American bandleader Glenn Miller was the superstar of his era. From a modest start he became one of the best-selling artists of his time. 81 years ago this month he was awarded the the first gold record for his single “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Despite his wealth and fame, the attack on Pearl Harbor inspired him to join the U.S. armed forces where he supported the war effort through his music. His tragic disappearance over the English Channel on December 15, 1944, remains one of World War II’s unsolved mysteries. Over nearly a century his music has touched people and inspired musicians.
His “Chattanooga Choo Choo” lends to this week’s music blog theme, songs about US cities and states. Songs on the list either contain a city or state in their title, or featured prominently in their lyrics. Songs range from “Sweet Home Alabama” to “Hotel California,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Midnight Train To Georgia,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Please Come To Boston,” “Carolina In My Mind”, “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Walking In Memphis,” “Graceland,” “El Paso,” of course “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” and the playlist’s title song “New York State Of Mind.”
There are some songs that don’t have a city or state in their title, but feature a city or state prominently in their lyrics, such as “Dancing In The Streets” (multiple: Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, WDC, Detroit), “Take It Easy” (Winslow, Arizona), “Rock ‘N Me” (Phoenix, Arizona, Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.), “Rocky Mountain High” (Colorado), “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” (Chicago), “Dirty Water” and “Rock & Roll Band” (Boston), and “Deacon Blues” (Alabama), among others.
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life. Live in the moment. Enjoy the moment. Love the moment. Listen to the MUSIC!