Throwback Thursday: Independence Day

Don McLeanThis week for Throwback Thursday, WERS is playing a set of patriotic songs from Woody Guthrie, the Violent Femmes, Don McLean, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in honor of independence day.

“American Girl” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

This is the second single off of the self-titled debut album for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The song’s lyrics are a common topic of controversy for the meaning behind them. Many say that the song is about a girl committing suicide, but Petty denies this claim and just says that this theory is an urban legend.

“American Pie” – Don McLean

This is the hit song off of folk singer Don McLean’s most successful record American Pie. The album went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and also featured  “Vincent”. The lyrics to “American Pie” are about the day music died when rock legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash. The song was even ranked number five on the RIAA list of Songs of the Century.

“The Land Is Your Land” – Woody Guthrie

This is one of the United States’ most famous folk songs. Guthrie wrote the lyrics for This Land is Your Land in 1940 and put it together with an existing melody, but the song was not published until 1945. Guthrie wrote the song in response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” because he considered it to be “unrealistic and complacent.”

Celebrate the Fourth of July with us today at 5pm on 88.9 WERS

By Blaise Fritsche

If you liked this, check out:
This Week In Music History: June 23th-29th
Throwback Thursday: Mavis Staples

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