My music playlists

Musical taste is personal, of course, and beyond dispute, although it can be fun to argue about it. I like to tell people that rock ‘n’ roll ended in 1968 and nothing after that was rock and none of what was called rock was worth listening to. That usually gets a strong response. It’s not true, of course. I like a few things in the rock genre after that date and you’ll find some in my playlist below, although not much. You see, I left for my year abroad in the fall of 1968 for Japan and returned the following summer. There was no American rock music there and when I returned, it seemed everything had changed. I didn’t like the rock stuff that was playing except for the oldies, so I listened exclusively to the oldies stations.

I also learned some great ragtime guitar while in Japan from a fellow American guitarist. I spent law school learning to love ragtime, boogie woogie and blues. Over the next few years the so-called rock on the radio was no longer rock n roll but Acid Rock or Heavy Metal or Disco or rap or Emo. I began to appreciate earlier eras’ music and close vocal harmony: barbershop quartets and the Andrews sisters, bluegrass, and big band (swing era). Of course, I still like the original rock and roll I grew up on. There are things I sometimes like that aren’t on my playlists, such as ambient music or string quartets because I have to be in the right mood for those. There are also things from early decades I never developed a taste for, like modern jazz or pop “standards.”  I like bluegrass and delta blues and a few country songs, but in general I don’t like mainstream country. Anyway, below is what I listen to now. I have these on my computer and play them through my stereo in my office and on my phone where I can play them through bluetooth in the car. You aren’t going to find much below recorded after 1968, and what was, is largely stuff written and first performed decades earlier.

The performers I listen to most often are Carl “Sonny” Leyland, Eubie Blake, Doc Watson, Trebor Tichenor, Chuck Berry, Pat Donohoe, Mary Flower, Stefan Grossman. There are a few songs for which I don’t have the name of the performer. Those may have been recorded from YouTube or a radio show, although I always try to find a commercial recording and buy it. I believe performers should be paid. It’s broken into three playlists, so you’ll see some of my favorites repeated. That’s also why they start over alphabetically twice.

59th St. Bridge Song Simon & Garfunkel
A Beautiful Life Bill Monroe
A Real Slow Drag Scott Joplin
Above My Head, I hear Music In The Air Gas House Gang
All Shook Up Elvis Presley
Arkansas Blues Eubie Blake
Arkansas Ramble Mary Flower
At Last Etta James
Backwater Blues Albert Ammons
Bad Moon Rising Creedence
Barnyard Shuffle Chet Atkins
Basin Street Blues Bing Crosby
Beat Me Daddy Andrews Sisters
Bert Williams Butch Thompson
Betty & Dupree Peter Paul & Mary
Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home The Weavers
Blowing Bubbles Boogie Carl Sonny Leyland
Blue Champagne Manhattan Transfer
Blue Moon Marcels
Blues Stay Away from Me (feat. Eg Kight) Lisa Biales
Boll Weevil Blues Eubie Blake
Boogie Woogie Stomp Carl Sonny Leyland
Boy From New York City Manhattan Transfer
But on the Other Hand Baby Etta Baker
Buxtehude organ Buxtehude
Call Me Blondie
Carle Boogie Frankie Carle
Cataract Rag Scott Joplin
Chain of Fools Aretha Franklin
Chattanooga Choo Choo Glen Miller
Cool Water Sons of the Pioneers
Country Honk Rolling Stones
Creole Belles unknown
Crow Jane Etta Baker
CSL Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Dancin the Boogie Sylvan Zingg
Daydream Lovin’ Spoonful
Days Beyond Recall Trebor Tichenor
Deep Ellum Blues Bill Foss & Meredith Axelrod
Delta Crossroads Stefan Grossman
Dengozo Ragtime Skedaddlers
Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind Lovin’ Spoonful
Dixie Blossoms Ragtime Skedaddlers
Dixie Queen Trebor Tichenor
Dueling Banjos Keith Billik
Easier Said Than Done The Essex
Eubie’s Boogie Eubie Blake
Fare Thee Honey Blues Lisa Biales
Fennario Joan Baez
Fizz Water Eubie Blake
Foggy Mountain Breakdown Osborne Brothers
Forty-Second Street Boswell Sisters
Gee Whiz Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Get Rhythm Rev. Horton Heat
Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones
Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Etta Baker
Good Vibrations Beach Boys
Grapevine Gaye Marvin Gaye
Hammerhead Carl Sonny Leyland
Handful of Keys Judy Carmichael
Heart Of Glass Blondie
He’ll Have to Go Jim Reeves
Henri’s Boogie Henri Herbert
Hey Baby Bruce Channel
Hit the Road Jack Ray Charles
Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody
I Ain’t Got Nobody Judy Carmichael
I am a Pilgrim Doc Watson
I Feel Good James Brown
I Got You, Babe Sonny and Cher
I like It Like That Chris Kenner
If You Don’t Want Me Blues Eubie Blake
I’m Walkin Fats Domino
It Don’t Mean a Thing Rooftop Singers
Jackhammer Blues The Weavers
Java Jive Manhattan Transfer
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring Leo Kottke
Jingles James P. Johnson
Jitters Mary Flower
Just Walk On In unknown
Keep A Knockin Little Richard
Kilakila Slack Raymond Kane
Lady Madonna The Beatles
Lei ‘Awapuhi (Yellow Ginger Lei) Bob Brozman
Let the Good Times Roll Lee & Shirley
Let’s Twist Again Chubby Checker
Leyenda Thibaut Garcia
Lollipop Chordettes
Long Tall Sally Little Richard
Loud Boogie Preacher Jack
Lucille Little Richard
Malaguena Chet Atkins
Maple Leaf Rag Joshua Rifkind
Memphis Blues Eubie Blake
Midnight Special Leadbelly
Miss Delta Mary Flower
Mission Bell Donnie Brooks
Mississippi Mud McGuire Sisters
Moonlight Boogie Preacher Jack
Mr Freddy Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Mule Skinner Blues Fendermen
Music Hall Stomp unknown
Music in the Air Gas House Gang
My Dixie Darlin Nashville Bluegrass Band
Na Hoa Slack Raymond Kane
Night Owl Blues Lovin’ Spoonful
Night Train Buddy Morrow
NutRocker B. Bumble
Old Time Rock & Roll Bob Seger
On The Road Again Canned Heat
Operator Manhattan Transfer
Orange Blossom Special The Bluegrass Band
Over In The Gloryland Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Pallett on Your Dirty Floor Stefan Grossman
Peter Gunn Theme Blues Brothers
Pierre’s Blues Andrea Valeri
Pinetop’s Boogie Bing Crosby
Police Dog Blues Stefan Grossman
Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Quarter to Three Gary U.S. Bonds
Rabson Blue Boogie Ann Rabson
Radio Hula Leward Kaapana
Ragtime Nightmare Ton Van Bergeyk
Railroad Bill Etta Baker
Rainbeau medley Craig Ventresco
Raise the Devil Mary Flower
Raunchy Bill Justis
Reelin and a Rockin Chuck Berry
Rockin’ Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu Johnny Rivers
Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
Route 66 3 Men & a Melody
Rueben’s Train Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Runaway Del Shannon
Saint Louis Blues Boswell Sisters
Sea Cruise Frankie Ford
See See Rider Stefan Grossman
San Francisco Bay Blues Peter Paul & Mary
Shimmy Like My Sister Kate Ditty Bops
Shirt Tail Stomp Benny Goodman
Shoeshine Man Tom T. Hall
Short PHC Rag Prairie Home Companion
Shuffle Boogie Albert Ammons
Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman
Sixteen Tons Gas House Gang
Someone To Love Buddy Holly
Something Doing Craig Ventresco
South Nashville Blues Steve Earle
Spanish Fandango Etta Baker
Spirit In The Sky Norman Greenbaum
St Louis Blues Doc Watson
Stackalee unknown
Statesboro Blues Roy Bookbinder
Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees
Stompin The Grapes Trebor Tichenor
Suitcase Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Sunday Street Dave Van Ronk
Swanee George Gershwin
Take a Chance on Me ABBA
Take Five Dave Brubeck
Tequila Champs
The Crave Butch Thompson
The End Of Our Road Gladys Knight
The Midnight Special The Weavers
The Millwhistle Jalan Crossland
The Stars and Stripes Forever Eubie Blake
Things Is ‘Bout Comin’ My Way Mike Dowling
Think Katharine McPhee
Distant Lights Trebor Tichenor
Tim Sparks Guitar Boogie Tim Sparks
Tutti-Frutti Little Richard
Tuxedo Junction Glen Miller
Tweedlee Dee LaVern Baker
Untitled Ammons Original Albert Ammons
Walk (Back to Your Arms) Tami Neilson
Walk Don’t Run Ventures
Warm Baby Lovin’ Spoonful
Wayward Wind Gogi Grant
When I Go Walkin Jim Henry & Brooks Williams
When You’re Next To Me (Album Version) Mitch & Mickey
Will The Circle Be Unbroken Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Wipeout Surfaris
Yazoo Basin Boogie Stefan Grossman
Yes, You Done It Carl Sonny Leyland
Yonder Come the Blues Lisa Biales
You Got to Know How Lisa Biales
Zorba the Greek Chet Atkins
88er on Decatur Carl Sonny Leyland
96 Tears Question Mark & the Mysterions
A String of Pearls Glen Miller
Alexander’s Ragtime Band Eubie Blake
Anything Goes Cole Porter
Apache Ventures
Apeda Rag Trebor Tichenor
Arkansas Blues Eubie Blake
Arkansas Ramble Mary Flower
At Last Etta James
Baltimore Todolo Eubie Blake
Barrelhouse Drag Carl Sonny Leyland
Bloomington Breakdown (Live) Craig Brenner
Blow Your Whistle Delmore Brothers
Blue Champagne Manhattan Transfer
Blue Fandango Mike Dowling
Boogie Bugle Boy Andrews Andrews Sisters
Boogie Woogie Dance Mary Flower
Boxcar Boogie Dr. John
Bumble Boogie B. Bumble
Buxtehude organ (regal) Buxtehude
Careless Love Pinetop Perkins
Charleston Rag Eubie Blake
Colonial Glide Trebor Tichenor
Come Softly to Me Fleetwoods
Completely Caro Emerald
Corrina, Corrina Mickey Baker
Creole Belles Ragtime Skedaddlers
Crow Jane Stefan Grossman
CSL unknown Carl Sonny Leyland
Dangerous Blues Eubie Blake
Deep Purple Nino Temple & April Stevens
Deep River Blues Doc Watson
Dixie Queen Trebor Tichenor
Dogtown Blues Bob Crosby
Done Tore Your Playhouse Down Carl Sonny Leyland
Don’t Bring Me Down Electric Light Orchestra
Down the Road Apiece Chuck Berry
Downhome Blues Daddy Stovepipe
Dream Rag Eubie Blake
Drivin’ Blues Pat Donohoe
E and N Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Easy Street Stefan Grossman
Eubie’s Boogie Eubie Blake
Fare Thee Honey Blues Eubie Blake
Fizz Water Eubie Blake
Freight Train Peter Paul & Mary
Get In Line Marty Stuart
Gettin’ It Done Butch Thompson
Gin Mill Blues Bob Crosby
Goin Back Delmore Brothers
Goin’ To Sit Down On The Banks Of The River Mary Flower
Going Up The Country Canned Heat
Good Golly Miss Molly Little Richard
Granada Maestro Jerard
Grapevine Creedence
Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis
Guitar Rag Merle Travis
Hard, Ain’t It Hard Cisco Houston
Harlem Parlor Blues Sammy Price
Heart Of Glass Blondie
He’ll Have to Go Jim Reeves
Henri’s Boogie Henri Herbert
He’s So Fine Chiffons
Hilo E-E Lili’u E Bob Brozman
Honkin’ Jerry Reed
Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody
Hudson River Rag Trebor Tichenor
I Got a Woman Ray Charles
I Got Rhythm Medley Max Q
I’m Blue (Gong Gong song) Ikettes
I’m Mississippi Bound Delmore Brothers
I’m Saved Uppity Blues women
In the Mood Glen Miller
It Don’t Mean a Thing Rooftop Singers
It’s All Over Now Rolling Stones
Jerry’s Breakdown Jerry Reed
K.C. Man Blues Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Kansas City Wilbert Harrison
Kilakila Slack Raymond Kane
King of the Road Roger Miller
Last Night Mar-Keys
Let’s Dance Chris Montez
Locomotion Little Eva
Maple Leaf Rag Ragtime Skedaddlers
Memphis Blues Doc Watson
Mend Concert Piece 1 Clarinet Bassett Horn Pt 2 Prague Philharmonic
Midnight Steppers Carl Sonny Leyland
Mississippi Blues #3 Stefan Grossman
Mule Skinner Fendermen Fendermen
Music in the Air Gas House Gang
My Dixie Darlin Nashville Bluegrass Band
My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Near the Cross I Watch and Pray Etta Baker
New Orleans Gary U.S. Bonds
Night Train Buddy Morrow
Nyquil Blues Alvin Crow
Old Joe Clark Jim Greer
Old Time Rock & Roll Bob Seger
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service John Barry
On the Mississippi Claude Bolling
One Fine Day Chiffons
One Kind Favor Lightnin’ Hopkins
Over In The Gloryland Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Peter Gunn Theme Blues Brothers
Pinafore (When I Was a Lad) D’Oyly Carte Opera Co.
Pineapple Rag Ton Van Bergeyk
Police Dog Blues Etta Baker
Rabson Blue Boogie Ann Rabson
Rag Mama Tom Rush
Ragtime Blues unknown
Raise the Devil Mary Flower
Rock and Roll Music Beach Boys
School Day Chuck Berry
Schubert’s Unfinished (intro) Chicago Symphony
Sensation Guido Nielsen
Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia Meredith Axelrod
Shirt Tail Stomp Benny Goodman
Shop Around Miracles
Siboney Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Sittin’ Here Pickin’ the Blues Doc Watson
So Fine The Fiestas
So Spaketh the Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Solace Ton Van Bergeyk
Son of a Preacher Man Erma Franklin
Southside Stuff Carl Sonny Leyland
St. Louis Blues John Fahey
Stagger Lee Lloyd Price
Statesboro Blues Pat Donohoe
Sugar Lisa Biales
Summer in the City Lovin’ Spoonful
Sunday Street Dave Van Ronk
Sunny Afternoon Kinks
Sweet Man Jelly Roll Morton
Sword Dance Sergi Vicente
Take a Chance on Me ABBA
Teasin’ Rag Eubie Blake
That’ll Be The Day Buddy Holly
The Claw Jerry Reed
The Entertainer Ragtime Skedaddlers
The Good Fellow Blues Eubie Blake
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ Nancy Sinatra
Think Aretha Franklin
This Train The Weavers
Three in One Boogie Memphis Slim
Tim Sparks Mississippi Blues Tim Sparks
Travelin’ Band Creedence
Tripling the Bass Carl Sonny Leyland
Tweedlee Dee LaVern Baker
Vatican Rag Tom Lehrer
Walk (Back to Your Arms) Tami Neilson
Walk Right In Glen Campbell
When You’re Next To Me (Album Version) Mitch & Mickey
Will The Circle Be Unbroken Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Windy and Warm Tommy Emmanuel
Wipeout Donna Langdon Stearns
Yakety Axe Chet Atkins
Yancey’s Bugle Call Carl Sonny Leyland
Yonder Come the Blues Lisa Biales
You Really Got Me Kinks
12th Street Boogie Preacher Jack
409 Beach Boys
A Fifth of Beethoven Walter Murphy
Anything Goes Cole Porter
Arkansas Blues Eubie Blake
Arkansas Ramble Mary Flower
At Last Etta James
At the Hop Danny and the Juniors
Baby Love Supremes
Bach Prelude #1 Ramiro Schiavoni
Ballin’ the Jack John James
Barbra Ann Regents
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea Bob Crosby
Black Bottom Stomp Butch Thompson
Blackberry Blossom Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Blue Champagne Manhattan Transfer
Blue Railroad Train Doc Watson
Blues In The Night Billy May
Boogie Woogie Washer Woman Andrews Sisters
Breathless Jerry Lee Lewis
Brown’s Ferry Blues Doc Watson
Bugle Corps Rag unknown
By My Side Barbara Acklin
Bye Bye Love Everly Brothers
Cannonball Rag Lenny Breau
Carol of the Bells Robin Bullock
Chantilly Lace Big Bopper
Chicken Chowder Ragtime Skedaddlers
Chinese Blues George Gershwin
Coffee Rag Trebor Tichenor
Come to Me Lisa Biales
Contentment Guido Nielsen
Country In My Genes Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Cow Cow Boogie Ella May Morse
Cowboy Man Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Crazy Blues Eubie Blake
Dancing In The Street Mamas and the Papas
Danza Muriel Anderson
Davis-Travis Rag Roy Bookbinder
Deep In The Ozarks Trebor Tichenor
Different Times Laurence Juber
Do Not Pass Me By Prairie Home Companion
Dogtown Blues Bob Crosby
Don’t Tell Your Monkey Man Eubie Blake
Drive Time Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Early Hours Carl Sonny Leyland
Fare Thee Honey Blues Eubie Blake
Fast Boogie Preacher Jack
Fever Louis Prima
Finger Poppin Time Hank Ballard
Fizz Water Eubie Blake
Flight of the Bumble Bee Jose Feliciano
Get Up John Doc Watson
Ghost Riders in the Sky Sons of the Pioneers
Good Day Sunshine Beatles
Grapevine Marvin Gaye
Green Onions Booker T & the MGs
Heart Of Glass Blondie
He’ll Have to Go Jim Reeves
Honey Babe Blues Doc Watson
Honky Tonk Rag Country Gentlemen
Hop Scop Blues Meredith Axelrod
Hot Rod Lincoln Commander Cody
I can’t sit down unknown
I Got Rhythm Medley Max Q
I Hear You Knockin’ Smiley Lewis
If I Needed You Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Imi au la ‘Oe Keola Beamer
Imperial March John Williams
Inspector Gadget Riccardo Bonci
It Don’t Mean a Thing Rooftop Singers
It’s Right Here For You Eubie Blake
Jamaica Farewell Harry Belafonte
Jambalaya Hank Williams
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring Michael Chapdelaine
Jimtown Blues Carl Sonny Leyland
Johnny B Goode Chuck Berry
Jungle Blues Benny Goodman
Kansas City Stomp Butch Thompson
Kilakila Slack Raymond Kane
Kindhearted Woman Blues unknown
La Vida breve, opera, G 35- Danza Sergi Vicente
Last Kind Word Blues Mary Flower
Last Train to Clarksville Monkees
Liloa’s Mele Sonny Chillingworth
Lily Rag Eubie Blake
Loves Me Like a Rock Alison Krauss
Mac’s Boogie Dr. John
Main Street Blues Mary Flower
Maybellene Chuck Berry
(MChapdelaine) Grapevine Michael Chapdelaine
Memphis Lonnie Mack
Midnight Rambler Rolling Stones
Midnight Special Glen Campbell
Mind Heist London Music Works
Minute Waltz (No 4) Arthur Rubinstein
Money, Money, Money ABBA
Mule Skinner Blues Fendermen
Music in the Air Gas House Gang
My Dixie Darlin Nashville Bluegrass Band
My Old Man unknown
Night Train Buddy Morrow
Non-Stop Boogie Pt1 Preacher Jack
Oculus ex Eterni Symphony X
Oh Boy Buddy Holly
Old Hymns Gas House Gang
Old Time Rock & Roll Bob Seger
Ole Miss Rag Scott Joplin
Over In The Gloryland Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Peaches And Cream Ragtime Skedaddlers
Peggy Sue Buddy Holly
Pepper Sauce Ragtime Skedaddlers
Peter Gunn Theme Blues Brothers
PHC Jug Band Prairie Home Companion
Police Dog Blues Stefan Grossman
Powderhouse Rag Jason Harrod
Preacher Jack pt2 Preacher Jack
Proud Mary Creedence
Put Your Brakes On John Campbelljohn
Rabson Blue Boogie Ann Rabson
Ragtime Band 53 sec G R Sol
Ragtime_Piano unknown
Railroad Boy Goldebriars
Raise the Devil Mary Flower
Recuerdos de la Alhambra Christopher Parkening
Rescue Me Fontella Bass
Ring of Fire Johnny Cash
Rip It Up Little Richard
Route 66 3 Men & a Melody
Sabre Dance Loris Tjeknavorian
Sawmill Piano Men Carl Sonny Leyland
Sea Cruise Frankie Ford
She’s Not There Zombies
Shirt Tail Stomp Benny Goodman
Shout for Albert Carl Sonny Leyland
Silver Bell Craig Ventresco
Simple Gifts Muriel Anderson
Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman
Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Sitting on Top of the World Doc Watson
Slow Boogie Preacher Jack
Sogno Di Primavera Craig Ventresco
Cumberland Gap Flatt & Scruggs
Spann’s Stomp Otis Spann
Spikedriver Blues Doc Watson
Spirit In The Sky Norman Greenbaum
Statesboro Blues Roy Bookbinder
Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees
Stompin on the Rapahannock Leo Kottke
Sugar Babe Mark Spoelstra
Sun Flower Slow Drag Brent Watkins
Sunday Street Dave Van Ronk
Surfin’ USA Beach Boys
Sweet Georgia Brown Doc Watson
Sweet Home Chicago unknown
Sweet Little 16 Chuck Berry
T S Eliot Society Rag Trebor Tichenor
Take a Chance on Me ABBA
Take your burden to the Lord Prairie Home Companion
Teen Beat Sandy Nelson
Tequila & Green Onions Pat Donohoe
That Cherry Rag Trebor Tichenor
The Double Eagle Country Gentlemen
The Down Home Blues Eubie Blake
Think Katharine McPhee
Think It Over Buddy Holly
Tobasco Ragtime Skedaddlers
Trouble in Mind unknown
Turkey Knob Country Gentlemen
Tuxedo Junction Manhattan Transfer
Tweedlee Dee LaVern Baker
Two of a Kind Pat Donohoe & Mike Dowling
Unchain My Heart Ray Charles
Walk (Back to Your Arms) Tami Neilson
Walkin n Squawkin Carl Sonny Leyland
Waltz in A-flat (Brahms) Chet Atkins
West Virginia (gospel) Prairie Home Companion
What’d I Say Ray Charles
Wheels String-A-Longs
When You Want ‘Em George Gershwin
When You’re Next To Me (Album Version) Mitch & Mickey
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On Jerry Lee Lewis
Will The Circle Be Unbroken Broken Circle Bluegrass Band
Yakety Yak Coasters
Yancey On State Street Carl Sonny Leyland
Yonder Come the Blues Lisa Biales
You Never can Tell Chuck Berry

One last note: my playlists change regularly. If you’d seen them three years ago, they’d have been quite different. In three years, they will also have changed. I’m not claiming that this list represents a final realization of the unquestioned best in music.

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