100 Songs Of The South
September 14, 2005 6:23 AM   Subscribe

"We birthed the blues. We launched rock 'n' roll." The Atlanta Journal Constitution has compiled a rather comprehensive list of the top 100 songs from the American South. The range spans from Loretta Lynn at #11 to Yin Yang Twins at #89. Before you ask, "Freebird" is #59. And just so all bases are covered, they've added supplimental lists for Texas (which is not the South) and Louisiana (which is the South, but on an entirely different plane of musical existence). (Try to overcome the truly annoying Flash interface.)
posted by grabbingsand (26 comments total)
This is the type of thing I really dig. I enjoy this stuff most in print, but hey, content is content. Thanks!
posted by sourwookie at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2005

No mention of The Meters or Dirty Dozen Brass Band in the L.A. section but still, a good list overall.

Stevie Ray Vaughn released Texas Flood in 1993? Miracles do happen!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:13 AM on September 14, 2005

Yin Yang Twins? Please.
posted by NationalKato at 9:17 AM on September 14, 2005

If y'all like this kind of thing, get to your nearest newsagent and pick up the Oxford American Magazine. Their music issue is on stands now, and comes with a fantastic 29-song CD sampler. I've been trying to talk up this magazine as much as I can, because it is a treasure and I really don't want them to fold a third time. Highly recommended.
posted by Miko at 9:18 AM on September 14, 2005

#45, Ludicris
Oh how I love these pretty ass ho's
Pretty ass high class anything goes
Catch em in the club throwing pretty ass bows
Long john jaws long john stalls
Any stank puss make my long john pause
Women on they cells making long time calls
And if they like to juggle give em long john's balls

All my players in the house that can buy the bar
And the ballin ass niggas wit the candy cars
If you a pimp and you know you don't love them hoes
When you get on the flo nigga throw them bows
All my women in the house if you chasing cash
And you got some big titties wit a matching ass
Wit ya fly ass boots or ya open toes
When ya get on the flo nigga throw them bows

#51 Henry Mancini
Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend

posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2005

Most of East Texas is still the South. North Louisiana is different from South Louisiana, and parts of South Alabama and far coastal Mississippi share a heritage with southeast Louisiana.
posted by raysmj at 9:35 AM on September 14, 2005

You mean the "south" doesn't want Texas either?

Thanks for the magazine suggestion...
posted by fluffycreature at 9:38 AM on September 14, 2005

Oh, and northeast Louisiana is more similar to the Miss. Delta (Delta Airlines started in Monroe--it is Delta) culturally, and Shreveport in northwest Louisiana has practically northing in common with New Orleans and Cajun country outside of the payment of state taxes and government offices, the state bird, etc.
posted by raysmj at 9:39 AM on September 14, 2005

The list as written was very Atlanta-centric no surprise considering who it was written by and for. I appreciate the fact that they tried to be open to all styles of music that should be considered.
posted by Megafly at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2005

Most of East Texas is still the South.

Since I'm from there, this is a big yes and no. Conceptually, Texas is just Texas. Culturally, you find greater similarities in food and lifestyle between East Texas and some of the South than you do between West Texas and East Texas; but Texans really do not consider themselves Southern. And Texas music history is pretty distinct from Southern music history.
posted by Miko at 9:50 AM on September 14, 2005

... uh, can someone explain how Elvis isn't in the top 30?
posted by docgonzo at 9:54 AM on September 14, 2005

... uh, can someone explain how Elvis isn't in the top 30?

Because this list, as with any list, is subject to personal bias and preference...and when it comes to music tastes, can be incredibly subjective.
posted by NationalKato at 10:02 AM on September 14, 2005

Good question, doc.
posted by wsg at 10:02 AM on September 14, 2005

great post.

can we give an honorable mention to Cheap Trick's "Southern Girls"?
posted by aieou at 10:08 AM on September 14, 2005

I agree that there is little objective about these lists -- that's what makes them charming/maddening.

But, I mean, people! No Elvis? Sure, he wasn't a songwriter. But he was perhaps the greatest interpreter/performer of American popular song ever. Numerous classics in rock and roll, pop, country and gospel. Plus, is there a bigger southern icon?

Omitting Elvis is worse than a list of British popular song omitting the Beatles.
posted by docgonzo at 10:10 AM on September 14, 2005

I don't recall any Elvis songs that were specifically about the South. Then again, I'm not completely awake yet.
posted by mischief at 10:28 AM on September 14, 2005

Fuck, how about some Big Star? Or Mississippi Queen? Or Verbena? Or "Gonna Send You Back to Walker"?
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 AM on September 14, 2005

12. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" -- The Band (1969). Told from the perspective of a sympathetic Confederate man named Virgil, the song gives defeated Southerners dignity.

And being as how the Band was mostly Canadian (right?) they're the only ones who could get away with this.

Me, I like Joan Baez's version better anyway.
posted by scratch at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2005

Fables of Faubus?

Poke Salet Annie?

How exactly does the Atlanta Constitution have any credence on what is Southern? I guess they are in a state that is considered to be part of the South at least.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:40 PM on September 14, 2005

My favorite ironic moment was after the list came out in print, a letter writer emailed a complaint about the Yin Yang Twins' song being included. He cited the lyrics. The AJC's server kicked it back to him because "your message was returned because it contained obscene or otherwise unacceptable content."
posted by darren at 1:45 PM on September 14, 2005

Oh, and Joan Baez's version bites.
posted by darren at 1:46 PM on September 14, 2005

Joanie's version of almost everything is vapid whitebread.
posted by jfuller at 5:32 PM on September 14, 2005

"I'm looking on the bright side,
I wear it like a bruise.
I've never loved Elvis,
and I've never sung the blues."

posted by Eideteker at 6:08 PM on September 14, 2005

I gotta log in on the side of The Band. Joan's cover was so whitebread, plus she changed some lyrics. My wife used to play "Diamonds & Rust" once in a while. I broke her of the habit by playing Judas Priest's cover of it right after she got down playing Joan's original.

This might be getting a little obscure but on the Band's Last Waltz LP/CD/DVD there's this song they do with Bobby Charles (who I believe wrote it) called "Down South in New Orleans". It's just incredible.
posted by Ber at 6:54 PM on September 14, 2005

I don't recall any Elvis songs that were specifically about the South.

"Kentucky Rain" comes to mind, as well as the Dixie stuff in "American Trilogy".

I'd go with something from the Sun era though. "Mystery Train", maybe.

These are the kind of lists that are just put out there to piss people off.
posted by First Post at 11:32 PM on September 14, 2005

thanks for the good post, grabbingsand!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:12 AM on September 15, 2005

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