As Thanksgiving Day approaches, our thoughts turn to such things as turkey, football, family gatherings and being thankful and grateful for our life’s blessings.
In the midst of all the holiday goings-on, there is probably not much thought about forming a Thanksgiving Day music playlist, but there are actually a number of songs that deal with such subjects as kindness, peace and various aspects of giving thanks.
This article deals with several such songs that achieved the upper reaches of the Billboard Magazine pop music charts, along with a few other traditional selections and some tunes that include various Thanksgiving-type foods in their title.
The mentioned songs include representatives from various musical genres, including rock, pop, C&W and R&B. May every day be a day of thanks as we listen to several “thank you” songs from different artists
When some people think of songs for Thanksgiving, toughts center on children’s songs or hymns. But there are some great pop songs that celebrate giving thanks in various ways. Here are a few of the best such songs that made major impact on the national pop charts, and to hear any of them, simply click on the title.
* “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” (Louis Armstrong, 1968): “Satchmo” sings a perfect song for helping give thanks during the holiday season. The original recording only charted at No. 116 on the Billboard Magazine pop charts, but it became a Top 40 item in 1988 when featured in the film “Good Morning Vietnam.”
* “TOP OF THE WORLD” (The Carpenters, 1973): “Such a feelin’s coming over me / There is wonder in most everything I see / Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes / And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream.” So starts a song with a sunny message that hit the top of the charts for the brother-sister duo, Karen and Richard, from New Haven, Conn.
* “WE ARE FAMILY” (Sister Sledge, 1979): This disco-oriented song, recorded by four sisters from Philadelphia, is one of the best-ever pop charters dealing with family harmony. It spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Top 40, including two weeks in the No. 2 position.
* “THANK GOD I’M A COUNTRY BOY” (John Denver, 1975): This ode to the simple life caught on with music fans of all genres, and it topped both the C&W and pop charts on Billboard. The song was recorded live in August of 1974 during a gig at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
* “I THANK YOU” (Sam and Dave, 1968): Although not a typical Thanksgiving-type thank-you song, this classic of Memphis soul on the Stax label is included for variety, not to mention that it went to No. 9 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 4 R&B. It’s a gospel-inspired tune for the duo of Sam Moore and Dave Prater, who met and Miami in 1961.
Some songs with Thanksgiving-type food in the title
* “LET’S TURKEY TROT” (Little Eva, 1963): This was a No. 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Little Eva, a North Carolina-born vocalist who was discovered by songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
* “MASHED POTATO TIME” (Dee Dee Sharp, 1962): This appropriate Thanksgiving-theme song climbed to the No. 2 spot in the spring of 1962 for the Philadelphia songstress.
* “BREAD AND BUTTER” (The Newbeats, 1964): This song went to the No. 2 spot on Billboard for The Newbeats, featuring the falsetto voice of Texan Larry Henley along with backup singers, Marc and Dean Mathis from Georgia.
* “CANNED HAM” (Norman Greenbaum, 1970): This was the follow-up to Greenbaum’s huge hit “Spirit In The Sky”. It attained the No. 46 position on the Billboard Hot 100.
* “APPLES, PEACHES, PUMPKIN PIE” (Jay & The Techniques, 1967): This was a No. 6 song on the national pop charts for the group, headed by Jay Proctor, from Allentown, Pa.
* “SNOWMAN, SNOWMAN SWEET POTATO NOSE” (The Jaynetts, 1963): This was an uncharted follow-up to the Bronx group’s “Sally Go Round The Roses” in late 1963, and it’s included only because of the words “sweet potato” in the title.
* “VEGETABLES” (The Beach Boys, 1968): This song was performed as part of the California surf group’s “Smiley Smile” album in early 1968.
* “GREEN ONIONS” (Booker T & The MGs, 1962): This one went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 for this group composed of Memphis studio musicians.
* “GRAVY” (Dee Dee Sharp, 1962): This was a Top 10 charter, and it goes nicely with her other entry in this category (“Mashed Potato Time”).