Today's Memory Tapes comes from Alex Rees who wrote his story using a pen and paper. We've never seen the like of it before but this is a great tape, and all the best to Alex and wife Natalie:

“Dear Lauren, I thought I’d go old school and write to you, rather than email, as I wanted to send you an actual copy of the Memory Tape in question. This is one of the CDs we made to I’ve to guests as a memento of our wedding – complete with wedding day red wine splash.

We spent almost exactly two years planning our wedding and a significant amount of the time was spent planning the music for the day. We didn’t want the usual wedding fayre and didn’t trust DJs to not subject us to ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ or end the night with ‘The Time of My Life’. So, we decide early on that I would make a playlist for the evening to prevent my storming out of my own wedding. As a big Northern Soul and Motown fan, soul was always going to make up the lions’ share of the playlist and accordingly, songs by Frank Wilson, Freda Payne, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Martha and The Vandellas were some of the first to make the cut. But we couldn’t resist expanding the selection to include a little ska and reggae; with Toots and the Maytals and Marcia Griffiths. Some disco; in went Labelle, Anita Ward and Chic. And some more modern Crag-Charles-Funk-and-Soul-Show-inspired songs by artists such as the The Bamboos and The Third Degree.

The only remaining question was how to start and end the evening’s entertainment. Originally we’d decided we couldn’t t have a first dance. We had visions of us shuffling about awkwardly while everyone stood around watching and took photos. But then one day we discovered Alex Wilson’s latino version of Ain’t Nobody and couldn’t resist choreographing a salsa(ish) first dance to this. It ended up being one of the highlights of our day.

For the end of the night, as my new wife has a love of brass brands, we decided that the final songs should be Hot 8 Brass Band’s excellent cover of Sexual Healing. This turned out to be a masterstroke as the night ended with everyone singing along loudly on the dance floor. We had added Henry Mancini’s Loose Caboose from one of our favourite movies ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’, as a sort of encore, but nobody noticed as they continued singing Sexual Healing long after it had finished. All led by my brother and brother-in-law; clapping and stamping their feet as they sang at the top of their voices. This is still are of my favourite memories of the day, and – like our hugely enjoyable first dance – shows how important music can be to a day like this.

If you do decide to include this in Memory Tapes, it would be wonderful if you could do so one day in August so as to coincide with our second wedding anniversary on the 13th Aug. Natalie and I are off to the Lake District to celebrate the occasion by taking our first family holiday with our five-month old son Linus.

Thanks and hope you enjoy the CD.”

The Wedding Mix

Ain’t Nobody – Alex Wilson

Pastime Paradise = Ray Baretto

Soul Time – Shirley

I’m In A World of Trouble – Sweet Things

Heatwave – Martha & The Vandellas

Save me – Aretha Franklin

Got To Give it up – Marvin Gaye

Band of Gold – Freda Payne

Needle in a Haystack – The Velvettes

You’re gonna Make Me Love You – Sandi Sheldon

Love You baby – Lorraine Chandler

It Keeps Rainin’ – Fats Domino

Reggae Got Soul – Toots & The Maytals

Put A Little love in your heart – Marcia Griffiths

Tainted Love – Gloria Jones

Girls Are Out To Get You – The Fascinations

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Knight & The Pips

Helpless – Kim Weston

Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) – Frank Wilson

Dance Across The Floor – Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne

What Can I do For You? Labelle

Mercy – The Third Degree

King of the Roadeo – The Bamboos

Sexual Healing – Hot 8 Brass Band

Loose Caboose – Henry Mancini

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