. “Extreme Ways” by Moby. This song features at the end of The Bourne Identity. I just really love the music.

8. “Forever in Blue Jeans” by Neil Diamond. My dad loved this song! And I’ve always loved Neil Diamond. He is a fantastic performer. He never compromised himself, never settled for celebrity status. He’s just a wonderful performer. I also love this song because it puts things in perspective: money isn’t everything. Love is.

9. “Get It While The Gettin’s Good” by Eddy Arnold. Eddy Arnold is my mom’s favorite singer. I can remember sitting out on the porch on warm summer Saturday mornings listening to the record playing on the Hi-Fi. This song reminds me of those days. And my daughter loves it, too. That alone makes this song worthy of being on the soundtrack.

10. “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” by The Monkees. I grew up on the Monkees. In the past, my soundtrack song was “Daydream Believer”. This year I opted for something a bit different. A friend and I went to their reunion concert in 1988 and by sheer luck literally ran into two of them backstage (we snuck in before the concert). Sitting behind us at the concert was Maureen McCormick (Marcia of The Brady Bunch), Robert Pierce (Bingo of Joanie Loves Chachi), and several other actors. We were invited backstage after the concert but then they reneged as it was a “private party”. We were almost in the right place at the right time.

11. “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Buble’. Great song of faith and hope in love and life. Great singer. ‘Nuff said.

12. “I Think I Love You” by the Partridge Family. Another group that I grew up with. And who doesn’t love this song? I can’t separate my love of coffee from this song. It doesn’t hurt that David sang it directly to me in Vegas (See above coffee link for that story!).

13. “I’ll Be There for You” by the Rembrandts. Who doesn’t know this as the theme song for the long-running show, Friends? My daughter is addicted to the reruns on TV, and we watch them every day. Every. Day. It’s a great catchy upbeat tune, and the lyrics say it all. It really is all about Friends.

14. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Just a quirkly little song that nobody expected to go anywhere. But really. If you know the 80’s, you know this song. And you’re already singing it in your head, aren’t you? Yeah… my job here is done.

15. “New York Minute” by the Eagles. First, it’s got NY in the title. So there’s that. And it features at the beginning of The West Wing Season 2, Episode 16, aptly titled “Somebody’s Going to Emergency, Somebody’s Going to Jail”. I don’t have very many Eagles songs on my iTunes, and it’s not like I want “Hotel California” to be prominent on my soundtrack. But this song I love. The connection to Rob Lowe’s character, Sam Seaborn, I love. So it’s on the List.

16. “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. Someday this will be my theme song; even if just for a day. From the man who loves orange like I do. From the ultimate singer. How could this not be on my soundtrack?! Seriously?!

17. “One/Finale” from the Broadway cast of “A Chorus Line”. Now who doesn’t want to be that girl. Am I right?!

18. “The Rockford Files Theme” by Mike Post. From the TV show. My dad loved loved loved this show. And it was created by Stephen J. Cannell. He was an awesome writer who encouraged and inspired me to write every day. I had to include him on my soundtrack.

19. “That Thing You Do!” by the Wonders. From the movie of the same name. I’m pretty sure I drove my family crazy when I first got the movie on VHS. I played it over and over and over, day after day after day. There’s some great lines in that movie. My favorite is, “Hey. Hey guys… Chad fell down.” Hilarious scenes, great music. What’s not to love?!

20. “Together Forever” by Rick Astley. To be honest, I couldn’t remember which Rick Astley song was more popular, and since they sound similar, I decided to add them both to the soundtrack.

And there you have it. My soundtrack for 2012. Or, at least, the first part of it.

What does your music sound like?

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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