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FUV Essential Songs: Artist Picks

A companion to the Essential Songs Listener Poll, and the WFUV Staff Picks. [2006 poll]

Scroll down or jump to:
Janis Ian | Jonatha Brooke | Phoebe Snow | Jill Sobule | The Kennedys | Lucy Kaplansky | Steve Forbert | Ellis Paul | Christine Lavin

Janis Ian

  • "It's All Right, Ma" - Bob Dylan
  • "First We Take Manhattan" - Leonard Cohen
  • "Moon River"
  • "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
  • "In the Pines" - Leadbelly
  • "I Cover the Waterfront" - Billie Holiday version preferred
  • "I Loves You, Porgy" - Nina Simone version preferred
  • "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)" - Don McLean
  • "It Ain't Necessarily So"
  • "Why'd Ya Do It" - Marianne Faithful

Jonatha Brooke

  • "Altar Boy" - Rickie Lee Jones
  • "The Best of My Love" - The Emotions
  • "Hallelujah" - Jeff Buckley
  • "Ain't Nobody" - Chaka Khan & Rufus
  • "Paranoid Android" - Radiohead
  • "I Have a Love" - from "West Side Story"
  • "She's Leaving Home" - The Beatles

Phoebe Snow

  • "Kashmir" - Led Zep
  • "Foxy Lady" or "Purple Haze" - Jimi Hendrix
  • "Thankful and Thoughtful" or "Let Me Have It All" - Sly (from "Fresh," introduced to those by Andy Newmark)
  • "All I Want" - Joni Mitchell
  • "Georgia on My Mind" - Ray Charles
  • "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" - Charlie Parker, with strings
  • "They Can't Take That Away from Me" - Fred Astaire or Louis Armstrong
  • "Fell on Black Days" - Soundgarden
  • "Wouldn't It Be Nice" or "Don't Worry Baby" - The Beach Boys
  • "I Only Have Eyes for You" - The Flamingos
  • "Don't Let It Bring You Down" - Neil Young
  • "Caravan" - Van Morrison
  • "It's a Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" - Bob Dylan
  • Couldn't pick one Beatles song (can't extract one song from an album)

Jill Sobule

Wow! This is tough.

  • "Somewhere" - Tom Waits
  • "She's Leaving Home" - Beatles
  • "Love is Everything" - Jane Siberry
  • "Ooh Child" - The 5 Stairsteps
  • "Ziggy Stardust" - David Bowie

The Kennedys

Pete and Maura say, 'we'd pick different songs on different days.'

  • "Change is Gonna Come" - Sam Cooke
  • "Mr. Tambourine Man" - Bob Dylan
  • "This Moment" - Victoria Williams
  • "Walk On" - U2
  • "What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye
  • "When I Go" - Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer

Plus: Five Essential Instrumentals

  • "My Foolish Heart" - Bill Evans
  • "Sketches of Spain" - Miles Davis
  • "Flamenco Sketches" - Miles Davis
  • "The Lark Ascending" - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • "The Girl With the Flaxen Hair" - Claude Debussy

Lucy Kaplansky

Very tough to figure this out!

  • "A Case of You" - Joni Mitchell
  • "Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell
  • "Grevious Angel" - Gram Parsons
  • "Quitting Time" - Maggie Roche
  • "When I Get to the Border" - Richard Thompson

Steve Forbert

  • "Stardust" - Louis Armstrong
    (the 1931 classic that starts off the Ken Burns Jazz CD from the PBS special)
  • "Whiter Shade of Pale" - Procol Harum
  • "Cry for Me Baby" - Elmore James
  • "Black Magic Woman" - Santana
  • "Sweet and Dandy" - Toots & the Maytals
  • "Theme from A Summer Place" - Percy Faith & His Orchestra
  • "Surf's Up" - The Beach Boys
  • "Machine Gun" - The Commodores (instrumental)
  • "The Modern Age" - The Strokes

Ellis Paul

10 favorite pop songs:
(Great songs, that happened to go ka-ching for those who wrote 'em)

  • "Fire And Rain" - James Taylor
  • "You Don't Know Me" - Ray Charles
  • "Heart of Gold" - Neil Young
  • "Maggie Mae" - Rod Stewart
  • "Sonny Came Home" - Shawn Colvin
  • "Cat's In The Cradle" - Harry Chapin
  • "One" - U2
  • "Lose Yourself" - Eminem
  • "Hey Jude" - The Beatles
  • "Imagine" - John Lennon

10 favorite folk songs:
(Songs about the human condition)

  • "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol" - Bob Dylan
  • "Christmas in Washington" - Steve Earle
  • "Judas" - Antje Duvekot
  • "When I Was a Boy" - Dar Williams
  • "Birches.. Bill Morrissey
  • "Angel From Montgomery" - John Prine
  • "Deportees" - Woody Guthrie
  • "Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell
  • "American Pie" - Don McClean
  • "The City of New Orleans" - Steve Goodman

10 favorite singer songwriter songs:
(Personal tales of loves and woes)

  • "32 Flavors" - Ani DiFranco
  • "Magnolia Street" - Catie Curtis
  • "I Saw An Stranger With Your Hair" - John Gorka
  • "Arrow" - Cheryl Wheeler
  • "The Other Side" - Don Conoscenti
  • "Ten Year Night" - Lucy Kaplansky
  • "Are You Happy Now?" - Richard Shindell
  • "May I Suggest" - Susan Werner
  • "Unfamiliar Moon" - Vance Gilbert
  • "Ain't Life A Brook" - Ferron

Christine Lavin

These are among the songs I like to play before a show, and they always put me in a happy mood!

  • "Stars" - Barbara Cook
  • "Guinevere" - Robin Batteau & David Buskin
  • "It Was A Very Good Year" - Frank Sinatra
  • "Mr. Sandman" - The Chordettes
  • "Famous Blue Raincoat" - By Leonard Cohen, but sung by Jennifer Warnes
  • "The Blizzard" - Judy Collins
  • "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" - Pete Seeger
  • "The Dutchman" - Steve Goodman
  • "Like To Get To Know You" - Spanky & Our Gang
  • "Passing Trains" - Andy Breckman