I call them “audio vacations.” Have you ever been listening to the radio or one of your favorite playlists when you hear a song that mentions a destination in either the title or through the lyrics? All of a sudden, at least in your mind, you have been transported there. A faraway beach, a dusty highway, a city you have never seen – they can all be yours for those few minutes of listening.
I have my choices, but I wanted to find out some of the favorite destinations (either factual or imagined) of my friends, family, colleagues and residents, so that is the question that I asked them this week.
“The land called Honahlee,”mentioned by Peter, Paul and Mary in “Puff the Magic Dragon,” was suggested by my wife, Robin. “My Mom used to sing me that song when I was little. I always imagined myself there.” My son, Dylan, said “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and CCR’s, “Born on the Bayou.”
“Mozambique,” by Bob Dylan, was mentioned by several of my responders. Lander University Jackson Library Specialist Russ Fitzgerald, who is also an accomplished guitar player, suggested “the gypsy caravan of ‘One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)’” as another Dylan destination track. “Scarlett Rivera’s violin is beyond delicious on the whole album (Desire), but most especially here with Emmylou (Harris) singing harmonies.”
Music promoter Nick Hyduke suggested “Route 66” by Bobby Troup, made famous by Nat King Cole. He also suggested “Guitar Town” by Steve Earle (“an obvious reference to Nashville. It’s everything good about music.”)
Photographer and studio owner Jon Holloway gave me “Argentina (Don’t Cry For Me) as his pick. “My Dad ‘sang’ this to my Mom before he passed away – a very powerful moment but filled with laughter.”
Index Journal Executive Editor Richard Whiting offered up “Mordor,” as mentioned by Led Zeppelin in its song “Ramble On,” along with the song “Australia” by Yes guitarist Steve Howe and “far above the world (sitting in a tin can).” This is a reference to the David Bowie classic, “Space Oddity,” also mentioned by Lander students Chaz Giles and Alexander Tomlinson, announcers for XLR radio.
Sunny 103.5 afternoon radio host Austin Landers suggested “Cassadaga, Florida,” found in a song by the group Bright Eyes, along with the Eddy Grant track “Electric Avenue” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Neverland was referenced in two songs. Chicago radio host (Big 95.5) and former Lander student Ashley Ferry said “Peter Pan” from Kelsea Ballerini and Inn on the Square General Manager Claire Griffith likes the reference made in Ruth B’s song “Lost Boy.”
Local historian and author Joe H. Camp Jr. said, “I keep coming back to that vague place Jimi (Hendrix) mentions in “Spanish Castle Magic” – the one that takes half a day to get to by dragonfly.”
Greenwood saxophonist Steven Galloway offered up a solid audio destination – Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) mentioned in the classic jazz standard, “The Girl from Ipanema.” “I’ve heard the beaches are beautiful and I would love to meet this girl,” Galloway said.
My brother, Robert, listed Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay,” and the brilliant work of Roy Orbison on the song “Blue Bayou.”
Local film maker Sam Thomas said “Le Ho Fooks to get a big dish of beef chow mein” which is a reference to Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.”
Friend and local business owner Karl Ziegler suggested, “Jackson” from Johnny and June Carter Cash, Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” and Waylon Jennings’ “Luckenback, Texas.” “All of these songs stir up a special feeling – if the artist caught that vibe, I would like to catch it too,” Ziegler said.
Paul Crutcher is the broadcast specialist and XLR Radio general manager at Lander University. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at@PaulCrutcher.