Georgia Playlist

What's the quintessential Georgia song? Who is the ultimate Georgia musician? What defines Georgia music?

Georgia Playlist is an occasional series that airs on the public radio show "On Second Thought." We ask Georgia musicians to pick two songs that best represent the Peach State. The nominations have to be written by or performed by someone with strong Georgia roots. And, the tunes can't be one of the nominating musician's own songs.

The result is an essential playlist of Georgia's finest music. Enjoy!

Have a nomination? Call us at (404) 500-9457 or email onsecondthought@gpb.org.

 

 

 

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Courtesy of Thayer Sarrano / Curtis Wayne Millard Studio

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Athens singer/songwriter Thayer Sarrano. She adds some tunes from Don Chambers and Vic Chesnutt.

Thayer Sarrano performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday at midnight as part of AthFest.

Ryan Myers

All this week, we get additions to the essential Georgia Playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Thomas Johnson, guitarist for Athens indie group Futurebirds. He adds some tunes from Star Room Boys and Now It's Overhead.

Futurebirds perform at AthFest on the Main Stage this Friday at 9 p.m.

Courtesy of Roadkill Ghost Choir

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Andrew Shepard of the Athens-based band Roadkill Ghost Choir. Picks include songs by Neutral Milk Hotel and Thayer Sarrano.

Courtesy of Hardy Morris

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia Playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Athens-based singer/songwriter T. Hardy Morris. He waxes about music by James Brown and Robert Lester Folsom.

Hardy will perform the first night of AthFest at 1 a.m., June 23 at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens.

Courtesy of Five Eight

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Athens band Five Eight is one staple in the town’s music scene. The group has performed with R.E.M., Pylon, and The Ramones. Frontman Mike Mantione adds two songs to our essential Georgia Playlist, including picks from The Glands and Vic Chesnutt. 

Five Eight performs at AthFest this Sunday on the Hull St. Stage at 6:30 p.m.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Most clowns are cheerful, right? Well, one clown in Atlanta is awfully sad. Puddles the Clown is a persona created by Atlanta-based singer and bandleader Mike Geier. Puddles is currently a contestant on FOX’s "America’s Got Talent." He won over all the judges. We asked Geir to tell us how he met Puddles, and to take a step away from his friend by adding his picks to our Georgia Playlist. 

Ars Lyrica Houston / flickr

Opera singer Jamie Barton of Rome, Georgia adds two more songs to our essential Georgia Playlist, a collection of songs by the state’s most beloved musical artists. She chose works by Michael Daves and Roland Hayes.

 

One thing that marks the post-civil rights years is the rise of hip hop in Atlanta. DJ Jelly had a front row seat as Atlanta became a hip hop hub. He’s been playing tracks here since 1990. We asked him to contribute to our occasional series Georgia Playlist. He chose songs by Kilo and Sammy Sam.

Jason Thrasher

Athens Photographer Jason Thrasher has been shooting the music scene there for decades. His new book “Athens Potluck” captures the early gigs of R.E.M., Pylon, and the Drive-By Truckers. Thrasher adds two more tunes to our essential Georgia Playlist.

Photo courtesy of Cicada Rhythm

Cicadas are expected to return to Georgia this year after a long hiatus. Athens band Cicada Rhythm paid tribute to the raucous insects by naming their band after them. We asked Dave Kirslis to add some favorites to our essential Georgia Playlist.

Photo Courtesy of Funk You

We get a new pair of songs for our essential Georgia Playlist. Members of Augusta band Funk You join the show to share two of their favorite Georgia tunes from Dixie Dregs and Otis Redding.

They perform at The Georgia Theatre in Athens Wednesday (April 5) at 9pm, and at Sky City in Augusta Thursday (April 6) at 10pm.

Andre Johnson Photography

Rachael Shaner is the frontwoman for Savannah band Lulu The Giant. They performed live on our show last week during a broadcast from the Stopover Music Festival. Rachael gives us her two picks for the essential Georgia Playlist.

Lulu The Giant performs at Smith's Olde Bar on April 1 at 8 p.m.

Kayne Lanahan founded the Stopover Music Festival seven years ago. She left New York City for Savannah after a successful advertising and marketing career. Since then, she’s become a loud pulse in Georgia’s bustling music scene. We asked her to add to our ongoing series, the Georgia Playlist. She chose works by R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Jonathan Splitlog

Atlanta-based songwriter Anthony Aparo is best known as the front man for the band Culture Culture and a performer for the local collaboration ATL Collective. Anthony is featured in an upcoming GPB Music Session, and gave us two more tunes for our essential Georgia Playlist. Picks include songs by OutKast and Drivin’ n Cryin’. 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

We add a couple tunes to our essential Georgia Playlist from Atlanta performer Mike Geier. He is best known for creating Puddles, a sad clown with an incredible singing voice.

Stephen Fowler / GPB

It's time to add a few more tunes to our Georgia Playlist. The Shadowboxers started as friends at Emory University and grew into a band. The R&B group gives us their picks for the quintessential Georgia music collection. 

The Shadowboxers perform at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on December 15 at 8 p.m.

Maryann Bates

Mike Mills is a music legend. In 1980, Mills co-founded Athens-based R.E.M. They disbanded in 2011. Today, Mills is performing with his childhood friend, violinist Robert McDuffie. The two grew up together in Macon, Georgia, and have since gone on to achieve their own unique musical fame.

 

Mike Mills and violinist Robert McDuffie will perform Mills' Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and Strings at Emory University Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m. Hear more from our Georgia Playlist here.

St. Beauty

The Atlanta-based duo St. Beauty performs on Friday at AfroPunk festival in Atlanta. We asked its members Alex Belle and Isis Valentino to stop by our studios for a performance, and to add a couple more tunes to our Georgia Playlist.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

One of the groups performing at the Music Midtown festival is The Coathangers, a staple in Atlanta’s punk rock scene. We asked Meredith Franco and Julia Kugel, two of the band’s members, to add two songs to our Georgia Playlist. They chose works by Black Lips and Subsonics

Killer Mike

Atlanta rapper Killer Mike often infuses messages of social justice into his music. This past year, when he wasn't recording his next album, he spent time stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. We asked him to take a break from both by picking two of his favorite songs written or performed by another Georgian. He chose works by Goodie Mob and the Allman Brothers.

Wikimedia Commons

Singer Kate Pierson has been a staple of Georgia's music scene since the early 1970s. She is a founding member of the B-52s. She has also collaborated with the likes of R.E.M., the Ramones, Iggy Pop and many others. Her first solo album was released in 2015. She adds two songs to our Georgia Playlist, a couple classics from James Brown and Little Richard.

Georgia Playlist: Speakerfoxxx

Aug 19, 2016
RBMA Radio

Atlanta producer and DJ Christen Nilan, also known as Speakerfoxxx, adds two more songs to our Georgia Playlist. She’s the host of the radio program “Cruisin’ in the ATL,” and part of a re-launch of Red Bull Music Academy Radio. RBMA Radio is taking place at Patchwerk Studios in Atlanta this week with lectures, workshops, and live broadcasts.

We add two more songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. All submissions have to be written or performed by a Georgian. And musicians can't pick one of their own songs to go on the playlist. Maria Zouves and Sherrill Milnes spent years performing opera, and now they're trying to build up the opera scene in Savannah. One way they're doing that is through the Savannah Voice Festival. For the Georgia Playlist, they choose two songs by Johnny Mercer.

A legal battle over debt has left a cargo ship and its crew stranded off the coast of Tybee Island for nearly four months. U.S. marshals seized the ship when its owners foreclosed on the loan, and the crew was forced to wait out until the legal dispute was settled. The ship was sold this past week, which means the crew is one step closer to going home. We speak with attorney Todd Baiad, who represents the lenders, about the sale of the chip and what happens next to the crew. 

VICTOR WAINWRIGHT

Savannah blues musician Victor Wainwright adds two more songs to our Georgia playlist, a collection of the best songs from or about Georgia. Wainwright is known as the “Piana from Savannah” and won the 2016 B.B. King Entertainer Award from the Blues Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Wainwright adds two of his favorite songs to the Playlist: "Diggin' The Boogie" (1951) by Piano Red and "Statesboro Blues" by Blind Willie McTell. 

The small city of Sparta, Georgia made headlines this week. A lawsuit claims Hancock County and its Board of Elections systematically questioned the registrations of nearly two hundred Sparta voters - most of whom are black. A quarter of the voters were removed from voter rolls. This electoral move would have required the pre-clearance from the federal government three years ago. But the Supreme Court struck down that provision, saying the mandate was outdated and unconstitutional.

Oliver Wolfe

We add two more songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. All submissions have to be written or performed by a Georgian. And musicians can't pick one of their own songs to go on the playlist. Brock Scott and Nirvana Kelly are members of Little Tybee, an experimental, progressive folk-rock band based in Atlanta. They share tunes by Johnny Mercer and Outkast. 

The Georgia Department of Education just released its second year of Georgia Milestones test scores. While there were improvements, some students had trouble just taking the test. We talk with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maureen Downey, who writes the “Get Schooled” blog, on what the results show and whether the tests are the best way to measure how well students are learning.

Georgia Playlist: Gwen Hughes

Jul 29, 2016
Gwen Hughes

We add two more songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. All tunes have to be written or performed by a Georgian. And musicians can't pick one of their own songs to go on the playlist. Atlanta jazz singer Gwen Hughes chooses hits from Johnny Mercer and Otis Redding. 

Outrage, protests, and more violence are just some of the expected reactions to killings at the hands of law enforcement officers caught on camera. Some therapists theorize that repeated exposure to these controversial incidents can adversely affect mental health. Anger, fear, and frustration can all take a toll on weary viewers who can’t seem to escape images of violent incidents.

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