Usually in WFPL’s Curious Louisville project, you ask the questions and we find the answers. But this is Derby Week, and anything goes! So we decided to turn the tables and ask you: What songs belong on the ultimate Kentucky Derby playlist? Listen Friday at 5:00pm as WFPL’s Laura Ellis joins Mel to feature the “best of the list” on WFPK’s Friday Ride Home!
Some went the traditional route, suggesting various versions of “My Old Kentucky Home,” from Ben Sollee’s to John Prine’s, The most widely-submitted take on this classic was Nappy Roots‘, featuring KD, Villebillies, and Goodfella:
Some listeners focused on other Kentucky Derby Festival events, like LaVerne Wilber, who requested the 5th Dimension’s “Up, Up and Away” as a perfect soundtrack for the Great Balloon Race.
And many, many people wanted to make sure Louisville & Kentucky music was well-represented on the playlist, and we made sure to include everything we could round up. You’ll recognize My Morning Jacket, Brigid Kaelin, Joan Shelley, Tim Krekel, and others from right here in the commonwealth.
We got over 100 submissions, and we didn’t curate them; if you asked for it, and we could find it, it’s on the list. The results are below, as a YouTube playlist and a Spotify playlist. The most-requested song was “Dead Flowers,” by the Rolling Stones, which includes the lyrics, “Well when you’re sitting back in your rose pink Cadillac / Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day / I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon / And another girl to take my pain away.”
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this playlist! We hope your Derby day is nothing like Mick Jagger’s.