Favorites From the NPR 100

I just found some notes I made from a bucket list item I checked off a few years ago–listening to NPR’s 100 essential American recordings of the 20th century. I thought I’d blogged about this before, but apparently not.

Some of the items were familiar, but many were new to me. Here are my favorites from the ones I was hearing for the first time.

“Adagio for Strings” This beautifully ethereal piece is just magical. It’s heart rending and haunting.


“Ain’t That a Shame” Fun, early rock track.


“Blue Moon of Kentucky” An early bluegrass track with a legacy in folk and country music. Feeling connected to roots here.

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” Early country classic.


“Crazy” Ditto.


“Drumming” Movement 4 is especially awesome!


“Fine and Mellow” Ah, what a voice!


“Foggy Mountain Breakdown” Cool classic bluegrass song. Also, I didn’t know Steve Martin played the banjo.


Graceland. How did I make it so far without ever hearing this? It’s the 2nd best album of the 80s.


Guys and Dolls. I watched the movie with Sinatra and Brando.


“Hellhound on My Trail” VERY cool old song.


“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” Thought I’d heard this before, but nope.


“(Goodnight) Irene” Holy crap, this might be the saddest song I’ve ever heard.



“KoKo” Dude, Charlie Parker rocks.


“Oye Como Va” Pretty dang catchy.


“Sing, Sing, Sing” Ditto. Of course I’d heard this before–so have you–but I didn’t know its name.


“Wildwood Flower” This summarizes the whole list–sad, elemental, and catchy as all get out.

2 comments on “Favorites From the NPR 100

  1. This piece is in the soundtract of Master and Commander, if I remember correctly when the dead are prepared for burial at sea after a fierce battle. It was also played in the aftermath of 9/11, which is when I first heard it. Gorgeous piece of music!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s