Day 21: 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 21. And if there’s one artist that Kendall and Chuck can agree on, it’s the one Kendall spotlights today.

Today is all about a couple of albums that changed our lives.

Chuck’s selection is below, and it’s one of the greatest albums ever made in pop music. As for me, well, my selection is your bonus pick of the day.

I was 14 when Steve Earle’s “Guitar Town” came blaring through the speakers for the first time, and it was a revelation. I had never heard anything like it. Those big, twangin’ guitar licks from Richard Bennett’s guitar; the organ snaking its way through the entire song in the background; the rhythm of the music and the lyrics perfectly in synch creating a soundtrack for the road.

In fact, my dad went on the road as a long-haul truck driver around that time, and I spent a few summers with him traveling around the country. It was the time of my life, and by the age of 16, I had written about 30 songs that I still have in an old blue folder at the house. Nobody will ever see them but me, but I knew somehow, some way, I’d spend my life doing what I love best — writing about it until it’s time for me to check out of here. That journey started right here.

— Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Prince & The Revolution

Purple Rain Soundtrack (1984)

Why I Love It

Where do I begin? Most music fans can point to one album that changed everything for them — this one is mine. As the movie and soundtrack launched Prince into the stratosphere, I connected with both on another level. I saw the movie in the theater three times, and Purple Rain was the first movie I owned after I got a VCR for Christmas. I love every second of this record and still listen to it all of the time. I still love and miss Prince. In my opinion, he is the greatest solo artist of all time.

Album Highlights

“Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

Honestly, what can you say. This album sent Prince through the stratosphere and for good reason. It’s quite simply one of the greatest albums ever made, and it’s the foundation upon which Prince’s recorded legacy is built. This is the album that everyone will still know a hundred years from now, and it’s a great place to start an exploration of his catalog.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Mary Cutrufello

When The Night Is Through (1998)

Why I Love It

An African-American female graduate of Yale who packed up everything to move to Texas and be a rock-and-roller?

Yeah, sign me up for that, and so it was that Chuck and I found ourselves at a “Writers In The Round” concert at Rice University one night in Houston, Texas, in the mid-’90s. Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Ray Wylie Hubbard all participated, and when it got to Steve’s turn he graciously allowed Mary a moment in the spotlight. That was the first time I had ever even heard her name, and I snapped up her debut album a couple of years later. It’s a fantastic document of an exciting young artist who never hit the big time, but managed to leave her mark on rock-and-roll nevertheless with this single major-label album. Worth searching for, and worth hearing from end to end.

Album Highlights

“Sunny Day,” “Sweet Promise Of Love” and “Sister Cecil”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Kendall and I had the pleasure of seeing Mary Cutrufello live way back in 1995 in Houston with Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Ray Wylie Hubbard. She more than held her own on that impressive bill. This album perfectly displays what we heard that night. Great voice, great songwriter, great album.

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