America in music

It’s a big old Stars and Stripes, star spangled banner day today as Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. There was a lot of talk about the founding fathers, the spirit of America … and Aretha Franklin rocking the joint in a hat with a big bow on it. And spookily enough a mashup utilising David Bowie’s This is not America is playing on my headphones.

Which has got me thinking about American music. Who are the bands and the artists that spring to mind?

  • Bruce Springsteen, troubadours and poets like Bob Dylan
  •  Motown  (the sound of the Motor City record label still sounds righteous at the age of 50. A recent Guardian poll tried to find the top Motown tune … what a task. I plumped for “Just my imagination” by The Temptations)
  • Madonna, Michael Jackson,  Hip hop and rap, Run DMC,  The Mamas and the Papas, Janis Joplin, Country,  Dolly Parton, Robert Johnson, Kanye West, Diana Ross, Elvis, Gershwin, Cole Porter … ok now I have made my head spin.

What song says America to you??