Atlanta mix-tape

I'd always wanted to see a list of songs that talk about Atlanta and Creative Loafing did the legwork! In their 30 April 2003 edition, this list appeared.

Welcome to Atlanta - A hometown mix-tape

Chronologically, the best songs to feature our city:

1. "Marching Through Georgia" (aka "Fifty Thousand Strong"), Henry Clay Work. This 1865 ode to the success of Gen. Sherman's daring Decatur-to-Savannah expedition became a popular post-war anthem for the victorious Union army ("So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea!"), much to the chagrin of the plantation owners. (on Songs of the Civil War)

2. "Atlanta Blues," W.C. Handy (words by Dave Elman). From 1924, a later work by the "father of the blues," this one continues in the tradition of "St. Louis Blues" and a handful of other geographical titles Handy released. Also popularly known as "Make Me One Pallet on Your Floor," the tune was recorded by everyone from Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet to Eartha Kitt. (on W.C. Handy Preservation Band's Handy's Beale Street -- Where the Blues Began)

3. "Atlanta Gal," Charles Fulcher & His Orchestra. When the famed Okeh label came South in 1929 to make some field recordings, it found the hot-jazz ensemble of Augusta's Charles Fulcher. His tribute to Atlanta womanhood: "She lives upstairs in a great big flat/Does she work? Don't ask me that/That gal, that Atlanta gal." (on Jazz From Atlanta 1923-29)

4. "Dying Crapshooter's Blues," Blind Willie McTell. Blues legend McTell wrote this darkly humorous ballad about the deathbed request of gambler Jesse Williams, shot on Courtland Street in 1929, who requested his funeral procession include "22 womens [sic] out of the Hamilton Hotel, 26 off o' South Bell/29 women outa North Atlanta, to know that Little Jesse didn't pass out so swell." McTell's other classic Atlanta blues include "Atlanta Strut" and "Three Women Blues." (on Deep River of Song: Georgia)

5. "Atlanta Bound," Gene Autry. For the cowboy crooner, Atlanta is the place to seek revenge against the man who stole his gal, and the place he'll pay for his crime. (on Blues Singer 1929-1931)

6. "Atlanta Moan," Barbecue Bob. Discovered by a field recording scout while working at Tidwell's Barbecue in Buckhead, Robert Hicks was a leading purveyor of Newton County-style slide-guitar blues. Though his recording career was short-lived, he left behind an impressive repertoire, including the favorite, "Atlanta Moan," with its boast: "Nobody knows Atlanta like I do." (on Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 [1929-1930])

7. "Georgia on My Mind," Hoagy Carmichael (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell). The Indiana songwriter composed and recorded this song, which seems to be about a woman (not a state), in 1930. Nevertheless, the estimable minds under the Gold Dome took it upon themselves to make this our official state song. At least we can say Georgia native Ray Charles now has claim to the tune's definitive version. (on Stardust, and Much More) [Gorrell's son chimes in with: "it probably was, indeed, about the state. Hoagy's sister was named Georgia, however." and also that "dad was a banker, not a songwriter, and although born in Indiana, he lived in NYC when it w