Here’s the third, and for now the last, installment of destination songs chosen by you, the readers of this here blog.
- Paul McCartney, “Back In The USSR” Janet suggested this one, and while I couldn’t find The Beatles doing it (WMG issues, don’t you know), I did find Paul doing it live on The David Letterman Show, which is almost as good. The original was on The Beatles, more commonly known as “The White Album.”
- The Mamas & The Papas, “California Dreamin'” This was another Janet suggestion. John and Michelle Phillips wrote it, and it was originally done by Barry McGuire, with The Mamas & The Papas singing backup. Their own version features an alto flute solo by the great Bud Shank, and P. F. Sloan did the initial guitar figure. It was released in late 1965 and it took until March of 1966 to reach its peak at #4 on both the Billboard Hot 100 (17 weeks) and the Cash Box survey (20 weeks). Both magazines rated it the #1 song of 1966, with Cash Box having it tied with SSgt. Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of The Green Berets.” Thanks as always to Wikipedia for providing all this info.
- John McCormack, “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary” Uncle Jack suggested this one when he suggested songs about locations in Ireland. McCormick was the first to record it, in 1914. Tipperary is both a town and a county in south central Ireland, and its name means “The Well of Ara.” Just thought you’d like to know what I found out about it.
- Jacques Brel, “Dans le Port d’Amsterdam“ Debbie came up with this one, saying that if I couldn’t find Jacques Brel’s version that David Bowie’s was almost as good. Well, we found the original. Jacques Brel is alive and well…
- Tim McGraw, “Portland, Maine” Cathy submitted this. It’s from Tim’s 2014 album Sundown Heaven Town.
- Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” Dan and Kip both suggested it, and I can’t think of a better choice for the list. This was originally done by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, and the destinations were all within Australia. Hank Snow came up with the original US version in 1962, and Johnny recorded it in 1996 for his album Unchained. Ironically, it didn’t go anywhere in the Country charts.
- Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” Annalisa suggested this. Martha & The Muffins, a Canadian group, recorded this in 1979 for their album Metro Music. It was released as a single in 1980 and achieved Gold status in October of that year, and won the Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for Best Single that year. It was their only international hit, peaking at #10 in the UK and #6 in Australia. I don’t think it went anywhere in the US…
- Green Day, “Jesus of Suburbia” Another Annalisa choice, this is from Green Day’s seventh studio album, 2004’s American Idiot, and was the last single released from that album. This is the full version; the “radio edit” was only 6½ minutes long. It reached #27 on Billboard‘s Alternative Singles chart in the US, #17 in the UK.
- Bucks Fizz, “Land Of Make Believe” Annalisa’s last suggestion was this song from 1981. As a single, it reached #1 in the UK in January 1982. Bucks Fizz were winners of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, with “Making Up Your Mind.”
- The Beatles, “Penny Lane” Guitarspotting recommended this, and practically all The Beatles’ songs that had a destination. BMG is releasing some videos on Vevo, and this is one of them. Originally intended for inclusion in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it was released in February 1967 as part of a double A-sided single with “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Which of the two A-sides to promote was the subject of some concern for WLS in Chicago, and I remember voting for “Strawberry Fields Forever” in the telephone poll. My choice didn’t win. It reached #1 in the US on both the Hot 100 and the Cash Box survey, #1 in Canada and Australia, but only #2 in the UK and Ireland.
There will be other destination lists in the near future, I promise, just not in the immediate future. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to make them, and when I get enough we’ll do this again. For now, that’s The Friday 5×2 for July 21, 2017.
Here’s the second installment of destination songs you chose.
- Bob Dylan, “Mississippi” Biker Chick recommended this one. It first appeared on his 2001 album Love And Theft. This is a live version recorded in Central Point, Oregon in October of that year.
- Johnny Cash, “Galway Bay” Uncle Jack had suggested we could find a whole bunch of songs with destinations in Ireland in them, and this is another example of one. There are actually two versions of this one, one more popular in Ireland, and this one, written by Dr. Arthur Colahan in 1947 and recorded by many, probably most famously by Bing Crosby.
- Willie Nelson, “Georgia on A Fast Train” Janet suggested the song “Georgia” by Willie Nelson, and I found two that included the name of the Peach State. This is a live version that features Toby Keith and Joe Walsh.
- Willie Nelson & Ray Charles, “Georgia On My Mind” This is the other song with “Georgia” in the title. Those of us who live in Georgia tend to think of Ray Charles’ iconic version, which Geogia Public Broadcasting would play at signoff, back in the olden days when they signed off. By chance, I found a version that had both Willie and Ray.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama” Arlee suggested this. I was going to say it might be Skynyrd’s most famous tune, then I remembered “Free Bird.” A local station, which used to play “classic rock” (the same songs, practically in the same order, every day), did this one around 9:30 every morning. Now they play music by boy bands. Serves ’em right.
- Marc Bolan and T. Rex, “Dandy In The Underworld” Annalisa surprised me with this one, because T. Rex was popular when I was in high school. This is a live-on-TV version of the title track from their 1977 album. Tragically, Marc Bolan died later that year in a car accident.
- Billy Joel, “Allentown” Janie suggested this. From his 1982 album The Nylon Curtain, this was released as a single the following year and reached #17 on the Hot 100.
- Pablo Cruise, “A Place In The Sun” Mark came up with this. It was the title track from their 1977 third album. As a single, it only reached #42, but it’s one of their more popular songs anyway.
- Fats Domino, “Walkin’ To New Orleans” Eugenia thought of this. Bobby Charles wrote this for his idol, and Fats liked it, with a few minor modifications. The strings were added as an afterthought, and they really added a lot to the song. This reached #6 on the Pop chart and #2 on the R&B chart in 1960.
- Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock” Guitarspotting suggested this, and said either the version by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young or the one by Joni Mitchell would be all right. Personally, I like Joni’s version better: it’s slower and more jazzy.
And that’s this week’s edition of The Friday 5×2. Next week, even more destination songs.
After last week’s 5×2 (yes, I’ve officially renamed it, and have a new badge and everything), Kip came up with ten more songs with destinations in the title. So, here, with a few changes by yours truly, are Kip’s next ten choices.
- They Might Be Giants, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” I almost substituted the version by The Four Lads from 1953, but I liked the cartoon that went along with this one.
- The Clash, “London Calling” Title track from their 1979 (1980 in the US) album. It reached #11 on the British charts and was named #42 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the Eighties.”
- Quintette du Hot Club de France, “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” Kip suggested “Chicago” by Frank Sinatra, and I didn’t know if he meant this one or “My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)”. So I decided to pt both of them in, but use this version, winner of my Battle of the Bands all the way back in way back in February 2015. Any excuse to play some Django Reinhardt.
- Frank Sinatra, “My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)” I always associate this one with Ol’ Blue Eyes. It’s from the 1964 movie Robin and the 7 Hoods with Frank, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Bing Crosby.
- Liza Minnelli, “New York, New York” Kip suggested Frank’s version of this one, too, but having seen the 1977 movie with Liza Minnelli and Robert DeNiro, this is the version I like the best. This is a live performance from 1991 in Paris, and there’s just something about her that reminds me of her mother.
- Marty Robbins, “Streets of Laredo” Kip’s taste in country is like mine. The tune is that of the Irish tune “The Bard of Armagh,” and it’s a classic cowboy song.
- Billy Joel, “New York State Of Mind” I could have sworn someone else suggested this one, but I can’t find where it was recommended. It originally was on his 1976 album Turnstiles, and while it was never released as a single, it’s one of his more popular songs.
- Eric Burdon & The Animals, “San Franciscan Nights” From their 1967 release Winds of Change, this went to #7 in the UK, #9 in the US, and #1 in Canada that year.
- Terry Stafford, “Amarillo By Morning” Best known for his 1964 release “Suspicion”, Terry’s next album, Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?, didn’t come out until 1973, by which time he had re-emerged as a country singer. The second single from that album, it went to #31 on the US Country chart and #38 on the Canadian Country chart.
- Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, “Tallahassee Lassie” This was Freddy’s first single, from 1959. It rose to #6 on the US Pop chart, #13 on the R&B chart, and #17 in the UK.
Thanks again, Kip! I’m sure you can come up with plenty more.
Monday, we’ll start playing your choices. That’s your Friday 5×2 for July 7, 2017.
I still have all of the destination songs you suggested, and at some point will create one big ol’ playlist and include all of them, along with who recommended them. These, however, were songs that I thought of based on things you told me, or ones that I thought of while I was putting the playlist together. As many of you mentioned, there is a veritable plethora of songs with destinations in the title, and I just kept coming up with more. Anyway, here we go…
- Glen Campbell, “Galveston” Kip gave us “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” last week, and that made me think of a couple of other early Glen Campbell hits with destinations in the title, one of which was this. Glen had a hit with this Jimmy Webb tune in 1969, when it reached #1 on the Country chart and #4 on the Hot 100. CMT ranks it #8 in its 100 Greatest Songs In Country Music. It’s the official anthem of Galveston Island and the city of Galveston, Texas.
- Johnny Horton, “The Battle of New Orleans” Johnny had a few songs with destinations in the title, but this might be his most popular. It was the #1 song for 1959 according to Billboard magazine, it’s #28 on that magazine’s list of Top 100 Songs of the First 50 Years of the Hot 100, and The Western Writers of America chose it as one of the 100 best Western songs of all time.
- Drew Carey, “Moon Over Parma” A shortened version of this was the theme song for The Drew Carey Show for its first season. It was written by Robert McGuire and celebrates the town of Parma, Ohio, suburb of Cleveland. The Blogger’s Best Friend has all the lyrics, so you can sing along.
- Scott McKenzie, “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)” The anthem for the Summer of LoveTM, when a lot of kids were on their way to San Francisco for the free love and drugs it offered. Written by John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, it was the only hit for McKenzie, topping the charts in July 1967.
- The Bee Gees, “(The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts” I chose this before reading that it was a response to the song above. It became almost as big a worldwide hit as did “San Francisco,” and reached #11 on the Hot 100 in 1967.
- Waylon, Jennings, “Luckenbach, Texas” This was a hit for Waylon in 1977, reaching #1 on the Country chart and #25 on the Hot 100.
- Barry Manilow, “Weekend In New England” The oft-maligned Mr. Manilow recorded this on his 1976 album This One’s For You. It peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts that year.
- Horst Jankowski, “A Walk In The Black Forest” Classically-trained Jankowski recorded this as “Eine Schwartzwaldfahrt” in Germany in 1965. Here in the US it reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart and #12 on the Hot 100.
- Eddie Heywood and Hugo Winterhalter, “Canadian Sunset” Tomorrow is Canada Day, after all. Jazz pianist Eddie Heywood wrote this, with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. Heywood and orchestra leader Winterhalter’s instrumental version reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B chart (!) in 1956, while Andy Williams’ vocal version reached #7 on the Hot 100 later that year.
- The Dubliners, “The Rocky Road To Dublin” This is a 19th-Century song written by D. K. Gavan, “The Galway Poet,” for the performer Harry Clifton. The Wikipedia article goes into some detail about the music which all you music theory fans will find interesting. I know I did, anyway.
And that’s the Friday Five (times two) for June 30, 2017.
Response to Monday’s list of destination songs was remarkable. I got a ton of selections from you. My brother Kip, who doesn’t blog but can be found on Twitter, came up with a playlist of ten songs of his own, and it’s a good one, so I’m going to feature it this week. As I said recently, I might just rename this the Friday Five Times Two.
- Roger Miller, “England Swings” This was a hit for the King of the Road in late 1965, reaching #8 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
- James Taylor, “Mexico” Sweet Baby James recorded this one on his 1975 Gorilla album. As a single, it was a hit on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US (#5) and Canada (#8).
- Johnny Horton, “North To Alaska” There’s something I like about Johnny Horton, chief thing being his name is easy to spell. He did a lot of historical songs, including “Sink The Bismarck,” “The Battle of New Orleans,” and “Johnny Reb.” This was played over the opening credits of the 1960 movie of the same name, which starred John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian and Capucine. Johnny died in a car accident shortly after this song was released.
- Pablo Cruise, “I Go To Rio” Pablo Cruise only had a couple of hits, 1977’s “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (US #6, Canada #1) and 1978’s “Love Will Find A Way” (US #6, Canada #5). Kind of a shame, because they were a pretty good band. This came out as a single in 1979, and reached #46 in the US and #39 in Canada. A bit surprising, because I remember it being much more popular. Probably because 1978’s Worlds Away, the album it’s from, did so well (Gold in Canada and Australia, Platinum in the US, where it reached #6 on the Albums chart).
- Glen Campbell, “By The Time I get To Phoenix” Glen’s followup single to “Gentle On My Mind,” this reached #2 on the Country chart, #26 on the Hot 100, #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 on the Canadian Country chart.
- Albert Hammond, “It Never Rains In Southern California” Albert wrote a lot of hit records, including One Moment In Time” for Whitney Houston, “The Air That I Breathe” for The Hollies, “When I Need You” for Leo Sayer, and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for Starship. He also wrote this for himself, which was the title track for his 1972 album. It reached #5 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Easy Listening and Cash Box 100 charts, and #2 in Canada.
- Marty Robbins, “El Paso” From his 1959 Platinum album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album, this is the full version. The shortened version, which runs under three minutes because radio stations would explode if they played a song longer than that, reached #1 on the Country and Hot 100 charts and #19 in the UK. This is part of the “El Paso Trilogy,” the other two songs being “Feleena (From El Paso)” and “El Paso City”.
- Lefty Frizzell, “Saginaw, Michigan” The title track from his 1964 album, it reached #1 on the US Country chart that year. It was his last #1 single there. And, I checked, he’s actually from Corsicana, Texas.
- Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues” From 1968’s At Folsom Prison, this is one of Johnny’s signature songs. The album reached #1 on the Country Albums chart and went three times Platinum. He wrote it in 1953 and recorded it in 1955, and it reached #4 on the Country & Western chart then. The live version was released in 1968 and likewise went to #1, and won him the Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance, Male in 1969.
- Xavier Cugat, “Brazil” Recorded in 1943 with his Waldorf-Astoria orchestra and the Cugat Choir on vocals.
Thanks, Kip! And that’s your Friday Five (Times Two) for June 23, 2017.