Monday, 6 April 2009
Florida is one of those states that divides people. Among its detractors are anyone who sunburns easily and all those who voted for Al Gore in 2000 while fans of the Sunshine State include Jewish retirees and more than a million British tourists each year.
These three tracks take in both viewpoints. As usual if there's a song you love that I've not included do let me know. I'll soon be compiling a list of ones that got away.
MP3: Vic Chesnutt - Florida
You won't hear a better putdown on our journey around the states. "There's no more pathetic place in America" sings Vic of the "Redneck Riviera". The track is from his essential second album West of Rome (1991).
More Vic Chesnutt: MySpace | BBC | Amazon
MP3: Muddy Waters - Deep Down in Florida
By way of balance here's Muddy Waters looking forward to visiting the state "where the sun shines damn near every day". Coincidentally Waters' final public performance took place in Florida when he joined Eric Clapton on stage in Miami on 30 June 1982 to sing Blow Wind Blow.
More Muddy Waters: | official site | BBC | Amazon| 7digital
MP3: Elvis Presley - Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
A cheesy track from the film Girl Happy that's far from vintage Presley but worth a listen for such couplets as "Any male in Fort Lauderdale/ Who is not pursuing a cute female/ Will automatically land in jail/ That's the law in Fort Lauderdale". If you're not convinced watch this clip. They didn't call him the King for nothing.
More Elvis Presley: official site | BBC | Amazon | 7digital
We're staying in the South for our next state, Florida's neighbour - Georgia.
Alabama - Cat Power, Billie Holiday, Jim White, Joan Baez, Shelby Lynne, Lynryd Skynyrd
Georgia - Ray Charles, Julie London, Justin Townes Earle, Webb Pierce, Uncle Tupelo, Sam Bush, Blind Willie McTell
State Songs - links to every post on this musical road trip