Cale/Jackson '08!
September 4, 2008 3:57 PM   Subscribe

This past Spring, Oklahoma State Representative Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) and State Senator John Ford (R-Bartlesville) joined together to put their bipartisan support behind House Concurrent Resolution 1047, a bill to designate the Official Rock Song of Oklahoma, as to be chosen by the people. As long as the song was written or recorded by an artist from Oklahoma, it would be eligible. The lengthy list of nominees has now been pared down to ten, and the voting has opened online. The finalists vary from Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" (written by Okie Mae Boren Axton) to "Do You Realize," by The Flaming Lips, and my personal pick, Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain."

The official designation is set to coincide with the opening of Another Hot Oklahoma Night, a major exhibit detailing the history of Rock and Roll in Oklahoma, in 2009.
posted by Navelgazer (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally! Take that, Oklahoma!
posted by stresstwig at 4:02 PM on September 4, 2008


so .... Flaming Lips have a song called 'Oklahoma We Love You' and yet their nominated song for the final is 'Do You Realize'?
I'm not a big fan of them and haven't heard either song but ... seems like a no brainer
posted by mannequito at 4:11 PM on September 4, 2008


No MMMBop or I Wanna Sex U Up!? WTF?

I agree with your pick, Navelgazer. Never Been to Spain is the best song and seems somewhat appropriate for Oklahoma.

However, I expect Heartbreak Hotel to win in a landslide.

Also, why the hell should my vote be counted? (I did vote for 3DN, fwiw.)

Also, who's the Oklahoman involved with Sweet Child of Mine?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:44 PM on September 4, 2008


The song Move Along by All-American Rejects is just awful.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:53 PM on September 4, 2008


Never been to Spain
But I've been to Oklahoma
They tell me I was born there
But I really don't remember
What does it matter?
What does it matter?


Existential and beautiful. I wish I was from Oklahoma. Then it might all make sense.
posted by philip-random at 4:53 PM on September 4, 2008


Tulsa Time would be the best choice, IMHO.

Pete Townshend's 'Jools & Jim' might be neat for a giggle, though.
posted by jonmc at 4:54 PM on September 4, 2008


Rick Astley is from Oklahoma, right?
posted by AaronRaphael at 4:54 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a Texan, I'm freaking pissed they had the nerve to have Buddy Holly on that list.

They really should just go with "You Dropped the Bomb on Me". The Gap Band were from Tulsa, right?
posted by space2k at 4:55 PM on September 4, 2008


Well I don't live there so I'm not about to tell those folks who they should pick but, well now I'd have to say Tulsa Time as sung by Don Williams seems like a nice pick.
posted by nola at 4:56 PM on September 4, 2008


On preview damn you jonmc. if only I hadn't fumbled 'round with linking shit and all that.
posted by nola at 4:58 PM on September 4, 2008


Some of the rejects:

BJ Thomas
Bread
Brewer and Shipley (One Toke Over the Line didn't make the top 10? Come on!)
Hanson
Kings of Leon

Plus these songs from Duncan, OK native Hoyt Axton:

Greenback Dollar (Kingston Trio)
The Pusher (Steppenwolf)
No-No Song (Ringo Starr)
Joy to the World (3 Dog Night) -- Seriously, you have Jeremiah and his mighty fine wine and you pick Never Been to Spain?
Snowblind Friend (Steppenwolf)
Della and the Dealer (Hoyt Axton)
Evangelina (Hoyt Axton)
Boney Fingers (Hoyt Axton)

And the Ventures made the top 10? Because when you think of Oklahoma, surf music immediately comes to mind.

Re: Tulsa Time. I think the writer or the performer has to be from Oklahoma. Don Williams is from Baja Oklahoma and Eric Clapton is from Ponca City, England. If they allowed any song about Oklahoma, Choctaw Bingo should win.
posted by joaquim at 5:13 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love me some Flaming Lips, and I love the song "Do You Realize," and I'm really splitting hairs here, but that song is equisite pop awesomeness. It does not "rock."
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:21 PM on September 4, 2008


"No-No Song" is nothing any State or human being should be proud of.
posted by philip-random at 5:26 PM on September 4, 2008


Seriously, you have Jeremiah and his mighty fine wine and you pick Never Been to Spain?

Never Been to Spain kicks the bullfrog's behind back to Tulsa.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:31 PM on September 4, 2008


I know "Uneasy Rider" doesn't take place in Oklahoma, but from what I've seen of the state it easily could have.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 5:34 PM on September 4, 2008


Oklahoma has internet access? Does the general populace know about this, I mean; the internet? Sounds danjerus.
posted by buzzman at 5:37 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where's Woody Guthrie? Seriously. He's the iconic Oklahoman musician.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:37 PM on September 4, 2008


martinX, agreed, but none of woody's tunes were written as rock, although they lend themselves to the approach when covered.

My top three are the Cale, Wanda, and the Ventures tune. The Ventures' most important tie to Oklahoma is surely to Mosrite; it's very unlikely that the song will pass. Wanda is an AMAZING treasure but, really, "Let's Have a Party" is not the best side she ever waxed. "After Midnight" is far from my favorite song, but it dominates the list here in terms of familiarity and quality.

Strangely, given my age, background, and tastes, I'm not a Flaming Lips fan.
posted by mwhybark at 5:49 PM on September 4, 2008


Hm, I should note that I reject Heartbreak Hotel out of hand even if it fits the rules. I second my self to no man in my admiration of Elvis' stuff, but the dissonance of associating ANY Elvis anything with Oklahoma makes it a very poor choice. Tennessee and Mississippi have business that locked up, I hear tell.
posted by mwhybark at 5:54 PM on September 4, 2008


Never Been to Spain kicks the bullfrog's behind back to Tulsa.

Mama Told Me Not To Come is better than either.
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on September 4, 2008


Finally, regarding Woody, the long list includes Bruce covering "This Land is Your Land," which would seem to undercut my point about the appropriateness of rock versions of Woody tunes. An appropriate cut, in the editorial sense, I'd say.
posted by mwhybark at 5:57 PM on September 4, 2008


hm, apparently I'm not done. Woody's "Oklahoma Hills" is clearly the best Oklahoma song ever, and it is a pity that there's no rock version on the final ballot.

On the other hand, I am mighty, mighty MIGHTY pleased that "Oklahoma," from the musical, was not included.
posted by mwhybark at 6:00 PM on September 4, 2008


"In 2001 the Oklahoma State Legislature declared Woody's version the official state folk song."

a possible explanation for the oversight.
posted by mwhybark at 6:02 PM on September 4, 2008


Back to the long list, how in hell is "Wichita Lineman" a rock song?
posted by mwhybark at 6:05 PM on September 4, 2008


Mae Boren Axton was Hoyt Axton's mother.
posted by RussHy at 6:10 PM on September 4, 2008



Never Been to Spain kicks the bullfrog's behind back to Tulsa.

Mama Told Me Not To Come is better than either.


True, but is a song entirely concerned with getting codswalloped by very strong drugs appropriate for a State's Official Rock Song?
posted by philip-random at 6:16 PM on September 4, 2008


Tulsa Time would be the best choice, IMHO.

Do you really think those bastards in OKC would allow that? Hell no. They're jealous enough that Tulsa gets all the songs -- "24 Hours From Tulsa," "Tulsa Time," "Last Trip To Tulsa," "Take Me Back To Tulsa...."

They really should just go with "You Dropped the Bomb on Me". The Gap Band were from Tulsa, right?

Would have been my choice, but I guess IT DOES NOT RAWK.

"Race For The Prize" should have been the Lips' song they chose.

If they allowed any song about Oklahoma, Choctaw Bingo should win.

Oh yeah. I know just about every place in that song.
posted by dw at 7:15 PM on September 4, 2008


Holy crap, this is on Metafilter? Per one of the panelists, who writes for the local alt-weekly, "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band was strongly considered, but ultimately dropped because of concerns about celebrating a bombing in Oklahoma, and all that. They had to scramble for a replacement, and reluctantly decided on the All American Rejects despite concerns about transience and (I'm reading between the lines here) suckage.

The Flaming Lips are, of course, the awesomest musical group that has ever awesomed, but there exists background. Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City (pictured with Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich) is as right-wing a goat-roper as you'd expect from the state of Jim Inhofe and our various gay-pillorying state legislators. He is also desperate, wake-screaming-at-3-AM desperate, to have Oklahoma City seem like a cool, happening place that will attract tourists and tech industries and professional sporting leagues. Thus the dedication of Flaming Lips Alley last year, and thus 2008's State of the City Address:
"Oklahoma City's own Grammy Award-winning Flaming Lips once asked, in their hit song of the same name: "Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?" Well, with apologies to Wayne Coyne, I ask you today, do you realize that we live in the most beautiful place?" (applause)
It is basically cosmically weird, and I say this as someone who's seen Christmas on Mars.

Hi, buzzman.
posted by ormondsacker at 7:21 PM on September 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I never kissed a bear
I never kissed a goose
But I can shake a chicken
in the middle of the room

Let's have a party!

Send him to the store, let's buy some more,
Let's have a party tonight!

--Wanda Jackson

How could anyone NOT vote for that?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:35 PM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, "Okie from Muskogee" is better than any of these songs.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:38 PM on September 4, 2008


ormandsacker...

I have no words.

I performed a Humorous Interpretation of Christmas on Mars for a Districts Drama Competition in High School, and got chosen as a Nationals alternate because if it. This happened in Oklahoma. I never knew anyone else even knew about the show.

And while everything 3DN has done kicks ass (and the song was written by Axton Hoyt) the line "Well I've never been to heaven/but I've been to Oklahoma" seals the deal for me.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:41 PM on September 4, 2008


"Never Been to Spain" was basically my favorite song for my whole eighth-grade year. For some reason. I can't remember why, just now ... anyway, as a result of that, I wholeheartedly support its selection as the Official Rock Song of Oklahoma. That's heading for Las Vegas and only making it out to Needles that we can believe in!
posted by penduluum at 7:44 PM on September 4, 2008


Per one of the panelists, who writes for the local alt-weekly, "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band was strongly considered, but ultimately dropped because of concerns about celebrating a bombing in Oklahoma, and all that. They had to scramble for a replacement, and reluctantly decided on the All American Rejects despite concerns about transience and (I'm reading between the lines here) suckage.

They could have replaced it with another Gap Band song. "Oops Upside Your Head?" "Early In The Morning?"

Just another example how Oklahoma Citians will stop at nothing to screw over Tulsans.

from the state of Jim Inhofe

I went to school with his kids, believe it or not. His son was a bit of a bully.
posted by dw at 7:48 PM on September 4, 2008


dw - Inhofe's kid a bully? You astonish me.

Navelgazer - Sorry, I was actually referring to the upcoming, er, "Fantastical Film Freakout", not the play, although it's possible Coyne & co. caught your act.

Also, in my second link, if you'll click on the full "original image here" link, that's Hizzoner and, I believe, Councilman J. Brian Walters from Ward 5 and the Southern Hills Baptist Church that are applauding the nice man in the skeleton costume.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:20 PM on September 4, 2008


(Also, I meant that the nominated song, "Never Been to Spain," by 3DN, was written by Hoyt Axton.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:30 PM on September 4, 2008


I'm an Oklahoman, and I'm really pissed that absolutely none of my songs made the cut:

The music is really sublime, but maybe my titles and lyrics are working against me. Among them:
"Dumbass, Redneck, Red State Blues"
"Inhoffe has Greenhouse Gas"
"U Got Ur Church in my Gov't"
"Boone Pickens Loves Wind So Much He Pulled My Finger"

Back to the drawing board.....
posted by HyperBlue at 8:55 PM on September 4, 2008


Move Along is my favorite song to play in Rock Band.
posted by empath at 9:03 PM on September 4, 2008


As a Duncan, OK, native (20 years and gone, that was more than enough), I used to roll down the windows late at night and drive around town playing 'Never Been to Spain' as loud as it would go ... my big f---- you to the town/state that produced not only the aforementioned Hoyt Axton but also Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ron Howard, and Halliburton. It got my vote hands down.
posted by AirBeagle at 9:21 PM on September 4, 2008


While we're talking about this, will the Failed Bands of Oklahoma concert ever take place?
posted by Brittanie at 9:59 PM on September 4, 2008


reluctantly decided on the All American Rejects despite concerns about transience and (I'm reading between the lines here) suckage.

I grew up with Mike from All American Rejects, and he was the drummer for the first band I was in that played a real club gig when we were both 14 or so (we both lived in suburban north Houston at the time, he moved to Oklahoma later). Their music is a little teeny-bop for my tastes (I remember him wanting us to cover Green Day's "When I Come Around" and I was vehemently opposed), but I'm happy for him and proud that someone from our little geeky punker crew went on to success and fame. I hope they win.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:20 PM on September 4, 2008


I grew up in Tulsa . . . I used to blast the Three Dog Night's song everywhere I drove -- something about it really got to me -- and Leon Russell supposedly owned a house a few blocks down from where I lived, and I didn't know until just now that the Flaming Lips were from Oklahoma (Tulsa was its own world, and we rarely paid attention to what happened a few hours away), and I'm in love with Wanda Jackson now that I've heard her song . . .

Forgive me, Oklahoma, I didn't think this would be so difficult!
posted by treepour at 10:26 PM on September 4, 2008


I think "Indian Reservation" by Paul Revere and the Raiders would be an appropriate tribute.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:24 AM on September 5, 2008


True, but is a song entirely concerned with getting codswalloped by very strong drugs appropriate for a State's Official Rock Song?

Have you been to Oklahoma?
posted by biscotti at 5:45 AM on September 5, 2008


The title of my college application essay riffed off "Never Been to Spain." Suffice to say, it's got my vote.
posted by kwaller at 6:07 AM on September 5, 2008


bitteroldpunk, seconded Okie. Hell, if Lineman's on the long list, why not?
posted by mwhybark at 8:34 AM on September 5, 2008


My picks would be
Three Dog Night - The Show Must Go On
Hoyt Axton - Geronimo's Cadillac
but I'm not from Oklahoma.
posted by Sailormom at 8:50 AM on September 5, 2008


I think a better choice for a Flaming Lips song would have been Talkin' 'Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:55 AM on September 5, 2008


I can only ironically suggest The Flaming Lips' Yeah Yeah Yeah Song, but as long as I'm bringing it up, I'd like to mention how simultaneously sad and hilarious I find it that the song, basically about being the greediest bastard you could be, keeps showing up as the background music in television commercials.
posted by owtytrof at 9:45 AM on September 5, 2008


Come ON Oklahomans, it's got to be the Lips. Or the Chainsaw Kittens.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:52 PM on September 5, 2008


I agree with Joey Michaels. "Do You Realize" is a nice song but it most certainly does not rock. I vote for The Call.
posted by Jess the Mess at 8:26 AM on September 6, 2008


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