Barack Obama Shares Summer Vacation Playlists


In a rather unusual move on Friday, the White House decided to kick off its official Spotify channel with the release of Barack Obama’s two personal playlists, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Obama split up “The President’s Playlist” into two categories: “Volume 1: Summer Day” and “20 picks for a summer night.”

Check out the track listing to Obama’s summer playlists below:

The President’s Playlist: Vol. 1 Summer Day
The Temptations – “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
Isley Brothers – “Live It Up”
Talib Kweli and Hi Tek – “Memories Live”
Bob Dylan – “Tombstone Blues”
Bob Marley – “So Much Trouble in the World”
Coldplay – “Paradise”
Mala Rodriguez – “Tengo Un Trato (Remix)”
Howlin Wolf – “Wang Dang Doodle”
Stevie Wonder – “Another Star”
Sly & the Family Stone – “Hot Fun in the Summertime”
Low Cut Connie – “Boozophilia”
Brandi Carlile – “Wherever Is Your Heart”
Nappy Roots – “Good Day”
John Legend – “Green Light”
Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”
Aretha Franklin – “Rock Steady”
Okkervil River – “Down Down the Deep River”
Justin Timberlake – “Pusher Love Girl”
Florence and The Machine – “Shake It Out”
Sonora Carruseles – “La Salsa La Traigo Yo”

The President’s Playlist: Vol. 2 Summer Night
John Coltrane – “My Favorite Things”
Beyoncé and Frank Ocean – “Superpower”
Van Morrison – “Moondance”
Lianne La Havas – “Is Your Love Big Enough?”
Al Green – “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”
Aoife O’Donovan – “Red & White & Blue & Gold”
Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo – “Nothing Even Matters”
Frank Sinatra – “The Best Is Yet To Come”
Ray Charles – “You Don’t Know Me”
Mary J. Blige – “I Found My Everything”
Joni Mitchell – “Help Me”
Otis Redding – “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”
Leonard Cohen – “Suzanne”
Nina Simone – “Feeling Good”
The Lumineers – “Stubborn Love”
Cassandra Wilson – “Until”
Mos Def – “UMI”
Billie Holiday – “The Very Thought Of You”
Miles Davis – “Flamenco Sketches”
Erykah Badu – “Woo”

As Billboard wrote in its report on Barack Obama’s musical choices, there is nothing deep to be garnered here, except perhaps to celebrate Obama’s inclusive (and unapologetic) taste in music.

“If there’s anything about Obama’s current political or psychological state to be drawn from the playlists, it’s the sense of the president as an utterly relaxed lame duck with nothing to prove or sell. When he suddenly seemed to be down with Jay Z midway through his first term, Obama was accused of trying to court the youth vote, but there’s nothing here to suggest he’s playing to any constituency but the demo of 54-year-old boomers who still have their fingers on some pulses. Even if you didn’t know the purported curator, the personality profile you might put together from the song choices would be that of a cool, calm, and collected cucumber whose strong undercurrents of passion aren’t likely to lead to any untoward outbursts.”

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This Day in Music History — November 14

1961 : Before a show in Indianapolis, Ray Charles is arrested when marijuana and heroin are found in his hotel room. Charges are dropped on a technicality, but his drug problems were far from over.

1983 : Michael Jackson’s 14-minute film Thriller debuts at the Metro Crest Theater in Los Angeles. Directed by John Landis, the short film will become the most popular video in MTV history when the network begins airing it in December. Many of Jackson’s famous friends show up at the premiere, including Diana Ross, Eddie Murphy and Warren Beatty. The film gets a standing ovation and the crowd demands an encore, which is granted.

1987 : The long-since divorced Sonny and Cher perform “I Got You Babe” on Late Night with David Letterman. Cher flubs it a bit, but she and Sonny become very emotional doing their signature song.

1997 : Though it’s not a sell-out, The Bee Gees’ show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas still manages to gross a stunning $1,681,100. Tickets ranging in price from $50-$300 give the Arena its highest gross of the year.

2004 : Gwen Stefani performs on TV as a solo artist (No Doubt) for the first time when she takes the stage at the American Music Awards, where she sings “What You Waiting For.”

This Day in Music History — October 26

1935 : The NBC Radio show Lux Radio Theatre presents its newest find — a 12-year-old girl singer named Judy Garland.

1965 : The Beatles are awarded Members of the British Empire (MBE) medals from Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace. John Lennon claims they smoked marijuana in the bathroom before receiving the awards, although George Harrison said it was just tobacco. Harrison and Paul McCartney put the awards on their jackets for the Sgt. Pepper album cover; Lennon sent his back in 1969.

1980 : Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship is taken to LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after he (correctly) suspects he’s having a brain hemorrhage. His wife initially doesn’t believe him, but eventually calls the hospital’s front desk, requesting “would you please get an ambulance for this asshole?”

1993 : Michael Jackson is awarded a patent for the system that allows him to lean in unnatural angles during performances of “Smooth Criminal.” To recreate the video on stage, Jackson and his dancers wore special shoes that they could insert into pegs set up on stage for the famous lean.

2010 : Keith Richards releases his autobiography, which is called Life. His drug use is a big topic – here’s a quote: “I loved a good high. And if you stay up, you get the songs that everyone else misses because they’re asleep.”

This Day in Music History — October 25

1983 : “Islands in the Stream,” written by The Bee Gees, becomes a #1 Pop hit in a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

1996 : The first Ozzfest is held as a two-day festival in Phoenix, Arizona and Devore, California.

1997 : During a concert in Flint, Michigan, Johnny Cash tells the crowd he has Parkinson’s Disease after he falls over trying to pick up a guitar pick. The crowd thinks he’s joking, but Cash’s manager confirms it in a statement two days later.

2000 : Billy Ray Cyrus lends his support to two causes when his tour bus stops in 16 different locations on Nashville’s Music Row throughout the day to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank’s Harvest 2000; and later the same night, headlines a concert benefiting the charity

2006 : Forbes announces that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain is now the Top-Earning Dead Celebrity, beating out Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Ray Charles, and Bob Marley.

The best mass musician sing-a-longs EVER

from Hello Giggles

by Sophia Elias

Before Tuesday night, mass musician sing-a-longs were few and far between. Thankfully, BBC Music pulled out all the stops with their star-studded cover of the Beach Boys 1996 hit, “God Only Knows”. In light of the BBC Music launch, the network got everyone (and by everyone, I mean 29 world class musicians) to participate in the promo. With the likes of Elton John, Florence Welch, Pharrell, Lorde, Chris Martin, Dave Grohl and Sam Smith, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Much like its all-star predecessors, “God Only Knows” will contribute to a good cause. The song is set to be released as a single in order to raise money for the BBC’s Children in Need appeal. I have to say, I haven’t been one to seek out celebrity sing-a-longs, but there is something powerful about world class artists collaborating on a single project. I think we ought take a trip down memory lane and give a nod to all those great musical collabs from the past. There are more than you probably know:

1. We Are The World (1985)

“We Are The World” is the mother of all mass musician sing-a-longs. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, “We Are The World” was released in an effort to raise awareness and bring relief to the famine in Africa between 1983-1985. The song raised over $10 million in record sales from the United States alone. The song included performances from over 44 world class musicians—including Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Ray Charles—who operated under the name of USA for Africa. Fun fact: When the musicians entered the studio, they were met with a sign that read: “Check your egos at the door.” Continue reading