David Byrne is bringing his American Utopia tour to Broadway later this year (and early next year), and to celebrate that fantastical news, it looks like his June playlist takes a unique journey through songs that remind him about his first memories of that famous street in New York City.
Here are songs with Broadway in the title. Stylistically, they are all over the map. “The Funky Broadway” came out when I was in high school in Baltimore. On the local radio, they played the Dyke and the Blazers version and I assumed they were referring to Broadway in Baltimore, which is truly funky. They weren’t-though, they might have been referring to Broadway in Buffalo or the one in Phoenix where members of that band hailed from.
Of course, I knew that when most people referred to Broadway, they were referring to the one in New York. When I moved to New York, I worked for a while as an usher in a movie theater on East 34th Street. Once in a while, I had the job of taking the tickets, receipts, or sometimes the reels of film in big cans to the chain headquarters further uptown. I loved those trips-and from my POV, I was getting paid to be a tourist-to walk down Broadway. Broadway! This street was famous, I thought to myself, it’s in songs and movies, and now I’m walking on it!
Here’s the tracklist:
Bee Gees Nights On Broadway
Neil Young On Broadway
Sir Mix-A-Lot Posse On Broadway
Dyke and the Blazers Funky Broadway Part 2
The Fantastic Johnny C Boogaloo Down Broadway
George Salazar and Joe Iconis Broadway, Here I Come!
Toots and The Maytals Broadway Jungle (2000 Version)
Alison Krauss Broadway
The Clash Broadway
South Park Mexican Broadway
Joel Grey, George M! Ensemble Give My Regards to Broadway
Bloodstone Lullaby of Broadway
Doris Day, Paul Weston and His Orchestra, The Norman Luboff Choir On Moonlight Bay
Clare Halse, Stuart Neal, 42nd Street Ensemble 42nd Street
Al Stewart Broadway Hotel
James Taylor Looking For Love On Broadway