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Old 02-02-2013, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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One of the state standards in teaching music is to educate fourth grade students on prominent Colorado styles and musicians. Since I'm a transplant, I know of a few but I'm not an expert. So far I've taught:

Cowboy Songs
Home on the Range
Get along little dogies

of course
Where the Columbines grow
Rocky Mountain High
If I had a Wagon I would go to Colorado
America the Beautiful

What else would you suggest?

Please remember, these songs need to be school appropriate!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Well, how about "Colorado, My Home" from the musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"? Of course, it was a Broadway score and lyrics written by Meredith Wilson, but it is all about Colorado.

Now, if you want to venture into music performers with strong Colorado connections, here are a few:

Paul Whiteman, from Denver. Considered by many to be one of the white pioneers in jazz, and one of the fathers of the Big Band era. Numerous other Big Band leaders learned under him or worked for him. One who was tutored by Whiteman, and who also lived in Denver for a time, was Jimmie Lunceford, a black musician, who led what was arguably one of the best Big Bands of the era.

Then, of course, Glenn Miller, who, though born in Iowa, grew up in Fort Morgan, Colorado and attended CU. Stan Kenton, who led a sterling jazz band for decades, lived for a time in Monte Vista as a child.

In later eras, there was/is Grammy winner folk singer Judy Collins who grew up in Denver; four time Grammy winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves, who graduated from George Washington High School in Denver and attended CU in Boulder; Academy Award winner and 12 time Grammy winner, band leader, prolific composer (especially for movies) and record producer Dave Grusin, from Littleton; Johnny Smith, arguably in the top 10 of jazz/pop guitarists of all time, who lived in Colorado Springs for decades; Nelson Rangell, one of the best jazz woodwind players around, who grew up in Castle Rock and still lives in Denver; Ralph Sharon, who was, for decades, the pianist who accompanied Tony Bennett, as well as enjoying a successful solo career, who has lived in Boulder for decades; Spike Robinson, who also lived in Colorado for decades, one of the best jazz tenor saxophonists ever; Ernie Watts, who has lived part time in Carbondale for decades, a fine Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist whose credits include a long stint in the Tonight Show Band; Eric Gunnison, a superb jazz pianist who lives in Denver and teaches at DU, and has accompanied many famous jazz singers, including Carmen McRae; Stacey Kent, a superb jazz singer, who moved to Aspen from England a couple of years ago.

That should keep you and your students busy for awhile . . .
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Music of Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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What surprises me is during all the concerts in the parks here, they play Bluegrass. It's very popular here. I never hear "cowboy music".
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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[quote=jim9251;28061468]What surprises me is during all the concerts in the parks here, they play Bluegrass. It's very popular here. I never hear "cowboy music".[/quote]

Unfortunately Western music, (and I don't mean Country Western, which should really be called Country Southern), sometimes referred to as "Americana" has limited appeal nowadays. I love it but one really has to go out of the way to hear it. It seems more popular amongst an aging, and often fairly cerebral, coffeehouse crowd. I can't think of any artists of that genre from Colorado. There are a number from Canada, like Ian Tyson.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
What surprises me is during all the concerts in the parks here, they play Bluegrass. It's very popular here. I never hear "cowboy music".
There is a huge cultural scene around bluegrass. My two sons are bluegrass musicians. There are two major bluegrass festivals in the US every year that attract all of the major bluegrass performers in the genre today and then some.

The first is in Cumberland MD and is known as DelFest (hosted by bluegrass legend Del McCoury) and is held around Memorial day every year. The second is in Telluride and usually occurs around the 3rd week of June. In addition, every July, the the Rocky Grass bluegrass festival is held in Lyons. All three events feature clinics for aspiring musicians, contests to find new talent, and other activities.

Bluegrass has become a large active culture involving many college aged people today and seems to be slowly growing all over the country.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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I remember Ernie Watts for his sax version of Chariots of Fire. I had that album but can't find it now, it had him on the front with flames coming out of his sax. He's appearing in UT later this month.

When I think of "western" music I think of the Sons of the Pioneers or Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

When I think of "country" music I think of such greats as "I Climb up on Barstool Mountain" or "Honey Tonk Ba-Donk-a-Donk."

Went to many bluegrass shows back in the DC area, which was long a hotbed of BG music.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
When I think of "western" music I think of the Sons of the Pioneers or Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
That's pretty old school. I'm talking about more modern Western artists like:

Tom Russell
Ian Tyson
Gretchen Peters
Don Edwards
Suzy Bogguss
Jerry Jeff Walker
Lyle Lovett
Nanci Griffith
The late John Stewart
Tish Hinojosa
Robert Mirabal
Jim Almand
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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There was a lot of "crossover" in the 1930's between jazz and Western music. Bob Wills played many jazz charts and his band was configured much the same as many jazz Swing bands. Similarly, many of the jazz Big Bands picked up Western songs and recorded them--often as big hits. Glenn Miller, a Coloradan, was one of the Swing bandleaders that did this. One of his big hits was "Along the Santa Fe Trail," a big hit for the Sons of the Pioneers. My Dad, who worked as a professional jazz instrumental musician in his younger years, would occasionally act as the band's male vocalist. One tune he sung just at just about every gig (and would sing to me when I was a toddler) was "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds." To this day, I never hear that tune that I don't get a little choked up, thinking about my late Dad.

A couple of examples:

Bob Wills playing "Hawaiian War Chant"--a tune popularized by the Tommy Dorsey jazz big band.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys-Hawaian war chant. - YouTube

And, the aforementioned "Along the Santa Fe Trail," performed by Glenn Miller.

Glenn Miller - Along the Sante Fe Trail - YouTube
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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Really neat stuff, thanks for posting them.
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