INTERESTING STUFF – 20 September 2014
Preventing Falls on the First Day of Fall

ELDER MUSIC: States – New Mexico to South Carolina

Tibbles1SM100x130This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.

Continuing our musical sojourn through the States, we're just finishing off the "new" states and venturing on, north and south.

NewMexicoFlagI have to say that New Mexico has the best looking state flag – none of the others comes close.

For that state's song I turn to HANK WILLIAMS JNR.

Hank Williams Jr

It seems from the song that Hank got lucky in Clovis, New Mexico.

♫ Hank Williams Jnr - Clovis, New Mexico

NewYorFlag]There must be hundreds of songs about New York but they're all about the city. I don't think there are any about the state as such. However, as they share the same name that's good enough for me.

Now, to select one of those. I've chosen, not quite at random, JENNIFER WARNES.

Jennifer Warnes

The song, Big Noise, New York, was written by Marcelle Clements and Donald Fagen and it certainly sounds like a Steely Dan tune. That sort of thing is okay in small doses.

♫ Jennifer Warnes - Big Noise, New York

NorthCarolinaFlagI couldn't say it better than they do on their website:

"THE BLIND CORN LIQUOR PICKERS, like the moonlight-brewed intoxicant for which they are named, play a variety of bluegrass whose origins are difficult to ascertain.

“As corn liquor flows through an old car radiator, old-time traditions mix with modern methods in ways that can be unsettling, inspiring, euphoric or blindness-inducing.

“It's bluegrass that burns going down, warms your gut, and then hits your head like a thunderbolt of white lightning."

Blind Corn Liquor Pickers

The song they perform is called North Carolina. This was the only tune in my collection with that state's name in the title, so it got the nod.

♫ Blind Corn Liquor Pickers - North Carolina

NorthDakotaFlagLYLE LOVETT is a Texas man. He mentions that state in this next song.

Lyle Lovett

Fortunately for me he writes and sings about other places as well. Indeed, his was the only song I found that mentions North Dakota. That also is the name of the song.

♫ Lyle Lovett - North Dakota

OhioFlagOhio has an old song. This one gets the bronze medal in the oldest song category.

We don't have an old singer though – well, not one from that period but she is nearly one of us. Here is KIM RICHEY.

Kim Richey

This is taken from an album called "The Beautiful Old Turn-of-the-Century Songs" where current artists interpret songs from back then. It really is a nice album.

Kim's song is Beautiful Ohio.

♫ Kim Richey - Beautiful Ohio

OklahomaFlagOklahoma songs seem to attract folk-styled singers and I've gone for one as well, TOM PAXTON.

Tom Paxton

Tom is noted for his topical songs but he wrote in many different genres. I don't know how you'd categorise this one, My Oklahoma Lullaby. Probably just an observational song.

♫ Tom Paxton - My Oklahoma Lullaby

OregonFlagSHAWN MULLINS developed an interest in performing music while still at school.

That's probably not unusual for successful performers (and a bunch of unsuccessful ones as well).

Shawn Mullins

He continued this while at college but his plans were interrupted by a stint in the military (as they paid for his tuition). After that he returned to music and has released a bunch of albums.

From his biggest selling album, “Soul's Core,” we have Twin Rocks, Oregon. It may be the only song ever to mention the writer Richard Brautigan.

♫ Shawn Mullins - Twin Rocks, Oregon

PennsylvaniaFlagI think this is the first song I thought of when I decided to do this series.

It's one from my childhood and was a favorite of my sister at the time and she went around singing (an approximation of) it all the time one year. The performer (besides her) is GUY MITCHELL.

Guy Mitchell

As we're up to Pennsylvania, most of us know I'm talking about Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

♫ Guy Mitchell - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RhodeIslandFlagHere is another solitary song about a state from my collection and I have IKE AND TINA TURNER to thank for it.

Ike & Tina Turner

The song really is about a chook but the state is mentioned in the title so that's good enough for me. That song is Sweet Rhode Island Red.

♫ Ike & Tina Turner - Sweet Rhode Island Red

SouthCarolinaFlagKATE WOLF has our song about South Carolina.

Kate Wolf

Okay, the song is just about Carolina – there are no songs that specifically mention South Carolina. However, the official song of the state is just called Carolina, so if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.

There are many songs that reference Carolina but Kate's was really mellow and I think that's what was needed after Tina. Her song is Carolina Pines.

♫ Kate Wolf - Carolina Pines

More states in two weeks' time.


Kate Wolf, yay!

Made me look up "chook"! :-D Thanks for the choices. I hadn't heard many of these before.

Some great songs there! Thanks for making an article on these great musicians :)

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