Every day from now until Spring, I will play a song from each year from 1940-2020. I’ll also write a little bit about the song and why I chose it to represent that year.

Kansas City is my home for as far back as I remember. I actually grew up in a town right outside of KC called Bonner Springs, Kansas but if people outside of the state or country ask me where I am from I always say Kansas City. KC has it’s good and bad just like any city but there are several things that make KC special. Great BBQ, great sports teams (GO CHIEFS!), a great musical heritage (one of the birthplaces of Jazz) but mostly (and this comes from friends and family who visit here) some of the nicest people in the country.

The Kansas City skyline as seen from the Liberty Memorial and National World War One Museum.

“Kansas City” was one of the first songs I remember hearing on the radio. (not THE first, that won’t happen until we reach the year 1967)  The reason I probably recall it so clearly is because it got played here a lot. How many cities can claim a big hit song about them? Well yes, Chicago, New York the big ones, but for a medium-sized town KC has few competitors

The Country Club Plaza one of the most beautiful spots in KC

The song “Kansas City” was written by  Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their name’s may not be familiar but their songs sure are. They are one of the most successful songwriting teams of all time.     They wrote hits for Elvis, The Drifters, Dion, Little Richard, James Brown, Ben E, King, John Lennon, The Beatles, and a whole lot more.  One thing the song got wrong though was the line “I’m gonna stand on the corner of 12th St and Vine.” This no longer exists. The streets around the corner were turned into a park years ago. Knowing the song’s fame the city erected a street sign where the famous corner once existed,

The reference to the corner is due to the area’s proximity to the cities famous Jazz district

As far as the song’s line that there are some “Crazy little women” in KC, I won’t comment except to say there are equally some “crazy little men” here as well. But the crazy is part of what makes my home city so famous. You should come here sometime and check it out.

Leave a Reply