Friday, January 13, 2017

Barack Obama Outgoing POTUS' Music: 50's-70's

It's interesting that social media plays such an important role in many people's lives today. From Blogs to FacebookTwitter to Google Plus (and these are only the very basic ), social media users have escalated up to 2.6 billion around the world since 2010.

So again, to make this story short and sweet, I am jumping into this posting to write about the P.O.T.U.S. Barack Obama's music choices. And he has a few more days before he retires from the Oval office. Historical event indeed.

Without social media nobody would bother what songs he loves and doesn't but in this new generation where information is easily available, music lovers would want to know what his song choices are and listen to them.
And his favourites are all on the internet, open to anyone. Great choices for the avid listener because Obama is not only known as a jazz lover but balances his choice with songs from the past and present, i.e. from Billie Holiday to Beyonce, from Sinatra to Springsteen.

He has a long list of favourites, longer than most other presidents, and it's good because in this way he makes himself known to many people and connects with them well.

But it's not so in little Singapore. I may be wrong here but our guys in charge hardly know their popular music. Or they're just hiding the fact. It's a pity because they're missing a whole lot of people they could touch base with. 
Music Makers (l-r): Sunny, John, Mike, Soo Khoon, Andy, Rickie, Joe, Paul.
 The only cool dude I know who does is Tan Soo Khoon (above in pink), a singer and guitarist who can perform many songs and connect with his audience. He can sing the whole night with his semi-solid guitar. I watched him a couple of times and he can gyrate and rock Elvis' numbers including All Shook Up, Jailhouse Rock and evergreens like Your Cheating Heart and The Young Ones.

Soo Khoon was a former MP (Member of Parliament) and held the Speaker of the House position for many seasons. He knows many music makers out there and invites them to his home to jam at his well-equipped studio.
Now back to the US and President Obama who has a Day playlist and a Night one on Spotify, 39 songs altogether. I am limiting his list to only music from the 50's, 60's and 70's:

1 Ain't Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
2 Live It Up - The Isley Brothers
3 Tombstone Blues - Bob Dylan
4 Too Much Trouble In The World - Bob Marley; Wailers
5 Wang Dang Doodle - Howling Wolf
6 Another Star - Stevie Wonder
7 Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly n Family Stone
8 Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
9 Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin

1 Moondance - Van Morrison
2 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - Al Green
3 The Best Is Yet To Come - Frank Sinatra, Count Basie
4 You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles
5 Help Me - Jonie Mitchell
6 I've Got Dreams To Remember - Otis Redding
7 Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
8 The Very Thought of You - Billie Holiday
9 Flamenco Sketches

He's got his Summer playlist, his Campaign playlist, his Workout playlist and a host of others.

To sum up, here's what I gathered from the sites. His favourite 60's song is, What's Going On by Marvin Gaye but likes Stevie Wonder overall. He has 30 Dylan songs on his iPod and appreciates Springsteen, Grateful Dead, Earth Wind and Fire, Elton John and Rolling Stones.
He's much into jazz as mentioned earlier and digs John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker. Also Howling Wolf, Sheryl Crow and Yo Yo Ma.

Do you have a playlist of your own. Write in when you can because good friend from California Henri Gann (Trekkers) has one too.

Obama Hit List from The Telegraph Culture/Music:
Images: Google. 
Mr Obama with Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.


TWITTER said...

Lilian Clark
Lee James
Afro Nick


Thank you for sharing, I had enjoyed it. I think your blog is purposeful! Unlike social media which is too crowded, I find that your blog is becoming a digital space, like an imagined community, for people all over the world to come together because of their personal connection to SG sixties music and reconnect.

SLeng said...

Just my kind of music. I saw those old photos once in the papers, and I did wonder if Andy Lim is you At that time, I didn't know your band is called The Silver Strings.

JS said...

I am amazed. I didn't know I had a celebrity as a friend.

henri gann said...

Here's Obama Spotify link:

Obama Summer of 2015 Spotify Playlist: Day

Obama Summer of 2015 Spotify Playlist: Day


My God, what a wonderful president we have been blessed with these last eight years!


Obama's going to be SORELY missed, especially given the situation.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Singapore leaders should start one like this. Shouldn't matter what songs. Could be from anywhere around the world. Perhaps start with our island's song but don't just limit them...

If you got no ideas of your own, learn from others. But don't copy wholesale. Change a little, re-align but learn from the experience and bring out a new product.

chakap chakap said...


It is the second year the president released a list of favorite summer songs. He also released a list of five summer books.

The list includes songs from more than 50 years of American, British and World music.

Obama starts with jazz stars Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, recorded in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

The music is organized into two lists. Some songs are meant for a summer day and the others are for the season’s warm nights.
Obama could come to work at Spotify as a music-chooser when his term ends in January.

Rob Sheffield is a music writer for Rolling Stone. He called the list “extremely good.” He said it is the kind of list that might be written by a music lover or someone working full-time in the music business.


henri gann said...

President Obama's farewell speech to the White House Press Corps
"...You're not supposed to be sycophants, you're supposed to be skeptics...continue to do the hard work of getting to the bottom of stories...and to push us in power to be the best version of ourselves and to push this country to be the best version of itself."




Thanks for the memories. From the cool dude.