Saturday, 21 February 2009
When I think of Connecticut my mind is completely blank. It holds no associations for me whatsoever so I knew this selection would be a challenge. I'd not heard of any of these tracks until last week so prepare yourself for the most random selection of songs on the journey so far.
MP3: Bing Crosby & Judy Garland - Connecticut
Let's start off with something classy: Bing and Judy extolling the delights of a state that's a "paradise for a girl and boy" and where "every Yale guy is male guy through and through". Also notable but not mentioned in the song is that Connecticut is home to the oldest hamburger restaurant in the USA.
More Bing: official site | Amazon | 7digital
More Judy: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Jim Douglas - A Peddler from Connecticut
I discovered this oddity via the brilliant Spotify. It's from a 1979 Folkways album called a A Peddler's Pack: A Collection of Early Colonial Songs. As the liner notes say, "Whenever [the peddler] passed a farm or came to a town green he would advertise his merchandise with a song such as this one." America's earliest sales jingle?
More Jim Douglas: Amazon
MP3: Carly Simon - The Wives Are in Connecticut
We're in Desperate Housewives/Mad Men territory here with philandering fellas in the Big Apple cheating on their suburban wives who might also be enjoying a bit on the side. Carly enlisted eight producers to make her 1985 Spoiled Girl album including Don Was and Phil Ramone. It was a flop.
More Carly Simon: official site | Amazon | 7digital
MP3: Ben Folds - Kylie From Connecticut
I'm not too familiar with Ben Folds. I saw him in the 6 Music Hub once and he seemed like an amusing bloke. This track,from last year's Way to Normal, is another that that seems to conjure up a suburban world of secrets and illicit one night stands.
More Ben Folds: official site | Amazon | 7digital
There you have it. An odd bunch of songs I agree. Next time we're off to Delaware, the second smallest state in the Union and birth place of the actor Judge Reinhold.
State Songs #1: Alabama - Cat Power, Billie Holiday, Jim White, Joan Baez, Shelby Lynne and, of course, Lynryd Skynyrd.
State Songs #2: Alaska - Michelle Shocked, Johnny Cash, Port O'Brien, Dan Bern, The Velvet Underground
State Songs #3: Arizona - Wilco, Glen Campbell, The DeZurik Sisters, Dimitri Tiomkin and Public Enemy
State Songs #4: Arkansas - The New Lost City Ramblers, Hayes Carll, Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell, REM, Bruce Springsteen
State Songs #5: California - Tom Waits, The Arlenes, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Marlena Shaw, Virgil Shaw, Jolie Holland, Guy Clark
State Songs #6: Colorado - John Denver, Johnny Paycheck, Willie Nelson, Jim & Jesse, Neil Young, Bob Dylan