I mentioned in my introductory column that I would publish the double-CD playlist, so here it is. For the record, it's also loaded onto my iPod.
As you'll see, some of the songs are very specific to Colorado while others can be interpreted to apply to the Rocky Mountain Empire state or even mountain areas in general.
I included "America the Beautiful" because it was written in part about Pike's Peak specifically and the mountain west in general, and also because I really like Ray Charles' soulful interpretation.
While it really isn't written about the Rockies, Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" has to be on the list, if for no other reason that he sings Rocky Mountain several times. And no, I have no idea what the songs means, if anything.
The Dead's "I Know You Rider" also isn't really about Colorado even though it offers the line about "... I'd shine my light through the cool Colorado rain." Select one of the live toe-tapping versions and you'll be pleased it's on you list.
The country-rocker by Great Divide, "Love and Gasoline" starts out by qualifying with the opening lines "Hey now baby let me talk you, I got something on my mind, it's 500 miles to Denver, it says it right there on the sign. ... I'm sure we can make it to the mountains on love and gasoline." The Stillwater, Okla., based-band was one of the early proponents of the Red Dirt movement in country music, also known as the "Nashville sucks" genre in some circles.
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils' song "Mr. Powell" isn't as much about Colorado as it is about early explorer John Wesley Powell's expidition down the Green and Colorado river and the first recorded passage through the Grand Canyon. It's a favorite of mine, so I included it.
Some readers might not be familiar with Lightnin' Hopkins. I believe his acoustic blues version of "Rocky Mountains" was recorded in the 1940s or 50s. Hopkins, along with slide guitarist Elmore James, influenced generations of blues and rock musicians who followed them.
I also included two songs on my discs not listed here. The first is an old Texas honky tonk country favorite by Rick Trevino called "Life Can Turn On A Dime," because in my case and moving here, it did.
The other is one of my two favorite song by Dan Seals along with "God Must Be A Cowboy At Heart." This summer, "Headin' West" finally came true for me when, just like the song, "...I packed up everything I own, I'm headin' west."
If there are Colorado songs you know that aren't listed here, feel free to send them to me at email@example.com or post them into the comments on our Facebook page.
Enjoy the music.
"Rocky Mountain High" - John Denver
"Colorado Song" - The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
"Colorado" - Stephen Stills & Manassas
"America The Beautiful" - Ray Charles
"Rocky Mountain Breakdown" - Poco
"Rocky Mountain Music" - Eddie Rabbitt
"Hey Colorado" - The Flying Burrito Brothers
"My Proud Mountains" - Townes Van Zandt
"Rocky Mountain Way" - Joe Walsh
"High on the Mountain" - Flynnville Train
"Rocky Mountains" - Lightnin Hopkins
"The Mountain" - Steve Earl & Del McCoury
"Mountain Music" - Alabama
"Secret Mountain Hideout" - Michael Martin Murphy
"Colorado Girl" (Townes Van Zandt cover) - Steve Earl
"Mountain Pass" - Dan Fogelberg
"High Lonesome" - Charlie Daniels Band
"Colorado Bound" - Townes Van Zandt
"I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado" - John Denver
"High Country Snows" - Dan Fogelberg
"Hey Colorado" (Flying Burrito Brothers cover) - Linda Ronstadt
"I Know You Rider" - Grateful Dead
"My Mother the Mountain" - Townes Van Zandt
"Mr. Powell" - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
"Green Country Mountains" - McGuffey Lane
"40 Miles From Denver" - Yonder Mountain String Band
"A Mile High in Denver" - Jimmy Buffett
"Get Out of Denver" - Bob Seeger
"Denver Wind" - Sonny Landreth
"Rocky Mountain Way" - Godsmack
"Colorado Bound" - Townes Van Zandt
"Love and Gasoline" - Great Divide
"When My Ship Comes In" - Clint Black
"Boulder Skies" - Pure Prairie League
"Colorado Girl" - Townes Van Zandt
"Sunshine on my Shoulders" - John Denver
"How a Mountain Girl Can Love" - Ralph Stanley
"Coast of Colorado" - Rusty Wier