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Sunday, April 8 2001

My play list

You frequently hear mention on radio about a station's "play list," which I've gathered is usually no more than a couple of hundred records from the present and/or former charts that get recycled daily, more or less. If you're as loyal to a few stations as I am, you soon realize there aren't many songs being recycled in that time span...you hear the same ones just about every day and in some cases even in the same hour of the day.

Recently, I've been working on my own play list to use on the alternative radio station that exists only on my personal laptop computer. It numbers about 420 songs now and I've found all but two of the songs I'd like to include (though will likely discover other "misses" not yet realized, like the discovery of Since I Don't Have You by the Skyliners, as described yesterday).

In talking about my own play list, I'm hoping I can inspire you to think of your own list, but I have no illusions that your tastes in music overlap with my own very much, and have no desire to influence your choices. As always on this page, keep in mind the slogan, "Your Mileage May Vary." I'd also like to jog your memory or your creative processes to respond with some thoughts about your own "play list," whether it's only in your memory banks or actually extant in some analog or digital medium.

Today's entry is based on a review of my list to see which artists dominate, only in the sense of having the most songs on the list. Many of these discoveries came as surprises. I'm listing here all the artists that have five or more entries on my list.

First surprise, alone in first place: Dionne Warwick, with 10 songs. Second place, a tie with nine songs each: Andy Gibb and Elton John. Andy Gibb is very high in my appreciation scale, with a number of songs that elicit an "awww." Elton has virtually none with that impact, but the ones I've chosen do make me happy, which is all I can say for probably most of the choices on the whole list.

The only eight-song group, in third place, is a big surprise: Air Supply; I had no idea they had so many good songs. Seven songs tie in four ways in fourth place, but these vary widely in appreciation level. I've listed them in the order in which I like them: Hall and Oates; the Eagles, including two released as solos by the two remaining members of the group, Glen Fry and Don Henley; Lionel Richey (including ones released under the Commodores), and the Four Seasons.

Seven groups or artists share fifth place, with six songs each, and they're more difficult to rank, but this is about it: The Platters, Bobby Vinton, the Everley Brothers, Connie Francis, the Stylistics, the Shirelles, and Mary Wells.

Finally, in sixth place with five songs each: Brenda Lee, the Carpenters, Johnny Mathis, Jackie Wilson, Glen Campbell, and Ann Murray.

Interestingly, all 10 of Dionne Warwick's list-makers counted together aren't as much appreciated as any one of my four all-time favorites (Buddy Holly's True Love Ways, Glen Fry's The One You Love, Thomas Wayne's Tragedy, and the Fleetwoods' Mr. Blue). All of these listed here are only "everyday" songs; including Christmas songs, for example, would change the ranks somewhat (Brenda Lee would gain one, the Carpenters might gain three or four).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Discerning God's will

An overweight business associate of mine decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffeecake. We all scolded him, but his smile remained cherubic. "This is a very special coffeecake," he explained. "I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, `Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffeecakes, let me have a parking place directly in front of the bakery.'

"And sure enough," he continued, "the eighth time around the block, there it was!"

Sent by Mike Harrison

Holy Week thought

And when they drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village across the way, and right way you'll find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them, and bring them to me. And if any man asks you anything, you should say, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will immediately send them." All this was done to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, "Tell you the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting on an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass.'"

The disciples went and did as Jesus requested of them, and brought the donkey, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him on it. And a very great crowd spread their garments in the way. Others cut down branches from the trees and threw them in the way. And the multitudes that went before and followed, crying, "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." And when he came into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, asking, "Who is this?" And the crowd replied, "This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee."

Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 21, 1-11

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