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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

State of the Union - Ohio

George writes:
The most famous song with the word Ohio in it cannot be included this week, there is no indication that the murder sung about in said song took place in the state of Ohio.

Did you know that there is a Buckeye Tree? And it grows all over Ohio. People from Ohio are known as buckeyes. Unfortunately, it’s not  terribly exotic, it belongs to the same family as the conker (horse chestnut) tree.

(Buckeye Tree? Conker Tree?)

And from a plethora of songs about Ohio, some good, some not so good, first off is the first track on the majestic Soul Journey album, by Gillian Welch:

There are some famous people who were born  in this state. Neil Armstrong, he’s quite famous, isn’t he? Orville Wright. Famous. Ditto Doris Day. Dino Paul Crocetti, Steven Spielberg. Jack Nicklaus. Paul Newman. Toni Morrison. Clark Gable. Thomas Edison. I believe, but I might be wrong, that there are some people born in Ohio who are not famous.

There was a comedy show in the late 70s early 80s called WKRP in Cincinnati, that I remember as being very funny. I will not be watching it any time soon as the DVDs of the show are insanely expensive. 

Second track is from the final Phil Ochs album “Greatest Hits. Which is actually an album of ten original songs.  Phil Ochs did spend some of his childhood and young adulthood in Ohio.

Proof indeed that some of Phil Ochs’ later songs are  good. 

Then there’s well known non-Ohio residents the Super Furry Animals. This is track 4 from Love Kraft:

That’s from my favourite album of theirs.

For myself and CC THE obvious song, and at times one of the Top Ten Tunes Ever Recorded In The Entirety Of Popular Music, is the one where the female love interest  pulls a letter from her bible, and a rose pressed inside the book of Luke, whilst the man lies drunk in a cold a gray apartment in Chicago, where a cigarette drowns inside a glass of gin. (We’ve all been there)

As some would say, if you don’t like that, what is WRONG with you? 
An outfit called Sehnsucht covered the song. Somehow they managed to make  a very moving country song into a tedious guitar-driven dirge.

(A rose in a bible, get it?)

There are a plethora (didn’t I use that word above?) of fine songs that could also have been included, by Damian Jurado, Laura Veirs, even the Jayhawks one is pretty good, there’s the Ian Hunter song. And there’s the ones that should not  be included, but I suspect my good friend will post one of them below. Not the track by CSNY, of course not.

Oh, and Dino Paul Crocett was better known as Dean Martin.

Another one next week-

CC writes : I've gone for one of the good ones that you mentioned.


  1. Love Dwight's "South Of Cincinatti" and I have fond memories of "WKRP in Cincinnati", especially Loni Anderson and Dr. Johnny Fever played by Howard Hesseman. I read that he's recently been promoting the show which is being screened on a US digital channel, so we might yet see it in the UK.

    I know what you mean about the "insanely expensive" DVD's of old comedy shows. It's not just "WKRP". There a bunch of UK comedy shows I'd love to see again but DVD's of them seem non-existent or extremely expensive. The DVD's for one Scottish comedy show has season 1 priced £25 and season 2 is 40 quid. "Naked Video" will set you back £90. "A Kick Up the Eighties", which featured Robbie Coltrane and Rik Mayall, seemingly never made it to DVD.

    CD's of UK Radio comedy shows can also be pricey, although I've discovered a website that offers downloads of various shows - but of course I would never use it cos that would be illegal.

    Rant over.

    1. "we might yet see it in the UK" which is unfortunately nae to good to man nor beast for me
      Was Loni Anderson aka Mrs Burt Reynolds?

    2. Well if you can get Judge Judy ....

    3. unfortunately the latest series shown here has just finished. It could be 6 more months until we get the next one

  2. Yep, that Jayhawks song was the first one that popped into my head. Ohio by the Sugarplastic was my runner-up. I have lived all over this country and met quite a few people. I never end up liking folks that hail from Ohio. It's a Midwest thing, and that's where I grew up. Just because you live on East Coast time doesn't make you East Coast. Far from it. Your kin decided to head west, got tired and gave up just like the rest of us. Get over yourselves. I'm done. Thanks for the platform.

    1. What is about Ohians (Ohioans?) that riles you, Brian?

    2. Drew taught me everything I know, CC.

      George, Just a general big-man-on-campus attitude that I loathe.

  3. Soul Journey looked out for tomorrow's commute

  4. You could have a fine collection just from Cincinnati songs - Johnny Burnette, Ray Charles, Scott Walker etc.

  5. What, no Olivia Newton John walking demurely by the Banks Of The Ohio?

    1. I suspect that's the one George was referring to in his first paragraph Alyson.
      I've previously posted the version by the Handsome Family

    2. Aha - I obviously have never really concentrated on those lyrics then.