Friday Five: Alaska
On this day in 1973, President Richard Nixon signs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline. Four years later, it was finished. Since that time, over 16 billion barrels of oil have traveled down through the last great frontier of tundra. A handful of good country songs have been inspired by Alaska over the years. These are five of our favorites.
5. Johnny Cash (with June Carter) – “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)”
Something tells me that this tune wasn’t utilized much by the Alaskan Tourism Board.
4. John Denver – “Alaska and Me”
This song appears on at least three of Denver’s albums, but it was first released on Higher Ground. Here, he toasts the state, “Here’s to Alaska, here’s to the people/ Here’s to the wild and here’s to the free/ Here’s to my life in a chosen country/ Here’s to Alaska and me.”
The fantastic fiddler and bluegrass songstress recorded a great song about leaving your troubles behind by moving to Alaska: “Can’t take my brother, he don’t like the north country at all/ Can’t take my sister, if there’s no mirrors on the walls/ Can’t take a book to read ’cause I’m only thinkin’ of the land where I am bound/ I think I’ll go up to Alaska where the heat of the summer’s comin’ down.”
2. Joe Walsh – “Fairbanks, Alaska”
This is from his 1992 album, Songs for a Dying Planet. He wasn’t always sober during that era. It makes more sense at that point.
1. Johnny Horton – “North to Alaska”
Gold, mushing dogs, northern lights and true love. Yeah, it’s got everything a great old-fashioned, classic country and western song needs.
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