Find Your Extra Something

Thought for the Week

The other day I heard a catchy old 1960s novelty tune “Lightnin’ Strikes” by Lou Christie. In it, a guy confesses to his (soon-to-be-ex) girlfriend that when he sees “lips begging to be kissed” he can’t stop. “Stop!” the back-up singers shout. “I can’t stop!” Lou repeats, slipping up into his hilariously manic falsetto. (My wife hates the lyrics; I think they’re a hoot.) Falsetto, produced by using the soft outer edges of the vocal chords, is a natural, effortless sound, and it was Lou Christie’s superpower. But at first he didn’t know he had it.

He was a handsome, classically-trained singer, but he was only good. He wasn’t great. So his producer suggested he experiment with falsetto to give him “that extra something.” To his surprise, Christie discovered he had a powerful, distinctive falsetto he loved tapping into, and he became one of the most popular singers of his era. Why? Because pop songs need to ramp-up, to build to a distinctive, memorable chorus.

That extra something: When Smokey Robinson asked his girl in smoldery falsetto in “Ooo, Baby, Baby” if she would forgive him, millions of girls screamed, “Yes!” When Suzanna Hoffs of the Bangles turned up the heat in “Eternal Flame” by crying in falsetto, “Do you feel the same?” millions of guys shouted, “Yes!” The Bee Gees, the Beach Boys, Prince, Taylor Swift — all have used their strong, distinctive falsettos to give them that extra something.

You may not be a singer, but whatever your calling, whatever your passion, look for that that natural, almost effortless something that takes you to the next level. Don’t settle for good. Go for great. Keep at it. Don’t ever stop perfecting your craft–find your falsetto! Be sexier (metaphorically speaking), funnier, more exciting, more intense…

Find your extra something!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Find Your Extra Something

  1. Thotaramani says:

    Mitch! Because your wife doesn’t like the lyrics, you deleted the video. But we would have appreciated it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Mitch, I finally got a day of rest and relaxation. I did a quick read then liked. I was not expecting the jump to the link. That is great. To be able to listen to all those songs I had forgotten is something I need to take time out for. Great post as all your work is as always. Best to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paula Light says:

    This is one of those “songs I love to hate.” Enraging lyrics, but fun to listen to anyway!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Debi Walter says:

    Sadly, I’ve been struggling to find my voice of late, much less my falsetto. God keeps sending me reminders to remember He doesn’t ever take back a gift He’s given. I will tuck this away and ponder what the next step is for me.
    At any rate, your writing inspires me to keep moving forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Thanks, Mitch for reminding me to look for my extra something. One thing I shall not be considering though is singing falsetto.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m not a singer (except when I’m in the car by myself and then I’m a great singer) but I need to heed your advice, Mitch. Thanks for the nudge.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Caroll says:

    Brilliant analogy to make a good point! I happen to love Lou Christie’s version of that song, which, like “Under My Thumb” by the Rolling Stones is a bit misogynistic, but dang they are so catchy! I use my “pretend falsetto” when I am forced to sing along while listening to oldies stations.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. revruss1220 says:

    There is you and your sage advice. And then there are those who encourage folks like me to kindly “take it down a notch, please.” I choose to listen to you, frankly. Speaking of Suzanna Hoffs, I see she published her debut novel called, “This Bird Has Flown” last month. Strangely enough it is about the trials and tribulations of a touring rock band.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! Thanks for the music and the encouragement to find our “extra something.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. southernhon1 says:

    It is one of those songs that isn’t “radio friendly” these days. I love it, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. stolzyblog says:

    That was a fun pop tune which I quite enjoyed when it came out, not even certain I was a teenager yet. Music was catchy and as for the discussion about lyrics, I think they should be almost disregarded. Just filler. The line about ‘chapel in the pines’ was hilariously cloy even then. Speaking of… what an amazing and never-duplicated musical era that was in popular music. Motown classics co-existing with Beatles & Stones stuff, Dylan, Donovan, etc, the first sputterings of psychedelic rock, corny ballads, some country stuff. Great time to become exposed to the world. Another jazzy number perhaps a year or two later: Judy In Disguise, absurd and fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      It was indeed a remarkable era for music, Rob. And I agree about the lyrics, although I think they’re intentionally funny. The subtext is: “Run, honey, and don’t trust a word this cheesebag says!”


  12. I just love this, Mitch. I was once a singer and a dancer and now I sit down once again with the ever evolving manuscript, wanting my sentences to “sing” and the rhythm of the words to move within the reader. My husband said, “What if you work another ten years on it and decide you had it right way back when?”… What if? I guess I have to trust that Voice😉

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Keep your edges they hold you together and have an edge! These two have tension! Is it really the tension that is “it”!??

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Daniel Kemp says:

    Yours is a brilliant article that focuses on the mysticism of life–that X factor. The edge we all (in lots of cases) search for. I used to get that ‘hair on the back of the neck standing up’ sensation when I’d heard a singer or a song, or when I’d seen the work from an artist of some discipline.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thotaramani says:

    It was remarkable and heart touching Music 🎶❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great advice, Mitch. I needed that this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beverley says:

    Great. Excellent encouragement. I will keep looking for my falsetto.

    Liked by 1 person

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