Day 72: 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 72.

Our two lists have intersected in interesting ways, and today we have two artists from very different worlds who both released their debut albums in 1972.

One of those albums — Kendall’s selection of Willis Alan Ramsey — is one of your picks of the day while Chuck ultimately went with a hits collection by Daryl Hall and John Oates instead of their 1972 debut Whole Oats.

Kendall was also born in 1972, however, so we thought we’d find another debut album from that year. And it’s hard to go wrong with Blue Öyster Cult, the eponymous debut of the hard rock quintet that helped define the early days of heavy metal.

— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Daryl Hall & John Oates

The Very Best Of (2001)

Why I Love It

Back in the early days of MTV, you couldn’t go more than 30 minutes without seeing a fairly cheesy Daryl Hall and John Oates video. That trend continued for the Philadelphia duo, but only because they continued to make great hit song after great hit song like they could do it in their sleep. Daryl Hall has one of the coolest, smoothest voices I have ever heard. He remains one of my favorite singers to this day. Listening to this 18-track greatest hits collection, I still marvel at the duo’s knack for writing great songs and making timeless rock and roll and rhythm and blues. I also love that Hall and Oates still tour and play arenas full of enthusiastic fans. Believe me, I wouldn’t trade those cheesy Hall and Oates videos of my youth for the world.

Album Highlights

“You Make My Dreams,” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

You can’t go wrong with a hits collection from this duo, and while Chuck’s right about their ubiquitous presence in the ’80s, their first big hits actually came in the mid-’70s with songs like “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone” and “Rich Girl,” their first No. 1 hit. Their first album, in fact, was released in 1972, and for that reason, I still think of them as much a product of ’70s AOR FM radio formats as I do anything else. Whichever era you’re drawn to, give this hits collection a spin and relive some musical memories.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Willis Alan Ramsey

Willis Alan Ramsey (1972)

Why I Love It

Willis Alan Ramsey is a name that started popping up during my college years in Austin, and when I finally got around to listening to his 1972 album, I was blown away.

Recorded the year I was born, Ramsey’s album is, arguably, even more famous than he is because it’s the only one he ever made. Thankfully, the album is self-titled, so you can’t talk about Willis Alan Ramsey the album without talking about Willis Alan Ramsey the artist.

Despite sounding like a weathered troubadour who had been around for decades, Ramsey was only in his early 20’s here. The songs, however, are the works of a wise soul who has learned a lot in a short time, and you can’t listen to Ramsey’s voice here without hearing the influence it had on Lyle Lovett. It’s a fantastic record with songs that have been covered many times through the years by other artists while Ramsey himself has, to date, failed to release a follow-up.

Album Highlights

“Ballad Of Spider John,” “Muskrat Love (Muskrat Candlelight)” and “Satin Sheets”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Listening to this tremendous debut album by Texas country pioneer Willis Alan Ramsey, it’s difficult to fathom how he could have possibly been one and done. But he sure made that one album count. I love every track on this record, which I honestly only knew a little bit about before I listened to it for our countdown. I knew more songs than I expected since I’ve heard other artists cover them. This is absolutely one of my favorites on Kendall’s list. If we did another list a year from now (sans the coronavirus, hopefully), this record just might be on mine. It’s damn good.

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