With the first home game coming up, I’m sure you’ve all gotten your Champ’s Chicken tailgating package and your frosty brews so that you can settle in for a few unfettered hours of fun outside Jordan-Hare Stadium. During that glorious time (where hopefully the weather won’t be miserable), you’re going to need something as a bit of a backdrop audio-wise.
No, don’t go with the dulcet tones of Brad Nessler trying to steer Gary Danielson’s reedy voice away from talking about how much he loves Jake Fromm and Kirby Smart during the Georgia-South Carolina matchup. And why in the world would you subject yourself to listening how Jeremy Pruitt’s doing a great job despite struggling against a team that only resurrected football three years ago? No, choose something better. Something appropriate for the moment. That’s why we present you with this playlist —Alabama State Hornets/Montgomery Edition.
1. ALAN JACKSON - Midnight in Montgomery
Look at that young AJ going to town on a slow ballad. We’re easing you in on this one with a song about stopping in Montgomery and visiting Hank Williams’ grave. Alan sees the ghost of Hank and gets melancholy, but of course the video doesn’t pay tribute to the true fantastic nature of Hank’s actual grave, which is but a short drive from Alabama State’s campus at Oakwood Cemetery.
Either way, since it’ll be midnight in Montgomery about the time that Montgomerians get home from the game, it’s a good way to start this list so that you’re prepared for the task at hand.
2. LFO - Summer Girls
Okay, we’re ramping things up a bit. Time to get the party started.
We’re only throwing this one in for the single line about fifty seconds in to the video above.
“When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet, Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.”
First of all, that doesn’t even rhyme. Second, it doesn’t follow. Third, it doesn’t matter, this song is fantastic. It’s just one of many idiotic rhymes that LFO (which stands for Lyte Funky Ones) throw into this late ‘90s ditty about designer wear and the dangers of Chinese cuisine. With the mention of hornets in any capacity, this song gets a spot on the list.
3. JOHN PRINE - Angel from Montgomery
We’re slowing it down again so that you can get the full sensual nature of our state’s capitol. This song was written by John Prine in 1971 and it’s been covered by just about everyone. Bonnie Raitt does the great version above, but Dave Matthews, John Mayer, John Denver, Tanya Tucker, and many more have made it their own as well. It’s another song inspired by Hank Williams, and Hank’s granddaughter usually plays it at her own shows.
4. STYX - Renegade
The Pittsburgh Steelers really popularized this song recently by playing it at Heinz Field, but it’s got roots in Montgomery more than anything else. It was written by Tommy Shaw of Styx, who went to Robert E. Lee High School (alma mater of safety Daniel Thomas) and was plucked out of the Montgomery band Harvest in 1975. Harvest was playing five nights a week at Kegler’s Kove inside Bama Lanes on the Atlanta Highway, and Shaw went to Chicago to join Styx, where he wrote Renegade in 1978. Rockin’ tune.
5. CAPTAIN & TENILLE - Love Will Keep Us Together
Here’s the Montgomery/Auburn connection we need to ensure certain victory for the Tigers on Saturday night. Toni Tenille is a Montgomery native (Sidney Lanier alum), born and raised, and she went to Auburn! I briefly debated including “Muskrat Love” in the playlist, but thought better of it.
6. THE EAGLES - Seven Bridges Road
Yes, I realize that this list is more about Montgomery than Alabama State or Hornets or whatever, but that’s too bad. We’ve made it to the next entry on the list, which is “Seven Bridges Road” sung by The Eagles above. The song wasn’t written by them, but by a guy named Steve Young, who drove down Woodley Road in Montgomery and crossed over seven bridges (creative song title there, Steve).
7. NAT KING COLE - Unforgettable
Ah, now here’s a classic, and a good way to end the list. Nat King Cole — Montgomery native — was born right near the campus of Alabama State University, and his house is now actually on the campus! Still, he’s got the best Christmas tune around with those velvety pipes, and while he may be an ASU fan if he were still around, I think that Auburn’s poised for a truly “Unforgettable” year in 2018.
Plug in your portable speakers and go to town with this group of songs as you annihilate some good food and bask in the good buzz of an Auburn University football gameday this weekend! War Eagle!