Here's another music compilation of songs that show various aspects of this aspiring-for-greatness country. By that I mean, there's always been much to celebrate about American ideals, but being flawed humans we continually strive to betterness (is that a word?) -- to encourage and respect our better ideals of equality, decency, opportunity and all those higher behaviors.
The songs are:
01 - The Star-Spangled Banner - Classical Brass 1990 (1:05)
02 - Living in America - James Brown 1985 (4:43)
03 - Cruel War - Peter, Paul and Mary 1962 (3:28)
04 - The March from “1941” - John Williams 1979 (4:05)
05 - Country Band March - The President's Own United States Marine Band 1998 (4:04)
06 - United We Stand - The Brotherhood of Man 1970 (2:53)
07 - Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams 1953 (3:01)
08 - I'm for Love - Hank Williams Jr 1985 (2:55)
09 - Swanee (piano roll) - George Gershwin 1920 (2:16)
10 - American Tune - Paul Simon 1973 (3:45)
11 - Home! Sweet Home - The Yankee Doodle Society 1982 (2:50)
12 - (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 - Nat King Cole 1944 (2:59)
13 - I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier - Marilyn Horne 1986 (2:18)
14 - Hoedown - Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1972 (3:44)
15 - America the Beautiful - Coca-Cola TV ad 2014 (1:01)
16 - The Star-Spangled Banner - The Heritage Choir & Orchestra 1998 (1:57)
17 - The Stars and Stripes Forever - The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus 2012 (3:25)
18 - God Bless America - LeAnn Rimes 1997 (3:04)
19 - America (from “West Side Story”) - Bill Charlap Trio 2004 (3:50)
20 - “The Comancheros” Main Title - Elmer Bernstein 1961 (1:38)
21 - Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor - Allyn McLerie, Miss Liberty Ensemble 1949 (2:58)
22 - If I Can Dream - Elvis Presley (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) 2015 (3:10)
23 - Faded Love - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys 1950 (2:51)
24 - The Star Spangled Banner with Brilliant Variations - Augustus Cull 2014 (4:54)
25 - Seventy-Six Trombones (from “The Music Man” - edit) - Meredith Willson 1962 (4:07)
Track Four is a wonderfully bombastic march from John Williams. However, because it's from 1941, its arrogance and pride come off as hubristic. But musically, I love its swagger.
Track Five, Charles Ives's "Country Band March," is an example of a type of music that I love, mashing bits and motives together to form a new whole -- a serious-music version of the lampooning of Peter Schickele's "Quodlibet."
Have you seen the TV commercial from which Track 15 was taken? Being a generous, everybody-into-the-pool American, I think the idea is wonderful -- a perfect visual illustration of one of our national phrases, "E pluribus unum." Y'know, that whole "one formed from many" bit. It saddens me that some self-righteous types seem to hate American inclusivity (there were some very nasty responses to the ad, by the mentally unwashed).
Track 22 is from a new arrangement of Elvis's vocals, with new accompaniment.
Track 23 -- it's a classic song of heartbreak, unashamed in its sentimentality. As a native Oklahoman, I think it's kinda neat that this song is "the official country-and-western song of Oklahoma." This designation occurred in 1988. If you're anything like me, your next thought is, "Wasn't some more important state business to perform that day?"
Track 25 is an edit of several places in the wonderful 1962 film The Music Man.
See you Thursday with another new music compilation, reflecting a significant part of musical memories.