“How do you calculate the influence of a song in your life?
We have songs that carry enormous meaning for us,
songs we want played at our weddings or at our funerals,
songs that every time we hear them, every single time,
we pause, we remember, we smile, we sing, we ignite.
And maybe even more than that.
Maybe we have music that has changed or saved our lives.”
Louis P. Masur
From: “Runaway Dream: Born To Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision”
Every time I read that quote, my List of “influential” songs starts scrolling through my mind. I started putting The List on paper when I got the idea for writing this post. Just jotting down the title of each of these songs caused me to pause, remember, smile…
In compiling The List of Songs, I came to realize that any serious attempt at a truly complete accounting of all the important music in my life would have to include The List of Albums.
Here you go!
(Keep in mind that these are partial lists. I didn’t want to get too carried away!)
First off, two of the most important songs – “Thanksgiving Eve” by Bob Franke and “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan – have been with me quite a bit the past eight weeks or so as I listened, sang, played, and re-mastered them for performance.
Here, in no particular order, are a few of the other songs from The List.
“Spirit In The Night” by Bruce Springsteen.
“Christmas In The Trenches” by John McCutcheon.
“You Are So Beautiful” by Billy Preston & Bruce Fisher; as recorded by Joe Cocker.
“Sitting On Top Of The World” by Walter Vinson & Lonnie Chatmon; as recorded by Jim Ringer.
“Deep River Blues” by The Delmore Brothers; as recorded by Doc Watson.
“Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan.
“Rising Sun Blues/House of the Rising Sun” as recorded by Ashley & Foster, Georgia Turner, Bob Dylan, The Animals, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, et all.
“Stuff That Works” by Guy Clark.
“Wooden Ships” by Paul Kantner, David Crosby and Stephen Stills; as recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash and by Jefferson Airplane.
“These Days” by Jackson Browne; as recorded by Tom Rush and by Jackson Browne.
A Hard Day’s Night (US), Beatles ’65, Something New, Rubber Soul (US)… and ultimately everything by The Beatles.
Big Hits: High Tide and Green Grass, Aftermath, Flowers, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones.
Greatest Hits – Vol.1, John Wesley Harding and Greatest Hits – Vol.2 by Bob Dylan.
Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys.
Open by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity.
Live & Well by B.B.King.
Live Wire/Blues Power by Albert King.
Jackson Browne by Jackson Browne.
Ladies of the Canyon by Joni Mitchell.
Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.
The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
Shoot Out The Lights by Richard & Linda Thompson.
March 6, 1925-June 15, 1968 by Wes Montgomery.
At The Montreux Jazz Festival by Bill Evans.
Circle ‘Round The Sun by Leo Kottke.
The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album.
Open All Nite by The Nighthawks.
Marshall Crenshaw by Marshall Crenshaw.
Finally, I have to include two crucial Songbooks:
Ramblin’ Boy and Other Songs by Tom Paxton and
Jerry Silverman’s Folk Song Encyclopedia, Volume 2.
That was fun!
If you’ve made it this far and actually read my lists, you must be starting to put together a list or two of your own. Care to share? Click on “Leave a comment” and pass on a title or two or three… please! I’d love to hear from you!