Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ten “Chicago” Songs


This time I’m not talking about the band, but the city itself.

chicago flag

It’s where I grew up, and I have fond memories of the place it was until Mary and I packed up our things and the cats and moved south. It’s changed a lot, in some ways for the better, in other ways… no so much. But, anyway, here are ten songs about my hometown, gathered into a playlist for your convenience.

  1. Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) – Quintette du Hot Club de France: Winner of a recent Battle of the Bands here.
  2. Sidewalks of Chicago – Merle Haggard: Had never heard this song before today, but I gave it a listen, and decided it would be wrong not to include it.
  3. Chicago Style – Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby: Another new-to-me song, but hey… Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, and some great Chicago-style jazz (some would say Dixieland) backing them up.
  4. My Kind of Town (Chicago Is) – Frank Sinatra: The definitive version of this classic, from the movie Robin and the Seven Hoods.
  5. The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace: The first time I heard this, I was practically yelling at the radio, “The east side of Chicago is Lake Michigan!” There is an east side of the city, as it turns out, the section by the Indiana border, but something tells me that wasn’t what they were thinking when they wrote the song.
  6. Take Me Back To Chicago – Chicago: Chicago XI, from whence this comes, was released not long before Terry Kath killed himself, and the whole album is kind of a downer, as if they already knew what was about to happen.
  7. Born in Chicago – The Butterfield Blues Band: From their first album fifty years ago. Written by Nick Gravenites, later the singer with The Electric Flag, which included Mike Bloomfield and Buddy Miles.
  8. Chicago (We Can Change The World) – Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young: A protest song written in memory of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and all the riots.
  9. Jesus Just Left Chicago – ZZ Top: Some slow Chicago-style blues from three guys from Texas.
  10. Sweet Home Chicago – Buddy Guy and friends: Buddy is joined by Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Hubert Sumlin, Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player for many years. Everybody gets a solo!

There are plenty more songs about Chicago, as you can see from this list. Hopefully I’ve added your favorites, but again, this is a playlist; if you don’t see your faves, leave me a comment and I’ll add them.

That’s your Thursday Ten for October 29, 2015.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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