February 12, 2016

How Many Songs Does Drew Kennedy cite in his song "A.M. Radio?"

Dissecting AM Radio by Drew Kennedy

Photo from http://www.drewkennedymusic.com/

By Sean Claes
So... listening to Drew Kennedy's "A.M. Radio" today I realized he pulled words from his lyrics from songs one might hear on the radio... A.M. radio for that matter. I have been listening to this song and singing along with it for a few months now... it even made my family Christmas CD... but I didn't catch that he included nods to some great classic country songs until today.
Below is the video... the lyrics.. and footnotes with the songs I think he's referencing.

I reached out to Drew and asked him... and he sent me the correct list.. so below are the actual references... not just my thoughts...  so the correct answer in the title of this post is.... 9. (I originally had 16.. guess I tried too hard to read into it)

Here's the song:

"AM Radio" by Drew Kennedy

I got a hot cup of coffee(1) warming up my hand
I keep a beat on the handle with my wedding band (2)
The DJ plays The Gambler(3) after Ramblin' Man (4)
Driving through Winslow, Arizona (5) in the middle of the night (6)

I got a map in case I need it on the passenger side
And I’ve been on the road since nine o’clock Tulsa Time (7)

I’m fifty thousand watts from Dallas

 And I’m forty-seven miles from home
Say a prayer to save me from static
Thank God for a.m. radio, for
A.M. radio.

Pushing my luck against the dial taking bets against the fields
And I would stop to Pop a Top (8) but I might lose it in the hedge.
I would make it out to Needles (9) they put me on the bill
I’m fifty thousand watts from Dallas
And I’m forty seven miles from home
Say a prayer to save me from static
Thank God for A.M. radio, for A.M. radio.

I’m fifty thousand watts from Dallas
And I’m twenty seven miles from home
Say a prayer to save me from static,
Thank God for a.m. radio, thank god for a.m. radio, for a.m. radio.

1. Marty Robbins - "Another Cup of Coffee"
2. George Jones & Tammy Wynette - "Golden Rings" video
3. Kenny Rogers - "The Gambler" video
4. Allman Brothers Band - "Ramblin' Man" video
5. Eagles - "Take It Easy" - video
6. Mel Tillis - "In The Middle of the Night" video
7. Don Williams - "Tulsa Time" video 
8. Jim Ed Brown - "Pop A Top" video video
9. Hoyt Axton - "Never Been To Paris" video

(Drew said the chorus was free of intentional references... but I see references to Bo Diddley [27 miles], Alan Jackson [Dallas] and Rosanne Cash [50,000 watts]... but that might just be me trying too hard...and I was told the Rosanne Cash song came out after this one was written)

Edit 2/14/16: I posted a link to this on Facebook and this observation was made by an Antony Silas: " I always thought 50,000 watts from Dallas referred to WBAP 820 in Dallas. It is a 50,000 watt AM station that can be heard in the smokey mountains at night if the weather is just right."

There you go.

Where can you find yourself some Drew Kennedy?
Well.. check his site for tour dates... and how to buy his music.
I highly recommend him.

About the Author: Sean Claes has been a music journalist for about 20 years is the owner of INsite Austin. He's also the author of a 52-week series of advice for DIY musicians - link. Enjoy.


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