Friday, July 25, 2008

Songs About, or Mentioning, Cleveland

Photo by the author

Since this blog is all about the great city of Cleveland, I thought it would be a good place to assemble a definitive collection of all the music videos I could find that are either about Cleveland, or that simply mention the city by name. Here’s the list I’ve compiled so far, and the songs covered various musical genres. If I’ve missed any, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to find a video of it and add it!

“Cleveland Rocks”
Ian Hunter (Drew Carey Show Version)

“Sheraton Gibson”
Pete Townshend

“Look Out Cleveland”
The Band

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
Gordon Lightfoot

“Burn On”
Randy Newman

Pancho &Lefty
Townes Van Zandt

“Cleveland is the City”
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
(special note, some lyrics may be considered offensive)

"Oh My Sweet Carolina”

Ryan Adams

“Drunk on the Moon”
Tom Waits


“My City Was Gone”
Written and Performed by Chrissie Hynde
(NOTE: Some people think this is about Cleveland, but it’s about Akron. Close enough for a mention.)

“My Town”
Michael Stanley Band

"Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland"
Alex Bevan (Local Favorite!)

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,


74WIXYgrad said...

What about "Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland, Ohio" by Alex Bevan?

I know, just a regional hit.

All Things Cleveland said...

74wixygrad, thanks for the info. Found the video and added it!

Brenda said...

"This Town" from MSB is also about Cleveland. Ohio grown band, in the 80's I couldn't get enough!!
Loved the post...thanks for sharing.

All Things Cleveland said...

Thanks Brenda. How on earth did I miss that one? It's been added!

junebug said...

There was a song out in the early 80's, it wasn't a very popular song and there is no video for it, but it was 'Hello Cleveland' by Dawn Bewley. The band was mentioned in the WMMS Buzzard book that was written by John Gorman.

Anonymous said...

Jewel has a song called "Cleveland"

riff buttons said...

I found your blog while I was attempting to search for info about a song that I have only a snippet of.
I grew up in Cleveland and moved to Los Angeles in 1978.
I video taped a television show one night in Los Angeles in 1980 called From Cleveland.
It was evidently a pilot that never made it.
It starred the cast of Second City Television from that era and the Bob and Ray Radio Show, it was filmed entirely in Cleveland.
At the end of the show as the credits are rolling they play this song.
My search on the internet has come up with only this-
"Best Location In The Nation (C-L-E-V-E-L-A-N-D) by Les Adair w/The Vic Stuart Combo" .
I can find nothing more.
Like I said I grew up in Cleveland and I had never heard this very catchy tune.
I uploaded my snippet to megaupload to share.

If anyone can shed any light on this I would appreciate it, but what would be even better is a copy of the song in its entirety.

All Things Cleveland said...

So far I haven't been able to find much on this riff, but I am still checking a few other places to see if I can find a complete copy. It may mean digging into the parents' old record collections!

riff buttons said...

Hey ATC,
Thanks for responding to my comment/question. I'll bet you will need to dig into your grandparents record collection to find a copy of this. From what I have read it was the Illuminating Company that originally coined the phrase Best Location in the Nation and the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce adopted the phrase like back in the 30s. Just guessing, but I'll bet the only release of this great little number was to convention attendees or possibly a promo of sorts to prospective clients to hold their convention in Cleveland, so maybe a record collection isn't where a copy of this is stashed. My wife and I both grew up in the Cleveland area so our family and friends are there. Anyone I have shown the video to or played this song to say they had never seen or heard it before. I'd like to trade a DVD copy of my betamax tape to anyone who can help me get a copy of The Best Location in the Nation.
Thanks Again,

riff buttons said...

Oh yeh ATC your photos are great!

All Things Cleveland said...

Riff - so far no luck on finding any more informationm or a better recording for this. I may have one more source to check, add if I turn up anything I will let you know!

Pat B. said...

I can think of 2 right off the top of my head, those being Anything but mine by Kenny Chesney (in the mornin i'll be leaving makin my way back to cleveland) and Cleveland is the Reason by Kid Cudi...Kid Cudi also multiple other songs mentioning cleveland and his home town of Shaker Hts.

Anonymous said...

Riff- I know a lot of information on the Song you are looking for (
The Best Location In The Nation) If you are still interested let me know.

riff buttons said...

Hey Anonymous, Yeah looking for any info on the song The Best Location In The Nation. Would really like to hear it in its entirety. What can you share with us?

Anonymous said...

For years I've been looking for a song I mentally titled "Cleveland, City of Dreams" as that phrase recurs in it. Only heard it once, think the singer was Otis Redding.
Anybody know it?

All Things Cleveland said...

Anonymous - I did a search of lyrics and nothing matched that line. The closest thing is Randy Newman's "Burn On" (above) which repeats the line "Cleveland city of light." Maybe someone else has an idea?

Anonymous said...

Yes! That's it! Thank you so much!

Jim said...

I have a complete recording of "Best Location in the Nation."

You can find it here:

Hope you enjoy it!

All Things Cleveland said...

Jim - that is just fabulous and what a great find! I will try to put some pictures to it and put it up on YouTube to share with the world and highlight our great city.

Do you know who is singing the tune and who wrote it so I can attribute it properly?

Thanks again so much for sharing. It really brought a smile to my face!

Jim said...

I don't know much more than others who have commented on the song. I know it's sung by Les Adair with the Vic Stuart Combo, but that's all. I recorded this off the radio. Bob and Ray, a radio comedy team, used to play it on their show when they featured songs about cities and towns. I listened to their show in the mid-1970s out of New York, which is when I made the recording.

All Things Cleveland said...

Thanks Jim, the information is very helpful!

Jim said...

I actually was in Bob and Ray's studio for a show one day and I asked Bob about some of the obscure music they featured. He said most if not all of these things were from long ago and had no idea where they came from or who was involved. Funny in the age of Google how it seems impossible not to be able to find out something! I will bet, however, the answer does reside in some forgotten drawer in the chamber of commerce and also in the memory of some long-retired musician. Perhaps put an ad in the classified section of the Cleveland Musicians' Union Local asking if anyone recalls Les Adair or Vic Stuart.

All Things Cleveland said...

I took the music and added recent photos of the city to make a video and put it on YouTube:

(I made the video look old to fit the music.)

Eric K. said...

Many of you have mentioned alot of the "Cleveland" songs, but here's a few more that are about and/or mention our great city....

There's No Surf in Cleveland by Euclid Beach Band

Heart of Rock N' Roll by Huey Lewis and the News

Youngstown by Bruce Springsteen

Bernie Bernie by the Bleacher Bums

Cleveland by Jewel

I Tried by Akon and Bone Thugs

Thug Luv by 2pac and Bone Thugs
(Bone and Kid Cudi both name-drop Cleveland in many of their rap songs so I won't list 'em all)

Ohio by Neil Young (CSN&Y)

Ohio by Bowling for Soup

Ohio is for Lovers by Hawthorne Heights

In the Heartland by Michael Stanley Band (didn't he have another cleveland song?)

I'm in Miami Bitch by LMFAO (this is one of those songs they did versions for of every major city, so there's a I'm in Cleveland Bitch version lol).

Anything But Mine by Kenny Chesney (this might be Cleveland,TN)

Missing Cleveland by Scott Weiland

Mean Night in Cleveland by Cactus

Let's Move to Cleveland by Frank Zappa

I'm sure there's many more we have forgotten...if I think of any I'll add them later..

PS anyone else wish Living in America by James Brown namechecked Cleveland?? lol.

Anonymous said...

Before Alex Bevan's song about being a skinny little boy from Cleveland became really popular he wrote a very catchy tune that I don't know the name of, haven't heard in years, but loved and it went like this "You know the best things in life are here, and though the skies are very seldom clear here, we've got a city full of dreams and we call that city Cleveland, it's the best location in the nation..." It is a great song, but I can't find it posted anywhere...

fred said...

Cleveland, OH by The Gadjits

Greg H. said...

Have Another Laugh on Cleveland Blues by Alex Bevan. Recorded the night city went into default in December 1978, hit WMMS airwaves the next morning.