Song Titles Including Both The City And Its State
Waylon Jennings Is Just One Of the Country Legends Who Made The List
When Neil Young penned "Ohio" fifty years ago, the lyrics had very little to do with the state but much to do with an event that took place there. It was of course the shooting of four students by the National Guard, which had been ordered to suppress an anti-war rally at Kent State University in Ohio.
State thirteen is not the only one to serve as a song title, since nearly every member of the country has been so honored or, in some cases, disgraced. The latter adjective applies to the above mentioned Young's "Alabama," an unflattering portrait found on his Harvest album.
Bruce Springsteen made "Nebraska" a hit, just as Mark Lindsay had done for "Arizona" in the early Seventies. "California" has been used as a song title from at least two dozen artists, from Manfred Mann to Joni Mitchell to Plain White T's.
Some artists have chosen a city, rather than its state, to make a hit song. Glenn Campbell used Galveston, Johnny Rivers enlisted Memphis, and Wilbert Harrison immortalized Kansas City.
Fewer songs, however, have included both the city and the state in their titles. Here are ten of them, nearly half coming from the country genre.
1. Saginaw, Michigan by Lefty Frizell
Originally written by Bill Anderson, the ode to a burg in the Great Lakes state has been recorded by dozens of artists since then.
2. Luckenbach, Texas by Waylon Jennings
It was 1977 when the Outlaw charted with this country classic, dedicated to a town about halfway between San Antonio and Austin.
3. New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
Old Blue Eyes opened this standard by crooning, "Start Spreadin' the news."
4. Hazzard, Kentucky
Coal mining dangers and monopolies were the target of the folk singer on this track, when he decided to criticize an issue besides the Vietnam War.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio by Connie Smith
Even though she was born outside of South Bend, Indiana, Smith immortalized the Midwest city not farther than 250 miles from her home.
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Guy Mitchell
The country star's biggest hit reached #4 in 1952, approximately two decades before the Steelers won their first of many Super Bowls.
7. Reno, Nevada by Mimi and Richard Farina
Joan Baez's little sister and her folk singer husband were among the regulars at festivals, one of which may have taken place near this destination.
8. Macon, Georgia by the Palominos
San Diego's most well-known contribution to honky-tonk music notched their biggest hit by placing it 3,000 miles east.
9. Green Bay, Wisconsin by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Somehow this song became one of the alt rock band's most popular, in spite of the fact that it mentions neither the Packers nor cheese.
10. Daughter and Egg Night In Lincoln, Nebraska by John Prine
Coming back after almost two decades without a studio album, the folk veteran topped the charts with this humorous anecdote and all the rest of The Tree of Forgiveness.