Louis Armstrong, The Rat Pack, & Cyndi Lauper: We All Just Wanna Have Fun

In the late 1950’s and early 60’s, the “Rat Pack” show at the Sands Hotel was the hottest ticket in Vegas. The group that eventually consisted of entertainers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop sang songs, told jokes, performed slapstick for laughs, and displayed various other forms of hijinks. But as those who were close to the action in those days tell it, the show was almost secondary. A seat at those shows was like an invitation to the greatest party on the planet.

The performers were having a blast, and you were now a part of their inner circle sharing in the fun.

Let’s take Louis Armstrong. Was there ever a moment that you watched him perform that you didn’t believe music was the purest form of joy on the planet? I think not.

That takes us to Cyndi Lauper. When she took the music world by storm in the 80’s, she came across as a quirky outsider with a flair for outrageous fashion. As her career progressed, however, she later became respected as a talented songwriter and musician, respected across musical genres. Her breakout hit? “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Fans were drawn to Cyndi by her love of music, and they have followed her on her 25+ year journey (30 million in global record sales at last count)

There’s a lesson for music educators and educators in general – Ultimately it’s your love of the subject matter that will inspire your students.

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