Day 16: 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.

And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.

Here’s Day 16. Before the two selections, Kendall spotlighted a country star who was fighting the coronavirus and ultimately overcame it.

Country firebrand Sturgill Simpson was diagnosed with the coronavirus, getting his positive test results back after a month with no symptoms. In early March he was hospitalized with chest pains, a fever and pre-stroke blood pressure levels. He went into quarantine and ultimately canceled the rest of his 2020 tour.

Simpson is one of those artists who’s simultaneously under-the-radar and, yet, capable of filling arenas on tour. His progressive country style has mostly been ignored by country radio, but ironically, he’s found success with modern rock and Triple-A audiences. Your bonus pick today is Simpson’s 2016 release “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Simon & Garfunkel

Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)

Why I Love It

This is another one that would be on my top-10 list of all-time greatest albums. From start to finish, it is a flawless record. Each of these songs grab you and take up permanent residence in your brain. I was lucky enough to see Simon and Garfunkel in Dallas (with the Everly Brothers, no less) in 2004, and they played eight of the 11 tracks off this album.

Album Highlights

“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Baby Driver” and “The Only Living Boy in New York”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

I’m so glad Chuck found room for these guys on his list. This was one of two albums along with “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” that I considered for my list. I’m comfortable with my selections, but on any given day, one of these probably would have made the cut.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

The Clash

London Calling (1979)

Why I Love It

I grew up about as far removed from punk music as a soul could possibly be. Raised behind the Pine Curtain of East Texas in the early ’80s, there weren’t many outlets that would expose you to the music of bands like The Clash, The Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

But there were weird undercurrents of punk music flowing through the roots rock of the mid-80’s. Cowpunk outfits like The Blasters and Jason & The Scorchers were on my radar, and by the time I got to college, the punk-metal hybrid known as “grunge” was taking over in the form of bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Even Uncle Tupelo, which was credited with giving rise to the Americana movement, was playing their own unique version of punk-country. Eventually my curiosity led me to explore the roots, and I landed on “London Calling,” one of my favorite records to drive to when I’m out on the road. An iconic cover, and the perfect name for a punk-rock band.

Album Highlights

“London Calling,” “Jimmy Jazz” and “Death Or Glory”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

It was tough to whittle my list to 100 records. I think this one was probably No. 101. What a phenomenal album with some all-time great songs. Excellent choice.

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