STARTING POINT PLAYLIST FOR 4/25/12
The morning began with Run DMC’s “Mary, Mary” thanks to – you guessed it – Rep. Mary Bono Mack. The late eighties rap/rock hit was actually a cover of a cover. The Monkees released their version of the song in 1967, a year after it was featured on the Butterfield Blues Band album.
Christine Romans sat in for Soledad today and her first pick was “Jumpin' Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones, who made two more appearances on this morning’s playlist. Christine also chose the Stones’ song “Start Me Up,” and panelist Ron Brownstein played “Gimme Shelter.”
Also on Ron’s playlist was “Celebrity Skin” by Hole. The alternative band, fronted by Courtney Love, reunited in New York just a couple of weeks ago for a screening of the drummer’s documentary. The band members asked the audience if any ladies in the house wanted to join them for a song, because – as Love’s reputation implies – she might not show up. “You never know – we never know.” But then she appeared, strapping on a guitar and performing two songs.
Sticking with eighties hits, you also heard George Michael’s “Faith.” It was one of his biggest hits, reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1987.
Will Cain’s pick for today was “Suspicious Minds” by Dwight Yoakam. The song was originally released by Elvis in 1969 and is #91 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Zoraida Sambolin shook things up with Shakira’s “Addicted to You.” It is the fifth single off the Sale el Sol (The Sun Comes Out) album, which was nominated for three Latin Grammy Awards and won for Best Female Pop Vocal Album.
“Mr. Wendal” by Arrested Development was John Fugelsang’s music choice for today. This month, the hip hop group is marking the 20th anniversary of their album “3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...” by releasing a video for the song “Living” and holding a contest where fans must count the number of times the words “life,” “living,” “live” and “alive” appear. With that number they can submit an essay about life for the chance to win a trip to Atlanta and a cameo in Arrested Development’s next video.
Billy Joel released a cover of “When You Wish Upon a Star” in 1991 and that was T. Boone Pickens’ playlist song. When he recorded the song, Joel had recently worked with Disney on the animated film “Olive & Company,” voicing the carefree character of Dodger, a dog who befriends an orange kitten.
The rest of the playlist was dedicated to SP guest Blair Underwood, who is currently on Broadway in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” From his playlist, we heard “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire; “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez and Pit Bull; and “Wobble” by V.I.C.
STARTING POINT playlist 4/20/12
Today’s playlist began with picks from the guests who were on the plane that was forced to make an emergency landing after birds flew into the engine: Grant Cardone and CNN’s own Ali Velshi. Ali’s song, “Holding Out For a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler, topped off the show. It was followed by Grant’s pick, “Till I Collapse” by Eminem.
Panelist Hank Sheinkopf chose Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.” The song was originally recorded by the 1960s band The Great Society, but found success with Jefferson Airplane, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone has the song at #274 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Dr. Alicia Salzer also joined the panel today and played two songs from her personal playlist. The first was Joss Stone’s “Fell in Love With a Boy,” a White Stripes original that was first called “Fell in Love With a Girl.” In 2007, Rolling Stone called the latter one of the forty songs that changed the world.
Soledad gave Dr. Salzer the award for best song choices of the day after hearing her second choice, “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall. The song was a perfect fit for the film it was featured in, The Devil Wears Prada. But Tunstall said in an Entertainment Weekly interview, “The song is actually about the photograph of Patti Smith on the cover of Horses. I didn't realize the lyrics could perfectly fit a chick flick.”
Zoraida Sambolin gave you the headlines this morning, and her song choice was Shakira’s “She Wolf.” The song is also known as “Loba” to those in Spanish-speaking countries. Shakira thinks of the she wolf as her alter ego, similar to Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce. She said in an interview, “Every time you screw up, you say, ‘It wasn’t me, that was the she wolf … that was the animal in me, that wasn’t me, I have nothing to do with that.”
As always, Will Cain added a little country flavor to the playlist with the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Read to Make Nice.” The song was part of an album that was a response to the backlash the group felt after singer Natalie Maines made negative comments about President George W. Bush. It was largely ignored by country radio but ended up winning the group three of their five Grammy awards that year.
Three of Soledad’s favorite songs finished up this morning’s playlist. The first was “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters, which has become a common theme song in the wake of disasters like 9/11 and the tsunami in Japan.
Switching gears completely, Soledad picked “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliot and closed with the New York City anthem “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST FOR 4/18/12
Today’s playlist started with Will Cain’s pick. The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ For You” opened an even bigger show last Friday. TheOhiomusical duo used the song to open their set at last weekend’s Coachella festival, where they were promoted to top billing for the first time.
“Goody Two Shoes” was released by Adam Ant in 1982 and comes from Rep. Steve Israel’s playlist. With two versions, it doubled as Adam’s last single with his previous band, and first single on his own.
Switching genres, we heard “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz, courtesy of Naftali Bendavid. The song has been a radio regular since its debut in 2010 and made Cruz the first British artist to top the 5 million mark in digital sales. Naftali also played “Graceland” by Paul Simon.
Amy Kremer went country with Brooks and Dunn’s “Only in America.” Although the duo went their separate ways in 2010, they did so amicably, and remain in the music industry. Kix Brooks hosts a radio show, and Ronnie Dunn still releases music. Keeping it country, Amy also played “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band at the end of the show.
In honor of SP guest Rain Pryor, the playlist featured “Rain” by Creed. And from her own playlist, Rain chose the classic “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.
Christine Romans rounded out the genres with “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. The hit was covered by none other than Jay Z at the All Points West Festival in 2009 after the band had to pull out. Christine also played “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash.
Finally, we heard “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys from Dan Cohen’s playlist. The song was groundbreaking in that it was one of the first commercial hits to use “God” in the title.
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST 4/13/12
Today’s playlist started with a pick from political commentator Abby Huntsman. She chose the 1995 Green Day song “When I Come Around.” The band maintains its popularity to this day and just released the news that a trilogy of albums is in the process of being recorded. ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! will be released between September 25, November 13 and January 15, respectively.
Next was “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division as chosen by John Fugelsang. The song debuted in April 1980, a month before singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. Several re-releases have helped this song stay current, and it often shows up in pop culture; it’s been featured everywhere from the Jake Gyllenhaal film Donnie Darko to the animated television show American Dad.
Will Cain chose “Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, the first of three number one hits for the country duo. Cain also played “Hi-ilawe” by John Cruz. That song was featured on the Hawaii Five-O soundtrack, along big names like Bob Dylan, the Foo Fighters and Train.
Soledad’s first pick of the morning was “Souled Out” by Hezekiah Walker. The Grammy award-winning pastor and bishop first found fame in 1995 while singing with his choir. Since then, his multi-faceted career has included a book, a radio show and a fellowship program that gives guidance to churches throughout the country.
Also chosen by Soledadwere two Mary J. Blige songs: “Family Affair” and “No More Drama.” Blige has been in the news lately because of a Burger King ad that many fans have dubbed as racist. The fast food favorite pulled the ad, but blamed it on “music licensing” and never said whether any changes would be made before the ad was re-released. Blige has said that she isn’t happy what was the final product.
Abby Huntsman’s second song was one that features some music industry heavyweights. Dr. Luke adds “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida to his writing repertoire of pop hits that include songs by Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Ke$ha. Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” is sampled in “Good Feeling.” And in the video, Snoop Dogg makes a brief cameo.
The last song of the show was one we’re probably all singing this Friday morning. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor was suggested for the playlist by Judy Smith. This is one of the most popular disco songs of all time, although it’s certainly transcended genre and has proven its staying power. Recently, the musical dramedy Glee covered Gaynor’s hit song, only as a mash up with Destiny Child’s “Survivor.”
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST 4/11/12
Starting Point began with a pick from panelist John Fugelsang’s playlist, “Who Loves the Sun” by the Velvet Underground. It was a single from the band’s 1970 album Loaded. The album titled was supposed to mean it was “loaded with hits,” but only a couple of songs turned into radio favorites. John also chose “Big Exit” by British musician PJ Harvey.
Next was “Feelin’ Good Again” by Robert Earl Keen, a song chosen by Will Cain. Keen is a favorite of many Texans, including Cain, and was recently inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame.
Ryan Lizza, New Yorker correspondent and SP panelist, played “Me and My Shadow” by M. Ward, who will be familiar to fans of the indie music scene. With actress Zooey Deschanel, Ward is behind the band She&Him, and has also worked with members of Bright Eyes and My Morning Jacket. Ward’s latest album was released yesterday, and features Lizza’s song choice.
The popular Tom Petty song, “American Girl,” made its way onto the SP playlist thanks to Jen Psaki. Petty has proven himself especially popular amongst Republicans, although it’s not something he’s happy about. Michele Bachmann received a cease and desist letter last year after she played the song when she walked on stage at a rally. Back in 2000, George W. Bush received a similar letter when he used “I Won’t Back Down” on the campaign trail.
Another musician popular with Republicans is Bruce Springsteen. He was on the playlist with “Thundercrack” this morning, thanks to Governor Tim Pawlenty. Another fan of Springsteen’s is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who claims to have been to nearly 130 Springsteen concerts. However, recent reports say the governor nodded off during Springsteen’s recent Madison Square Garden gig.
Will Cain stuck to his country roots with his second song of the morning, “Suspicious Minds” by Dwight Yoakam. Yoakam is a well-established country artist, having seen thirty of his singles make it to the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. But he’s much more diverse than just country music. He’s appeared in many films, including Panic Room and Four Christmases, and even made a film he can totally call his own (South of Heaven, West of Hell), having co-written and produced it. He was also the star, and even wrote the film’s soundtrack.
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST 4/4/12
Starting Point began with a song from Soledad’s own playlist, “American Boy” by Estelle, featuring Kanye West. The Grammy award winning hit from 2008 was written by several people including Estelle, West and will.i.am.
Panelist Van Jones chose Bob Marley’s “So Much Trouble in the World Today.” The song comes from the Survival album, which is largely considered to be one of Marley’s most commanding political statements as a musician. Survival calls on listeners to rise up against oppression, specifically inSouth Africa. The controversial album went beyond the music; the CD jacket even included a diagram of a slave ship.
Will Cain lightened the mood with his first pick of the day, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” The 1989 song is Petty’s most famous and well-known even amongst kids today, as it’s been a favorite cover song from the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Nick Carter.
Ron Brownstein chose Fiona Apple’s “Paper Bag.” The song is off her 1999 album When the Pawn… The full album title is actually a much longer poem, and Apple’s upcoming release is already drawing comparisons. On Monday, Apple posted on Facebook that her long awaited fourth album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, will be out on June 19.
Senator John McCain joined us from Arizonabut still got one of his favorite songs on the playlist. Abba’s “Dancing Queen” is apparently popular amongst Republicans. The LA Times reported in May that at a speech inIowa, Newt Gingrich’s phone went off and played the 1970s dance hit to a very confused audience.
Van Jones’ next choice was Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” 100 percent of the profits from this single, which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, were donated to charity.
Christine Romans contributed the classic Billy Joel hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” The unusual style of the song made a big hit but also a big target for parodies. The Office’s eccentric Dwight Schrute revised the lyrics in season two and “The Wii Didn’t Start the Fire” spelled out the history of video games, among other.
The Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden” was on the playlist thanks to Will Cain. The 1978 song, from the album Some Girls, was covered by Bette Midler and the video featured Mick Jagger.
Played from Bruce Springsteen’s album that was dropped last month was “Rocky Ground.” Ron Brownstein’s pick is one of the more creative songs on the record, opening with the words “I’m a soldier” from a 1942 recording of a congregation inClarksdale, Miss.
“America” by Prince was up next, chosen by Van Jones. An extended version of the song was almost 22 minutes long.
The Eli Young Band’s “Crazy Girl” was next from Will Cain. The band has seen a lot of success with this song; it received three nominations and “Song of the Year” at last weekend’sAcademy ofCountry Music awards. The guys made it big when a promoter suggested them to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and the band was soon the couple’s opening act.
Up next was neo soul musician Mayer Hawthorn’s song “The Walk” as chosen by Ron Brownstein. The singer-songwriter, originally fromMichigan, has been finding a lot of success since moving toL.A. in 2008. He’s performed with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars. He’s touring on his own now.
Dave Matthews closed the show with “Stay (Wasting Time)” from Christine Romans. The song reached #8 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
STARTING POINT PLAYLIST 3/26/12
We kicked off today's Starting Point playlist with "Little Red Corvette," a Prince song off of Soledad O'Brien's playlist. The song was Prince's first top ten hit, and has since joined many Best-of lists, including Rolling Stone's, where it was ranked 108th of all time.
Curtis Mayfield's classic song "Move On Up" was Columbia University professor and SP panelist Dorian Warren's first playlist pick this morning. While the song was not a big hit at the time of it's release, a cover version by the disco group Destination was a number one dance hit in 1979.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's music selection today was "Jackson," a song best remembered for the version released in 1967 by Johnny and June Cash. In 2003, June and Johnny died within four months of each other; less than a year later, Walk The Line was released, and Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar for her portrayal of June.
Political humorist and CNN contributor John Fugelsang's first pick today was The Psychedelic Furs' 1982 hit "Love My Way." Although the Furs have not released a new album in over twenty years, they continue to tour, playing many of their late-eighties and early-nineties hits.
Lenny Curry of the Florida Republican Party picked Will Smith's 1998 hit "Just the Two of Us" from his playlist for today's Starting Point. Smith has laid low for the past few years, focusing on the growing careers of his children Jayden and Willow. He's sure to be back in the public eye, however, with the upcoming blockbuster Men in Black 3, set for release this May.
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears was Soledad's next playlist pick today. The song continues to have an impact in the music industry; it has been covered by artists ranging from Gloria Gaynor to Patti Smith, and was sampled by Outkast in 2001.
Country singer Chris Knight's 2002 song "Oil Patch Town" made Will Cain's playlist today. Hailing from Kentucky, Knight has made a name for himself both as a singer and a songwriter.
Lenny Curry chose “Run This Town” by Jay-Z, featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. The apocalyptic video was shot in Queens, NY at Fort Totten. The historic park is a former U.S. Army base and, with a Civil War era fort, a popular tourist spot. When Jay-Z took over the park for the video, it was transformed with fires, overturned cars and about 80 extras dressed in black.
John Fugelsang's next pick was Sting’s debut single as a solo artist “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free.” On his first musical venture without the Police, Sting said, "Basically, the whole project was designed to create a new kind of hybrid that was neither rock'n'roll nor jazz, but was hopefully another country."
“The Glamorous Life” by Sheila E. was on Soledad’s playlist today. The 1985 hit was written by Prince, who took Sheila under his wing during the Purple Rain era. The song reached #7 on the Hot 100.
John Fugelsang chose "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. As John pointed out on the show, the song was inspired by Bob Dylan. Cooke was shocked that a white boy wrote a song like that, and he penned what would become an anthem of the civil rights movement.
Will Cain kept up with his country music playlist with "Always the Love Song" by Eli Young Band. The song was the bands first top 15 hit, reaching #11. The band's lead singer, Mike Eli, caused some controversy in 2010 when he forgot the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner" before a football game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Soledad closed the show with Kool and the Gang's "Get Down On It." The Jersey City band released the song on their 1981 album Something Special, and it reached #10 on the Billboard charts in 1982.
Starting Point kicked off with a song from panelist Christine Crier’s playlist. “Mustang Sally” was released in the 1960’s but made popular again in the 1990’s when it was on the soundtrack for “The Commitments,” a film about a soul band formed by a group of Dubliners.
Rep. Jim Cooper chose “When You Say Nothing at All” by Alison Krauss. The song was released in 1995 in tribute to its’ first performer, Keith Whitley, and the song shot to the top of the country single charts.
Brett O’Donnell played “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago, a song with some serious staying power. How do we know? It was released in 1970 and was a featured song in the Rock Band 3 game.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta chose Weezer’s “Island in the Sun.” The song found its way into pop culture and found itself as the theme song to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 2001 movie “Holiday in the Sun.”
The Fray’s popular song “How to Save a Life” made an appearance on the show thanks to John Brabender. The song first gained popularity when it played during an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2006. Over time, the song would be played on many other shows, but was revisited by the Grey’s cast in a music episode last March. The song was incorporated into the storyline, and the characters sang along.
Regular panelist Will Cain played “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. The song managed to get him a Grammy for the Best Male Rock Vocal performance in 1996. The award has been renamed to Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance and wasn’t even given out in 2012.
Jim Talent requested “Take it Easy” by The Eagles for his playlist. The worldwide hit has a brought a lot of happiness to one town because of a little lyric that goes, “I'm a standing on a corner inWinslow,Arizona.” Winslow has put together a park in honor of the song, and included a sign that reads “Standin’ On the Corner,” now a popular spot for tourists to stop and take pictures.
Next up was Soledad’s choice, and it was “All Falls Down” by Kanye West. Originally, the song was supposed to sample Lauryn Hill’s song “Mystery of Iniquity” but West couldn’t get the legal clearance so Syleena Johnson sang bits of the song.
Brett O’Donnell played “Vertigo,” which won U2 three Grammy awards in 2005 and was ranked #64 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Best Songs of the Decade.
Pink Floyd’s classic “Another Brick in the Wall” played in the studio this morning. The three songs that make up Pink Floyd’s rock opera “The Wall” have been covered by a wide variety of artists. Metal band Korn released all three songs and hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa sampled an instrumental version with their hit “Gitty Up.”
Will Cain’s choice, Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico,” reached #1 on Billboard’s country songs chart, but only #61 on the Hot 100 when it was released in 2007.
Starting Point finished the week live from the CNN Grill in Austin, TX where the South by Southwest festival was starting. The playlist was its typically diverse self, but with a little bit of a country twang. The show opened with CNN business correspondent Ali Velshi’s pick “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex. The folksy song has its own popular line dance, but don’t worry if you missed the show, Soledad and the panelists didn’t get up and dance.
Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of the website Reddit, brought Jay Z’s “Moment of Clarity” from his personal playlist. That song was on “The Black Album” back in 2003, which was notoriously promoted as the rapper’s final studio record (only to be followed by “Kingdom Come” in 2006 and three more since then).
Hajj Flemings, who was featured in Soledad’s “Black in America 4” documentary, chose a song from Lincoln Brewster, a Christian musician and pastor. “The Power of Your Name” opens with the sound of Brewster’s unborn son’s heartbeat.
Austin resident Jerry Jeff Walker made an appearance on the playlist with his hit “Mr. Bojangles,” chosen by Doug Brinkley. Walker holds a birthday bash for himself every year in Austin at the Paramount Theater (3/31) and the next day at the Gruene Theater in Gruene (4/1). The second show is already sold out.
The CNN Grill has its own playlist. Today, the restaurant-turned-studio played “Analog or Digital” by Wildlife Control, an unconventional band made up of two brothers that don’t have a record label and live on opposite coasts.
Carlos Diaz was in New York bringing you the headlines, but his playlist was featured in Austin. He chose “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida, a song that’s on its way to becoming a sports anthem. It is the unofficial victory song of New York Rangers, introduced the New York Giants at City Hall following their Super Bowl win and was performed at NBA All Star game, to name a few.
Another Jay Z song was played by Alexis Ohanian. “On to the Next One,” from Jay Z’s Blueprint 3 album, played at the CNN Grill and was the single that won the rapper his 13th Grammy.
Representative Mary Bono Mack’s first pick was “Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers. The song peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #11 in November 1972.
SXSW is celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday during the festival with a panel of speakers, and so Doug Brinkley chose to play the American classic “This Land is Your Land.”
The CNN Grill played another song that’s generating a lot of hype, “This Head I Hold” by Electric Guest. The music blogs have been writing a lot about this band, whose album Mondo comes out in April.
Arguably one of the most popular songs ever was requested by Representative Mary Bono Mack. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey has been covered on a number of television shows, including on the cartoon “Family Guy,” when Peter Griffin and his friends perform a drunken karaoke version (probably not too different from scenes in karaoke bars across America).
Representative Mary Bono Mack also chose “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner. The song was originally recorded by the band Creedence Clearwater Revival; both versions of the song won Grammys.
Mimi Swartz, editor of Texas Monthly, played “Ya Se Va” by Los Lobos. The song comes from the 11th album of Los Lobos, an American Chicano rock band from East Los Angeles, California.
Regular panelist Farai Chideya was in Austin and brought with her “Europa and the Pirate Twins” by Thomas Dolby. The song was on the album “The Golden Age of Wireless,” which was released five separate times.
Carlos Diaz played “Rock Me, Amadeus” by German singer Falco. The song was ranked by VH1 as one of the 100 greatest songs of the 1980s and one of the greatest one-hit wonders.
Ali Velshi played another country song, “Deep in the Heart of Texas” by Gene Autry. The famous singing cowboy sang the song the film in “Heart of the Rio Grande” in 1942.