Monday, 15 June 2009

State Songs #17: Kansas

I think Kansas might have more famous fictional residents than real ones: Clark Kent, Dorothy Gale, and US marshal Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke call the state on the Great Plains their home.

I'm embarrassed to admit it but I had to be reminded that Kansas City wasn't actually in Kansas so you'll have to wait until we get to Missouri to hear those tracks. Still, I hope you enjoy these, and do let me know your favourite Kansas songs that I've not included.

MP3: The Jayhawks - Wichita

As evidenced from their contribution to my Iowa post the Minnesota-based Jayhawks can always be relied on for songs about the Midwest. Wichita is an "evil land" according this favourite from their 1992 classic Hollywood Town Hall.
More Jayhawks: Fansite | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: Donna Fargo - Manhattan, Kansas

I must confess that while Fargo was evidently a big country star in the 70s I'd never heard of her until now. This tale of a single mother escaping reproachful eyes could be a companion song to Dolly Parton's Down From Dover (see my Delaware post for that one).
More Donna Fargo: Wikipedia | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: The Wedding Present - Kansas (live)

A bit of a cheat this - David Gedge is referencing The Wizard of Oz rather than paying tribute to the "sunflower state" but I never thought the Wedding Present would get a look-in on my musical tour of the states so please let me off. This live version is from the mammoth Complete Peel Sessions box set.
More Wedding Present: official site | Amazon | 7digital

MP3: Glen Campbell — Wichita Lineman

This is possibly another cheat. Apologies. Jimmy Webb was inspired to write the song after seeing a solitiary railway worker in rural Oklahoma. Which Wichita he transposed the story to is up for debate: Withita Falls and Witichita County, both in Texas, are apparently also contenders.
More Glen Campbell: official site |Amazon | 7digital

We return to South next time with a visit to the land of bourbon and bluegrass - Kentucky. See you there!

Neighbouring States
State Songs #6: Colorado - John Denver, Johnny Paycheck, Willie Nelson, Jim & Jesse, Neil Young, Bob Dylan

The Journey So Far
State Songs - links to every post on this musical road trip


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