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edge staff writer


The love songs singers most love to sing

February 11, 2020
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The love songs singers most love to sing (edge photo by Kevin Bennett)

As the man said, some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, and what’s wrong with that?

Since love in its myriad forms has always been and probably always will be the most frequently addressed subject in popular song, I thought it would be fun to discover the titles of the love songs singers most love to sing.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I reached out to some of my performing musician friends via Facebook to ask this question: What is your favorite love song to perform, and why?

Doug Hoyt (singer, songwriter, front man for the John Mellencamp tribute band Pink Houses): “Angel Dream” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, from the soundtrack to “She’s the One.” The whole album is fantastic.”

Charlie Earley (singer, songwriter, a champion for bluegrass in Maine): “Happy Together” by The Turtles. The song has great harmonies, a universal message, and all audiences sing along.

Kim Clukey Jenkins (singer based in Houlton): Bonnie Raitt’s version of “Dimming of the Day” by Richard Thompson. I know it’s more of a heartache song, but I also feel like it describes love perfectly. And the vocals! Anyone who can listen to those harmonies and progressions without welling up with emotion is dead inside. LOL.

Ed McCurdy (Bangor-based DJ/VJ): “Truly” by Lionel Richie. At a wedding reception, I like to sing it to the winners of the anniversary dance, or when there’s an anniversary at one of my shows. It says it all for lifelong relationships. I’m always emotional when I sing it.

Allison Bankston (Bangor area singer and performer, singer with the band Hippie Soup): “Georgia” by Ray Charles. Over the years, it’s become a signature song for me that people often request. When I sing it, I always think of my former finance, who was tragically killed in a car crash when I was 23. That song is my momentary train ticket to my past.

Dick Curtis (Lincoln-based vocalist): “Desperado” by The Eagles, because of the way it makes me feel when I sing it.

Ray Pasnen: (Touring singer and musician, formerly of the Millinocket area, currently based in Minden, Germany): This is an extremely difficult question to answer. Maybe George Harrison’s “Something,” from The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, or John Lennon’s “In My Life.” Also, “Easy” or “Lady” by Lionel Richie.

John Dunham (A Maine-based member of numerous bands through the years): “Something” by The Beatles, because it kind of confronts love and the human soul in a real way. He expresses inner feelings about how this woman has touched him deeply, yet he accepts that he has no crystal ball to predict the future. The songwriter is accepting of the feelings and admiration of the woman he’s fallen in love with.

Vinny Cormier (Front man for Bangor-based band Dakota): “Is This Love” by Whitesnake. At one time or another in life, we all wonder is this love? So true are the words and everyone can relate.

Mike Steller (Front man for Bangor-based band Shyboy): I don’t do love songs, but if I did, it would be Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open,” because it’s a comfortable vocal range for me, and I’m able to put some feeling into it.

Rick Genovese (Musician with numerous Connecticut-based bands; currently based in Exeter, Maine): “Crying” by Roy Orbison, for both the dynamics and the heartbreak. For a while, I played a side gig with a Roy Orbison tribute band and learned that all his tunes were fun to drum and sing background to. It was all about framing and creating an atmosphere with the whisper-to-a-wail operatic vocal.

J.J. O’Connell: (Drummer, formerly of the Bangor and Brewer area, currently of Haydenville, Massachusetts, member of the band Spouse): I don’t often sing lead on songs, but on occasion I’ve done “Reminiscing” by the Little River Band. It’s such a great song with killer harmonies in the chorus. And it’s got the best line: “I want to build my world around you.”

Brian Nadeau: (Bandleader, trumpet, flugelhorn, member of The Nite Show Band): Back in the day, I always loved playing “If” by Bread. It’s such a pretty tune with great lyrics, but it’s too short – like me!

Jack Cashman: (Bangor area singer and guitarist) “’Running to Stand Still” by U2, because I just like the tune.”

George Skala: (Stockton Springs based singer, songwriter, guitarist): A song that always goes over well is “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. It’s usually a draw for loving couples to get up and dance.

Jazzou Jones (former Cruise Director, Delta Queen Steamboat Company): “As Time Goes By” (the Herman Hupfeld composition, performed by Dooley Wilson in the film “Casablanca.”

Warren Boutros (Pro songwriter based in New York City, New Jersey and Nashville, originally from Houlton): “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers is one that always works. If you’re playing with a band, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison is guaranteed to get the girls dancing, which gets everyone dancing.

Mark Tanner: (A former member of numerous Massachusetts-based bands, Mark is the pastor of Skowhegan Federated Church): “Brandy” by Looking Glass, because it’s a great song about waiting for love.

(Mark’s wife, Deb, chimed in with this message: “On February 16, 2002, my favorite man sang “The Gift” by Jim Brickman to me at our wedding, a beautiful memory and love song, indeed!”)

(What is your favorite love song, and why? Tell us at

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 06:52

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