Thursday, April 17, 2008

I've lived here three years and only just discovered the theme song.

I had a dream that A Prairie Home Companion to Oakland, and began the show with a novelty number celebrating various names of local landmarks, including a weak rhyme of "Alameda".

Apparently such a song actually exists, having been written and recorded in 1963. Had I been alive in the Bay Area at that time, or were I a current patron of The Alley on Grand Avenue (where the song is sung by Rod Dibble at the piano bar most every Tuesday through Saturday) I would have already known about the city's official* theme song, "Oakland", by The Goodtime Washboard Three.

The song's brief but colorful history was featured in a writeup in Oakland Magazine last March. And there is an MP3 available for download from the Oakland Public Library.

Of course if your tastes run more towards E-40 or Keak da Sneak than Garrison Keillor, this probably isn't for you.

(Via the useful local information source wrapped in a visual nightmare that is

*The only citation of the song's status as the city's "official" song comes from the band's washboard player Wayne Pope, who asserts that Mayor John Houlihan made the pronouncement shortly before his indictment, conviction, and jail term for embezzlement.

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