> Song: Wichita Lineman
> Artist: Glen Campbell
> Spotify plays: 11,313,000
“Wichita Lineman” is certainly one of the most popular songs based in Kansas, but it wasn’t born out of a love for the state. After scoring a hit with “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” Glen Campbell was looking for a follow up. Songwriter Jimmy Webb, in “American Songwriter” magazine, recalled him asking, “Can you write me a song about a town?”
> Song: Blue Moon of Kentucky
> Artist: Elvis Presley
> Spotify plays: 2,578,000
The King of Rock and Roll ascended his throne in the Bluegrass State after recording his version of Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in 1954. Presley and his band were struggling through a recording session when bass player Bill Black began playing the song in imitation of Monroe. The rest of the band joined in and producer Sam Phillips encourage them to keep it.
> Song: House of the Rising Sun
> Artist: The Animals
> Spotify plays: 217,462,000
For decades, New Orleans historians have suggested that the legendary “House of the Rising Sun” was purely fictional. If the famed “house in New Orleans” referenced in the song ever existed, the New Orleans Times Picayune says it was probably located at 535-537 Conti St., which was once a hotel called the Rising Sun Hotel.
> Song: Portland, Maine
> Artist: Donovan Woods
> Spotify plays: 25,657,000
Donovan Woods wrote “Portland, Maine” out of frustration with his commercial songwriting work in Nashville. After making numerous trips to Music City, trying to write radio-friendly hits for other artists, he penned the kind of song he personally liked. The result – “Portland, Maine” – was subsequently recorded by Tim McGraw and Woods later released his own version.
> Song: Baltimore
> Artist: Nina Simone
> Spotify plays: 17,289,000
Nina Simone’s iconic track “Baltimore” was penned for her by Randy Newman. Simone’s producers selected the song – a fact Simone was adamant about making clear – yet she would continue playing the song live throughout her career. Newman also admitted he had only visited the city once before he wrote the song.
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