Before continuing on the search for the best (my favorite, anyway) songs with the names of states in their titles, I should say that some of these are already on my iPod. I figure if they are on my iPod, then I must like them somewhat. With that in mind, here we go with the next ten states.
Hawaii – I think Hawaiian music is pretty cool, and I am a big fan of Elvis. So, I thought about going with something from those two groups. Instead, I choose a classic television theme as my favorite Hawaii song. For people growing up in the 1970s, nothing epitomized Hawaii like the “Theme from Hawaii Five-0″.
Idaho - This state did not provide many options. I could have gone with the B-52′s, but they are not to my liking. It turns out that there is something on my iPod that was almost forgotten. From the soundtrack of Robert Altman’s Nashville (I mean, what better topic could there be for a movie.), I picked “My Idaho Home” by Ronee Blakley. Interestingly, Altman had his cast write and perform their own songs. This did not make the music insiders of Nashville happy.
Illinois - There are some cool Blues songs about Illinois due to the Great Migration of African-Americans from the south. With this move, people sought a better life. As a by-product, the Blues moved with them. Despite that history, I found a song by Frank Zappa, “The Illinois Enema Bandit”, that I couldn’t pass up. After all, I feel like there is a guy from Illinois sticking something in my rectum every day.
Indiana - I wonder why there are so many “I” state’s in the midwest. For this “I” state, I went with the criminal-on-the-run story “Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor.
Iowa - You learn something new every day. It’s an old saying, but it is true. During this project, I learned that Slipknot is from Iowa, and they honored their state with a 15 minute epic called “Iowa”. It’s a happy story of love and what someone off their rocker might do if he can’t have that love.
Kansas – In Part 1 of this project, I received a comment from the corner of Trask Avenue about my Arizona pick. He suggested “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, which is an all-time great song. However, it did not have the state name. I replied that I would not use a city name until I had to. Although, there are a bunch of Kansas songs, I am going with “Kansas City Shuffle” by J. Ralph. Reasons? The state name is right there in the city name (not my fault that they weren’t original). Second, I first heard it in a super cool movie, Lucky Number Slevin.
Kentucky – I skipped a chance to go with Elvis once in this post, and I am not doing it again. No list of music is complete without the King. With that in mind, I am moving past Bill Monroe and other Bluegrass greats to choose “Kentucky Rain”.
Louisiana - Man, there are a lot of Louisiana songs, too. From Cajun to Jazz to Country, this states shows up everywhere. However, in the 1960s something strange happened. The British invaders, like Eric Clapton, brought Blues back to popularity in America. They appreciated our music history more than we did. No one loved the Blues more than Eric Burdon and the Animals. One of their best is “Louisiana Blues”, a remake of a Muddy Waters tune.
Maine – This state is famous for lobster, L.L. Bean, and Stephen King. It is not famous for music recorded in its name. The pickings were slim, but I found a good song by Ivory called “Coast of Maine”.
Maryland – Likewise, I had some trouble with Maryland. There is that state song that they always play at the Preakness, but I vowed to stay away from state songs and try to stay with music from at least the past hundred years. After a search for something I would listen to on a regular basis, I found “Maryland Again” by Gerry Goffin.
That’s it for the second ten. If you want to see what happened with the first ten states, then check out Part 1 of the series. Part 3 will be coming soon.