Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs
Each month, Our State senior editor — and resident soundtrack maker — Mark Kemp, a former music editor of Rolling Stone, curates a one-of-a-kind Spotify playlist featuring North Carolina songs and musicians.
It’s summertime in North Carolina, and we want to help you get the backyard party started with 10 great tunes. Whether you like R&B, country, oldies, or rock ’n’ roll, we have you covered with a little bit of everything.
Getting things off to an old-school start, we have Belhaven-born Little Eva revving things up with her 1962 Top-10 smash “The Loco-Motion.” From there, Greenville’s Band of Oz takes you to the coast with their 1995 Carolina Beach Music Awards-winning hit “Shama Lama Ding Dong,” followed by the great James Taylor, who grew up in Chapel Hill, doing his smooth 1975 Top-10 rendition of Marvin Gaye’s hit of a decade earlier, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).”
No party is complete without a little funk in the mix, and for that, nobody does it better than James Brown’s legendary sax man Maceo Parker of Kinston and the Prime Minister of Funk, Kannapolis-born George Clinton. We’ve paired Maceo’s “Soul Power ’74” with Clinton’s iconic No. 1 R&B hit of 1982, “Atomic Dog.”
If you’re looking for some rock ’n’ roll with a twang, we have two country chart-toppers: one relatively recent (Granite Falls-born Eric Church’s 2011 hit, “Drink in My Hand”) and one classic (Greensboro-born Billy “Crash” Craddock’s 1974 hit, “Rub It In”). Those are followed by a trio of party novelties: Chapel Hill’s Squirrel Nut Zippers’ swing revival hit of 1996, “Hell”; Wilmington’s Charlie Daniels taking Beelzebub to task on his country-rock hit of 1979, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”; and Concord’s Avett Brothers offering a smashing finale with their folk-punk barnburner, “Slight Figure of Speech,” from the group’s Top-10 rock album of 2009, I and Love and You.
Fire up the grill and turn up the tunes — it’s party time!