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May 1st, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist kicked off with a pick from The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza: "Marry Me" by St. Vincent, a track off of the indie singer from Oklahoma's debut album. Ryan also picked Rufus Wainwright's "Out of the Game" and "Dig Me Out" by Sleater-Kinney.

Christine Romans, who guest anchored Early Start this morning, contributed a couple of songs to our playlist. Up first was "Notorious" by Duran Duran. It was just announced that the band will be part of the celebrations at the Olympics this summer. Christine's next pick was The Bravery's "Slow Poison."'s Will Cain contributed a few songs to today's playlist as well, starting with "Hi'ilawe" by John Cruz, which can be found on the soundtrack to the new Hawaii Five-0. Will also picked Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink," which was a number one country hit for the legendary singer.

Tom Waits made political comedian John Fugelsang's playlist this morning, with "Jockey Full of Bourbon." Last fall, after a career spanning four decades, Waits scored his first top ten album with Bad as Me. John also picked the Siouxsie and the Banshees version of "Dear Prudence," the 1968 Beatles classic. This particular cover reached number three on the UK pop chart in 1983.

Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. appeared on today's Starting Point, and he brought a few soulful classics with him: Barry White's "Theme From Together Brothers," "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."

Other music from today's show included the waltz from Faust (author David Frum's pick), Finger Eleven's "Paralyzer," a pick by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta,  and Nelly's "Just a Dream."

Do you have a favorite song that you would like to hear on SP? Give us a suggestion in the comments box below, and you might hear your pick on a future episode of Starting Point! Plus follow us on Twitter at @StartingPtCNN!

April 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, April 29, 2012


Gordon Chang of kicked off today's playlist with "Gimme Shelter," the Rolling Stones classic that Rolling Stone (the magazine, not the band) called the 38th greatest song of all time.

"With or Without You" by U2 made Christine Romans' playlist this morning. The 1987 number one hit also made the Rolling Stone best-of list, and is one of U2's most recognizable songs. Christine also picked Coldplay's "In My Place," a Grammy-winning 2002 hit for the band.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," from the duo's 2011 collaboration Watch the Throne was Steve Perry's playlist pick today. The album from the two rap giants was one of the most successful releases of last year.

Will Cain's first pick today was Dwight Yoakam's "Guitars, Cadillacs," a track from the country singer's debut album. Yoakam is reportedly readying a new album for release later this year, his first in seven years. Will also picked "Feelin' Good Again" by Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

Author Richard Miniter stopped by the Starting Point set today and brought along Rod Stewart's "Maggie May." The song achieved huge chart success upon its release it 1971: it topped the singles charts on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time its parent album Every Picture Tells a Story topped the album charts.

Roy Orbison's "Workin' For The Man" made author Ronald Kessler's playlist this morning. Orbison, who had a hit with the song in 1962, had a career resurgence in the late eighties thanks in part to his work with the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.

CNN Sr. Political Analyst Ron Brownstein was a panelist on today's SP and contributed a couple of song's for the playlist: "Girls Talk" by Dave Edmunds and Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising." The latter song was written by Springsteen in response to the September 11th attacks, and takes on a new meaning today as the new One World Trade Center rises above the Empire State Building to become the tallest building in New York City.

Actor and director  Bobcat Goldthwait was a guest on today's Starting Point and he contributed a couple of songs for our playlist: Billy Bragg's "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward" and "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks.

April 26th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, April 26, 2012


Today's Starting Point with guest anchor Christine Romans began with a pick from Jose Antonio Vargas' playlist: "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys. The song was a number one hit for the duo in 2009, and prompted Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg to release their west coast response song "California Gurls."

Kelly Clarkson's smash hit "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"  made Abby Huntsman's playlist this morning. The song has topped practically every chart around, including the Hot 100, Hot Pop Songs and Hot Dance Club Songs. Abby also picked Eric Church's top-ten country hit "Springsteen" and the Allman Brothers classic "Rambin' Man."

Kevin Powell's playlist pick today was John Mayer's Grammy-winning hit "Waiting on the World to Change." Mayer's new album Born and Raised is set to be released on May 22nd.

"Threadbare Gypsy Soul" by Pat Green made Will Cain's playlist this morning. Green also has a new album on the horizon: Songs We Wish We Written II, a followup to his 2001 covers album, is due May 8th.

Captain Fraser Hall and First Mate Peter Hammarstedt of Animal Planet's Whale Wars stopped by Starting Point today and brought along "Soul Meets Boy," a song by Death Cab For Cutie. The track, off of their 2005 album Plans, was their first song to chart in the U.S., peaking just outside of the Top 40.

Legendary actress and singer Lynda Carter visited Starting Point today. In honor of the one and only Wonder Woman, we played a few tracks off of Lynda's most recent album, 2011's Crazy Little Things. Up first was "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," along with "C'est La Vie" and "Jessie's Song," which she wrote for her daughter.

"Lover Come Back To Me" by Dinah Washington was John Fugelsang's pick today. We also played John Fogerty's "Centerfield" and One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."

For more information on our playlists and guests, follow Starting Point on Twitter: @StartingPtCNN

April 24th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today's Starting Point playlist began with a pick from Cmdr. Kirk Lippold: "Human" by The Killers, track from the group's 2008 album Day & Age. Cmdr. Lippold also picked "Learning to Fly" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Coldplay's recent Grammy-nominated hit "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall."

Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics visited our show today and brought along "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang. The song is credited with popularizing hip hop in contemporary music.  

Frequent SP panelist and political comedian John Fugelsang's first pick today was "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" by The Pogues. The Irish band has had surprising digital success in recent years with their Christmas-themed song "Fairytale of New York," which has re-charted in the UK every year since 2005.

The Blaze's Will Cain's first song choice this morning was "All The Rage In Paris" by The Derailers. The Texas-based country group was featured in the 2006 Stephen King short story Willa. Cain also picked The Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," which is widely considered to be one of the greatest songs of all time.

Speaking of legends, NFL great Dan Marino stopped by the show this morning, and contributed a song to our playlist: Hootie & The Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be With You." The track is from the group's 1994 album Cracked Rear View, which is one of the best selling albums of all time.

Christine Romans picked a couple of songs for today's playlist. Up first was Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," and Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Him."

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz also made an appearance on today's Starting Point, and her playlist pick was OneRepublic's smash hit "Good Life."

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta contributed a song as well: Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)."

Other songs on today's playlist include Lady Gaga's number one hit "Poker Face," Louis Armstrong's "When The Saints Go Marching In," and the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

April 23rd, 2012
10:22 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, April 23, 2012


We kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with a pick from political comedian John Fugelsang: M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," her biggest hit to date. The singer recently came under fire after she made an offensive gesture during the Super Bowl halftime show. Fugelsang also picked the classic jazz song "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck.

CNN contributor and The Blaze columnist Will Cain's playlist pick today was "Up Against the Wall, Red Neck" by Jerry Jeff Walker. The seventy-year old country singer has been making music for over forty-five years.

Rep. Ted Poe (R, TX) was a guest panelist on today's SP and he brought along Toby Keith's 2003 number one country hit "Beer For My Horses." The song was adapted into a feature length film in 2008, and starred Keith alongside Willie Nelson and Ted Nugent.

Early Start anchor Zoraida Sambolin did the news hits for Starting Point today, and she also contributed a song to our playlist: "Rabiosa" by Shakira feat. Pitbull. The song was a worldwide smash, reaching number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

Massachusetts congressman Ed Markey picked The Alan Parsons Project's "Eye in the Sky." Parsons has also been involved in music production, and was an engineer on the legendary Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon.

We also featured a few songs today that had to do with the day's top stories. Author James Gleick was here to promote his new book on information overload, "The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood." Fittingly, we played "Information Overload" by Living Colour.

The theme from Jaws by John Williams made perfect sense after a boy in a kayak caught a shark, as did Alice Cooper's "School's Out," as the debate for longer school days heats up. And, if you are experiencing this spring nor'easter, you'll understand why we picked Bing Crosby's "Snow."

April 19th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, April 19, 2012


Soledad O'Brien picked a few classics for today's Starting Point playlist. Up first was "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. Rolling Stone magazine recently called the track the best guitar song of all time. Soledad also picked The Everly Brothers' "All I Have to Do Is Dream," James Brown's "Living in America" and "Bandstand Boogie," the theme song of the long-running classic TV show American Bandstand, which was hosted by Dick Clark, who passed away yesterday at 82.

One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" was Abby Huntsman's first pick this morning. The smash hit is currently charting at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The number one spot right now is held by Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know," and another Gotye song made Abby's playlist today: "Eyes Wide Open." Both songs can be found on his latest album Making Mirrors.

Abby also picked a couple of throwback favorites today: Kenny Chesney's 2006 country number one "Summertime" and Gwen Stefani's massive 2005 hit "Hollaback Girl," which was the first song to sell over a million downloads.

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza's song choices today were Radiohead's "Creep," "Simple Song" by The Shins, and The Band's "The Weight." Former Band singer Levon Helm announced this week that he was in the final stages in his battle with cancer.

The 1977 Waylon Jennings classic "Lukenbach, Texas" was Will Cain's first pick this morning. He also picked Cory Morrow's "Nashville Blues" and "Some Girls," the title track from The Rolling Stones' 1978 hit album.

Our own Christine Romans selected a couple of rock songs for today's playlist: the Kings of Leon's "Radioactive" and Paul McCartney's Wings classic "Live and Let Die."

Finally, Shaun King of the new website contributed a couple of picks to today's show: Jonny Lang's "Don't Stop (For Anything)" and Kanye West's "Through the Wire."

April 17th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We kicked off today's Starting Point with a song picked by Panelist Will Cain: "Californication" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were among the musical acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last weekend. The Peppers are one of a select group of artists who are still active and successful at the time of their induction– their song "Look Around" is a current top twenty hit on the Rock and Alternative charts. Cain also picked "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon Jennings.

"Mama, I'm Coming Home" by Ozzy Osbourne made John Zarrella's playlist today. Believe it or not, this song is Ozzy's only top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, despite a career spanning over four decades.

John Fugelsang's first song pick today was Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything." The track is off of Hill's 1998 debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which is one of the most successful albums ever. It has sold over seven million copies and was nominated for a record ten Grammys. Fugelsang also picked "Jockey Full of Bourbon" by Tom Waits.

The Cuban hip-hop group the Orishas made Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill's playlist this morning with "Represent." The song can be found on the soundtrack to the 2004 film Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

"Shattered" from The Rolling Stones' 1978 album Some Girls was Soledad O'Brien's first playlist pick today. Soledad also picked "Mr. Telephone Man" by New Edition. The original members of the group recently reunited and are currently touring the U.S.

Early Start anchor Zoraida Sambolin contributed a couple of songs to today's playlist. First up was "La Tortura" by Shakira and Alejandro Sanz. The 2005 hit is the best selling Spanish language single of the past ten years. Zoraida also picked Marc Anthony's "I Need to Know." Like Shakira, Anthony has achieved bilingual success– this song was one of his most successful English tracks.

U2's 2004 smash "Vertigo" was Rep. Jeb Hensarling's playlist pick today. The song won three Grammys for the band, who have a total of 22, more than any other band in history.

Marc Lamont Hill's second pick today was "They Reminisce Over You" by Pete Rock and CL Smooth. The track is a tribute to a friend of the group who passed away, Troy "Trouble T Roy" Dixon. Hill also picked "Tears Dry on Their Own" by Amy Winehouse. The late singer recently won a posthumous Grammy along with Tony Bennett for their duet "Boy and Soul."

Tupac Shakur's "Untouchable" was featured on today's SP. Tupac has been back in the headlines recently after a hologram of the late rapper performed at last weekend's Coachella Music Festival.

The Bill Withers classic "Lean on Me" was Rep. Elijah Cummings' song selection this morning. The song topped the charts in 1972, and returned to the top fifteen years later as covered by R&B group Club Nouveau.

Soledad's next pick was Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama," the title track from Blige's 2001 hit album. Blige has won nine Grammy awards, ranging from Best Rap Album to Best Gospel Performance.

Drake's "Take Care" made an appearance on today's show, as did Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home," another of Fugelsang's picks. Former baseball start Jim Abbott also contributed a couple of picks: Ray LaMontagne's "Three More Days" and "Racing in the Street" by Bruce Springsteen. 

April 16th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Monday, April 16, 2012


Boyz II Men, the number one R&B group of all time, made an appearance on today's Starting Point, and Soledad picked a few of their biggest hits, as well as some tracks from their new album Twenty for today's playlist.

"Motownphilly" was our first pick today, and it was likewise the Boyz's first single in 1991, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Up next was "All Around the World," a track from their second album II which was their first number one album.

Their second single, which peaked at number two, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," also made our playlist, as well as "On Bended Knee." The latter song, a 1994 smash, solidified the groups place in history: they replaced themselves atop the Hot 100 with that song, being the first artist to do so since The Beatles did it thirty years earlier.

Switching gears, Abby Huntsman's contribution today was Good Charlotte's hit "The Anthem." Huntsman contributed to a diverse bunch of songs chosen by today's panel.  John Fugelsang's pick was "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," a track from Bob Dylan's most recent album Together Through Life. Pat Green's "Me and Billy the Kid" and "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty rounded out the panel picks, coming from Will Cain's playlist.

We also featured Level 42's "Something About You," a pick from Gary Bernsten, the Dolly Parton classic "9 to 5," Micheal Weakley's pick, "Good Times Roll," Rep. Jason Chaffetz's pick by The Cars, Steve Perry's The Roots track "What You Want" and "Into the Fire," Lisa Belkin's pick by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen.

Do you have a song selection that you would like to hear on Starting Point? Leave your suggestion in the comment section and you might hear your pick on an upcoming episode!

April 12th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Thursday, April 12, 2012


We started today's playlist with a pick from Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien: "Feet First" by G.W. Toye and the Blues All-Stars. On the band's website, they describe themselves as "genuine house rockin' blues to deep, down Tin Pan Alley blues." For more information on the group, check out their MySpace page.

Continuing the rock and roll theme, John Fugelsang's first pick today was "Weapon of Choice" by San Fransisco-based rock band Black Rebel Motorcycle Group. The song is from their 2007 album Baby 81, their highest charting album to date.

Presidential campaign adviser Brett O'Donnell picked Bonnie Raitt's 2005 track "I Will Not Be Broken." Raitt's first album in seven years is set to be released this month and is already garnering rave reviews. O'Donnell also picked Rascal Flatts' number one country single "My Wish," one of a massive eleven number one hits for the band.

Texas country singer Robert Earl Keen made Will Cain's playlist today with "Gringo Honeymoon" from the 1994 album of the same name. The album was Keen's last release for bluegrass label Sugar Hill Records. He signed with Arista records and began seeing chart success starting with 1997's Picnic.

Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith of the Tumblr blog "Texts From Hillary" appeared on today's Starting Point and brought a couple of songs with them. First up was "Two Weeks" by indie rock group Grizzly Bear. The song was included in Pitchfork Media's list of the 500 best songs of the 2000s. Up next from Lambe and Smith was Foster the People's 2011 smash "Pumped up Kicks."

Frequent SP panelist Roland Martin's playlist pick today was "Baby I'm a Star" by Prince." The song was featured on Prince's classic albumPurpleRain, as well as in the film of the same name.

Mayer Hawthorne's 2011 hit "The Walk" was CNN's Ron Browstein's playlist pick this morning. Also today, we featured the discoverers of Botox, Drs. Alastair and Jean Carruthers. They picked The Rolling Stones' classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" for the SP playlist. Rolling Stone magazine called the track the second best song of all time in 2004.

Also featured on today's show was Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's famous cover of "Over The Rainbow." The song is originally from the classic film The Wizard of Oz, which was released almost 73 years ago.

April 10th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with "Cheer Down" by George Harrison, a pick from panelist John Fugelsang. The single was part of Harrison's late-eighties comeback that included the hit album Cloud Nine and the number one smash "I've Got My Mind Set On You."

"Rock 'N' Roll Star" by Oasis was Christine Romans' first playlist pick this morning. The song is from the group's 1994 debut Definitely Maybe, which set the bar for success for the band: it, and every studio album that came after it, peaked at number one on the U.K. charts. Christine also picked "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins. The group is expected to release a new album in June, their first major release in five years.

David Bowie's "Modern Love" was picked by Newt Gingrich's Communication Director Joe DeSantis for today's SP playlist. The song was a huge hit for Bowie in 1983, and was part of his set list at the charity concert Live Aid two years later.

John Mellencamp's 1984 top ten "Pink Houses" was Will Cain's musical selection today. The song has been frequently been used for political purposes, although Mellencamp himself occasionally objects to its use.

"You" was a number one country hit for Chris Young earlier this year, and today it made Roland Martin's Starting Point playlist. The song was Young's fifth consecutive chart topper.

Aretha Franklin's Grammy-winning song "Wonderful" was Daryl Parks' playlist pick this morning. Franklin was ranked number one on Rolling Stone's list of the greatest singers of all time.

Rashad Robinson's contribution to our playlist today was Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster." The reggae-influenced song was one of Wonder's first hits of the 1980s, his third decade of phenomenal success.

"I Need To Know," one of Marc Anthony's biggest English-language hits, was Early Start anchor Zoraida Sambolin's playlist pick today. Check out a preview of Zoraida's one-on-one with NBA great Magic Johnson.

Other songs on today's Starting Point include "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney, the Grateful Dead' s "Money Money," "Magic" by The Cars, and "Orinoco Flow" by Enya.

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