Most Americans have a city they like best. It may be the city
they were born in. It may be the city they would like to call home.
Over the years, American songwriters have described these feelings
I'm Shirley Griffith.
And I'm Rich Kleinfeldt. The story of songs about American cities
is our report today on the V.O.A. Special English program, THIS IS
New York. New York. More songs
have been written about America's biggest city than about any other
city. More than eight-million people live in New York. Many others
dream about leaving their small towns to go there. They want to
become rich and famous. Frank Sinatra sings about this dream in the
most popular song written about New York.
Almost three-million people live
in the middle western city of Chicago, Illinois. It is now America's
third largest city. It used to be the second largest city. So, of
course, it needed its own song. Judy Garland sings the song,
"Chicago, Chicago. "
Near Chicago is the small industrial city of Gary, Indiana. This
city was made famous by a song in a musical play called "The Music
Man." The play opened on Broadway in New York in
nineteen-fifty-seven. In the musical, a young boy sings about his
home town. Here, Eddie Hodges sings "Gary, Indiana."
Right in the middle of America is the city of Kansas City. It is
the largest city in the state of Missouri. In the nineteen-sixties,
songwriters Jerry Leiber and mike Stoller wrote about going to
Kansas city. Why? Because they said it was filled with many
wonderful women. James Brown sings the song, "Kansas City."
Americans love cities near the ocean. One of the most popular is
Miami, Florida. Visitors go there all year because the weather is
warm. This song about Miami was written in nineteen-thirty-five. The
hot mustard jazz band sings, "Moon Over Miami. "
One of America's most exciting
cities is Las Vegas, Nevada. There you can play games of chance all
night long. The city's entertainment centers are open all night,
too. In nineteen-sixty-four, Elvis Presley starred in a movie called
"Viva Las Vegas." Here is the song from that movie. It is sung by
the group Z-Z Top.
One of the most beautiful cities in America is San Francisco,
California. It is between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay in
the northern part of the state. The most popular song about the city
is called "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Tony Bennett recorded
it in nineteen-sixty-two. It sold more than three-million records.
Many people love Los Angeles, California. It is now America's
second largest city. More than three-million people live there. Los
Angeles is popular because the weather is warm and the sun shines
almost all the time. Randy Newman sings about his feelings for the
city in the song, "I Love L.A."
Not everyone, however, loves Los Angeles. Some people do not like
all the big roads around the city. They call Los Angeles "A great
big freeway." They like living in a smaller place. A place like San
Jose, California. Dionne Warwick sings about going back to this
city. The song is, "Do You Know The Way To San Jose."
Today's program was written by Shelley Gollust. It was produced
and directed by Lawan Davis. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt.
And I'm Shirley Griffith. Join us again next week for another
report about life in the United States on the V.O.A Special English
program, THIS IS AMERICA.