Pick 5: Spring is in the Air! - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Pick 5: Spring is in the Air!

Tall cacus with lovely white blooms at its top.

For our new “Pick 5” blog series, we ask members of the Radio Bristol team to pick five songs within a given theme – from heartsongs to murder ballads and everything in between! Once they pick their “5,” they get the chance to tell us more about why they chose those songs. With a diverse staff of knowledgeable DJs, we’re sure to get some interesting song choices, which might introduce you to some new music, all easily accessible by tuning into Radio Bristol!

Howdy Folks! It’s your old pal Nathan Sykes here with another installment of “Pick 5”! The dreary days of winter are hopefully behind us, and springtime is here once again. With temperatures rising and the landscape growing greener day by day, it’s hard not to be in good spirits, and, naturally, these good feelings manifest themselves in odes to the spring season leading us to my selection of five songs that are always sure to make me think of spring.

“When the Springtime Comes Again,” The Carter Family

I first heard this piece as “Little Annie” from the Lilly Brothers and Don Stover, but this song by The Carter Family is where they got the tune. What says springtime more than wild sheep wandering through the lane? Well, a lot of things, like birds and bees, but this song from the First Family of Country Music features all of the above.

“I Love You Best of All,” Mac Wiseman  

Here’s a classic from “The Voice with a Heart,” Mac Wiseman. If it is possible for a record to sound like springtime, here it is. The twin fiddles throughout this record are sweeter than the flowers, and Mac’s voice is as warm and bright as sunshine on a spring day.

 “The First Whippoorwill,” Bill Monroe  

While most songs of spring sound lighthearted and easy, here’s one that breaks the mold. In this piece, night birds cry a warning instead of the usual sweet songs of love. With the raw vocal duet of Bill Monroe and guitarist Edd Mayfield and the epic tuning slip midway through the banjo break, this is THE bluegrass music at its best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCPHv73ZsG8

 “When the Cactus is in Bloom,” Jimmie Rodgers   

From America’s Blue Yodeler, here’s a classic from his 1931 session in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was accompanied by the dynamic duo of Cliff Carlisle and Wilbur Ball. This song makes you yearn for the saddle and the freedom that comes from riding down the dusty trail. And it reminds you that cacti bloom with beautiful spring flowers too.

“Spring Time in Dear Old Dixie,” Reno and Smiley  

Before it is summertime in a southern clime, it has to be spring. The tight harmonies of Don Reno and Red Smiley and the Tennessee Cut-Ups transport listeners to a bright spring day in that dear old sunny southland, and the joys of spring described here could warm even the dreariest of northern winter days.

So there you have it: my “Pick 5” of springtime songs, bringing to mind blooming flowers and love, warm days and buzzing bees. I hope these tunes put a little “spring” in your step!

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