Day 6: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.

Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.

This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.

So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.

Here’s Day 6. The bonus pick for the day was by an artist who was also, at the time, suffering from the coronavirus. He would ultimately beat it.

As of mid-day, we still don’t have any recent updates on John Prine. We remain hopeful he’s improving and that the lack of updates are just to be sure that any progress is real.

We are also following the case of Ray Benson, the frontman for Asleep At The Wheel who announced yesterday that he had tested positive for the virus. Mr. Benson didn’t share any details about the severity of his case, but in honor of the Western Swing icon, we thought we’d share some of his music today as a bonus pick.

In fact, Asleep At The Wheel’s 1999 album “Ride With Bob” actually made my list of finalists for our countdown although I eventually had to trim it from the list. The album was a tribute to the music of Bob Wills, and featured a roster of guest artists and musicians that included Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, Dwight Yoakam, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Reba McEntire, Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, Clay Walker, Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Willie Nelson and others. It’s worth your time, and so is saying a prayer or two for Mr. Benson as he battles this killer virus.

Finally, as we were kicking off this countdown about a week ago, there was also news that Jackson Browne had tested positive for the coronavirus. He said at the time he only had a mild case, and the latest news there is that he is almost fully recovered. Yesterday, he shared a new song that has a timely message that we all should hear.

We’ll share an album by Mr. Browne in our bonus picks in the days to come. In the meantime, we’ve got two more selections today that we hope you’ll enjoy as we all hunker down at home and try to get through the worst of this.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Various Artists

Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)

Why I Love It

I’m not going to lie — I am not the biggest disco fan in the world. But greatness is greatness. This collection launched the Bee Gees into the stratosphere with five No. 1 hits. Five! Throw in some KC and the Sunshine Band and Kool and the Gang and you have an all-time classic record that every music fan should hear. I owned this one on 8-track.

Album Highlights

“Stayin’ Alive,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “A Fifth of Beethoven.”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

What a joy it was to hear this record again after many years. It is one that I don’t think to pull up and listen to, and honestly it had been a long time. But this album represents one of those pop culture moments that affected just about everybody at the time. And that album cover is one of the iconic images from that era.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

The Black Crowes

Shake Your Money Maker (1990)

Why I Love It

Just as hair bands and pop metal were giving way to grunge and alternative rock, The Black Crowes dropped this classic rock throwback on the record-buying public at the beginning of 1990.

It somehow managed to sound out of place and perfectly in synch with the times simultaneously — a giant rock-and-roll middle finger in the face of everything else that was happening in pop music at the time. Indeed, the Crowes used the Stones’ classic sound as a blueprint for their own debut record, but they were anything but imitators. Sturdy originals like “Jealous Again” and “She Talks To Angels” sounded right at home alongside a cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle.” That’s a testament to the band’s own ability to craft a song before they ever got to the studio, and the fact that the end result brought their idols to mind doesn’t in any way diminish the final product. On the contrary, it enhanced one undeniable fact; this is one of the greatest classic rock records made since the genre’s heyday in the 1970’s.

Album Highlights

“Twice As Hard,” “Jealous Again” and “She Talks To Angels”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Great pick. This one was almost on my list, too. As much as I love the big hits on this album, I especially enjoy cranking up “Twice as Hard” while I’m driving on the interstate. That’s how you open a great album.

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