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Five Songs For Kansas

List Of The Day

Kansas has suffered a bit in recent years. The news always seems to be reporting about how evolution isn't real popular there and its economic future isn't as well to do as people would hope. But what can you do? Move, I guess. Once I realized that my old neighbors were looking to rob my house blind, I decided to take action and live in a bunker with a nasty old dog. It isn't ideal. But it's fun when he tries to hump my leg.

"Shores Of Kansas"--William Parker: Leave it to a jazzbo like bassist William Parker to hand us a tune about the "Shores" of Kansas. Oh, I guess a river can have a beach and you can pretend you have a shore. But, in the words of Paul Simon, who do you think you're fooling? We're already suspicious enough about you musicians who don't plug in your instruments. What do you have something against electricity?

"Kansas"—Ashanti: International R&B recording star Ashanti recorded with the Muppets. Yes, in a brave stroke of cultural exchange between her sophisticated world of well-shaved humans and the fuzz-addled creatures of Muppet world, Ashanti took on the Wizard of Oz and belted out "Kansas," a sly move considering the lack of a powerhouse R&B scene in this particular state. Until now, that is.

"On The Road To Kansas"--W.G. Snuffy Walden: This is one of those great "road songs" that gets you call fired up when you're in a band and you're on the open highway and you're getting psyched up about your next gig in Kansas. Hey, what a great group! What a great place to be! And who doesn't need more W.G. Snuffy Walden albums in their life? I'm told this is from the TV soundtrack of "The Stand," a program I'm assured is wonderful.

"Kansas"--Wedding Present: Why a band from Leeds, England would write a song about Kansas is beyond me. But then, perhaps, one of their band members lost his virginity there and wanted to immortalize the moment. Then again, maybe they had their luggage stolen. Or maybe they got beat up for having funny accents.

"Kansas Rain"--John Stewart: It was the lead-off cut from his 1971 album Sunstorm and for that we thank John Stewart, who recorded many albums that sadly fall securely in the "overlooked" pile. Equally sad, John passed away this past year, having once been a member of the Kingston Trio and the author of "Daydream Believer," though the cause of death is not believed to be linked to these facts.

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