Playlist: New Jersey

Other than the Soprano’s soundtrack and Bruce Springsteen, what songs pay homage to New Jersey?

If I Never Get Back to Hackensack: More NJ name drops in two minutes than all of Sinatra (from the Hoboken Boys). Tom Rush delivers an ode to the Garden State and a cautionary tale all in one. 

Jersey Bounce: Ella Fitzgerald sending this one like only she can. Scatting never sounded more elegant, more natural than when she does it. Yes, I love the Jersey Bounce. Put this one on repeat and get something more out of it on each re-listen. 

Tweeter and the Monkey Man: I’m always a little suspicious of songs that get adapted into movies. There shouldn’t be enough material in a 3-5 minute song to power a 90-minute feature film. Sure, Dolly Parton has done it because she’s Dolly and can make anything amazing. But then there’s cases like The Christmas Shoes or Purple People Eater. Harper Valley PTA (both the movie and the TV series). But this song—Tweeter and the Monkey Man—why hasn’t it been turned into a movie? With a cast of fully-realized characters and action and intrigue—this would make fabulous cinema. The Travelling Wilburys penultimate song on Vol. I has George Harrison delivering the tastiest of guitar licks, while the full cast of vocals provide the refrain. The line that makes it: In Jersey everything’s legal, long as you don’t caught. 

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