Happy Birthday Arizona: 100 Songs that Define Arizona, Pt. 1
Editor's Note: An abridged version of this article appears in this week's issue, featuring 100 Songs that Defined Arizona. In celebration of Arizona's centennial, we've rounded up sound clips for (almost) everyone featured in our list, and will be rolling them out over the course of the week.
"Not alone for gold and silver / Is Arizona great / But with graves of heroes sleeping / All the land is consecrate!" -- "Arizona March Song"
The goal of finding Arizona's 100 greatest songs was hardly easy. We asked our readers to tell us what songs have defined Arizona over the past century. As we combed through e-mail submissions, one thing became clear: Arizona's musical heritage is as diverse, fascinating, and complicated as the people who live here.
In addition to submissions, we dove into New Times archives, consulted historians, musicians, record collectors, scoured blogs, and slipped into YouTube rabbit holes to complete this list, focusing on artists you might've heard any given night in a dusty nightclub or bar.
Read on for 1-25 of of our list, marking the Arizona's musical beginnings (when musicians had to make the difficult trek to California or Texas to record) to the glory days of Audio Recorders in Phoenix, which cranked out everything from country to pop to soul.
1915: "Arizona March Song," Margaret Rowe Clifford/Maurice Blumenthal
"Cowboy's Wife" by Billie Maxwell
1929: "Cowboy's Wife," Billie Maxwell (Victor)
1951: "Navajo Squaw Dance," Ed Lee Natay, Natay -- Navajo Singer (Canyon)
1956: "The Fool," Sanford Clark, single (MCI/Dot) (Read more about "The Fool.")
1958: "Rebel Rouser," Duane Eddy, single (Jamie)
1958: "Need You," Donnie Owens, single
1959: "Night Beat," The Nightbeats, featuring Pete Ronstadt, single (Zoom)
1960: "How Many Times," Patti LaSalle, single (MCI)
1961: "Cookin'," Al Casey Combo, single (Ramco)
1962: "Working on a Building of Praise," Reverend Louis Overstreet (Arhoolie)
1962: "Son, Don't Go Near the Indians," Rex Allen, single (Mercury)
1963: "Drifting Heart," Roosevelt Nettles, single (Chess)